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what would you expect from lessons?

(275 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 30-Oct-12 19:29:28

just wondered really as i had my first lesson tonight, i used to ride as a child but ive not ridden for over 30 years.

the first school i had booked with were very lax and when i showed up for my lesson tonight they claimed they had tried to phone me to say the instructor hadnt made it in - they had not tried to phone me and i told them that - then they changed their story and the man said he couldnt ring as had locked himself out of the house, and said they would be in touch. Still no call from them, not even an apology.

so at short notice i booked at another school and went for my lesson tonight.

i told them id not ridden for a very very long time and would need to be treated like a total novice.

it was an arena, a very placid horse and i really had a wonderful time, but i just wondered how lessons normally go?

i found i couldnt concentrate on technique because i was trying to keep my horse going, he was lovely and an old hand but in trot he wanted to it a good idea to learn to control the horse and learn technique at the same time?

im pleased i was let loose to some extent and i think i will learn quickly - alot of it came back to me tonight though i will need tons of practice and im sure alot of this cant be "taught" and has to be learnt on the job as it were.....but i know my balance is awful and though i was told id done really well, it all felt a bit clumsy and i dread to think what i looked like!

how do first lessons normally go?

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:32:41

well - for my 100th post on this thread i have news!

today i rode a huge boy of over 16HH! off the lunge!! it was clunky and not great and i think the problems with my seat were back - but - it meant i was having to use my leg aids alot more in conjunction with my hands because this big boy likes to try and follow the RI around instead of sticking to the school track.

RI said she was really pleased with me - my progress is really slow, the only frustration i have is with myself because i want my own horse sooner rather than later, but i cant ride well enough yet. That said she said i was managing to keep the big boy on the track really well and its a constant battle with him....ive learned not to take on a half tonne horse with my hands alone! it needs seat, legs and light hands! putting that into practice is harder but i am really trying....

i have spent the entire weekend at the yard helping out and am so pleased as i was always a bit afraid of riding a very large beastie - but im over that now and i am able to go into any of the horses and work on them without being worried (even the crocodile.....grin she is tiny and fierce!)
im still doing most of the yard work and not so much around the horses but im hoping that will change come the better weather and RI has time to teach me the finer points such as picking hooves out etc and although i reckon i could tack up ive yet to try it (i can untack fine) and am ok grooming.

so. although i wasnt pretty to look at today i did manage to learn much more by riding a difficult (not really but he is by my standards!) horse and a huge one to boot!

catanddog Sun 10-Feb-13 21:53:23

Well done Vicar more progress, and a huge horse to boot, it can be scary up there on high! You sound like you're coming on leaps and bounds......

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 10-Feb-13 22:07:43

he is a gentle giant - and i did have a bit of a moment mounting him! grin as im only 5ft 3 1/2! but once on i was fine - though he has a much bigger trot than my usual little pony....

im really not very good but im enthusiastic and fairly fearless so i think it will all start to come together (eventually!!)

and i love being at the yard and im really learning tons. smile

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 16-Feb-13 21:30:43

well i am truly a yard rat, but having spent hours, literally, today poo picking a field that hadnt been done for 6 months, i ache. really really ache.

im hoping i might get shown how to tack up or rug a horse in return - i must have shifted 15 barrow loads of horse poo least.

im riding tomorrow - if i can move. the learning has come to a bit of a stop and im tending to get the mucking out and poo picking jobs - thats fine as long as i get some learning in return.....

Pixel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:56:13

Six month's poo picking?? <faints at thought>.
You've certainly earned a bit of tuition. Shame you don't live near me, it would only take half an hour to show you how to put rugs on and tack up, most of it is just common sense. You could have started with ds's loan pony today, she's only 12.2 and very patient and doesn't kick like dhorse smile.

Littlebigbum Sat 16-Feb-13 22:12:27

Did you say live near the M25??? Vicar or was that someone else

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 16-Feb-13 22:57:04

unfortunately not little

yep - 6 months worth and several horses worth.....i am knackered tonight. i went round my ipod twice doing it....they said something about me being out there for hours....yes because 6 months worth of 14 horses shite takes some bloody moving!

i reckon ive earned some tuition too....and thing is i know in theory how to tack up so i reckon i could do it now but dont want to unless RI says its ok.

ive only got 3 weeks before i go back to work - im doing tomorrow all day and then the 2 pony club days for the half term too. If i dont get taught how to rug and tack up i will be slightly pissed off.....

ive been volunteering for a while now - i can muck out like a pro.....but i need to learn more now.
i untack. i muck out. i do water buckets. i sweep the yard.
i need to know how to groom, tack up, rug up and tie hay nets. and then i need to learn about feeds.
i think because im there twice a week now ive become thought of as "staff" and the learning has ground to a halt a wee bit....

Zazzles007 Sun 17-Feb-13 00:39:57

Yes, be careful of that Vicar. If you are up for it (and depending on how you think the RI might respond - well or poorly), it might be time to have that discussion about your services rendered and what you can expect to be taught in return, quid pro quo. Unfortunately there can be a tendency for people to take the mickey in this situation - not that I am necessarily suggesting the RI is doing that. Otherwise, an airy "Oh sorry, I'm busy that day" will suffice grin.

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 09:17:17

Also vicar I hope you are now starting to see your RI more realistically than in some of your posts . Anyone who leaves a field for that long with that much poo in it is not that fantastic . Have you looked locally for somewhere that does part time courses in horse management ?

50BalesOfHay Sun 17-Feb-13 10:40:21

Why not just ask to tack up alongside RI next time? be proactive and a bit assertive about what you want to learn. I agree with Floralnomad. Poo left to build up like that is a hazard to horse health (I wonder what their worm burdens are like) our yard owners poo pick every field, every day

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 13:40:51

I must admit here to being a bit of a poo picking obsessive . When we had our horses on DIY we did the fields daily ( even the day my dad died!) . When we moved to full livery I still went poo picking if I didn't think it was being done enough . Fortunately we only have one pony on full livery now and the yard owner does the field daily ( or gets her husband to do it ) . Poo picking and beds are very important IMO .

Auntmaud Sun 17-Feb-13 15:21:47

Well I'm poo pick obsessive too but haven't been able to get a barrow on the fields for weeks!

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 15:27:30

I use to take a large trug and leave the barrow outside if the fields were bad , lot more walking/ work but better than having a weeks worth to do later . We were lucky that it was only ever our own horses in the fields or one other owner who we had a rota with so not too much poo each day .

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:20:48

well - she is just very pushed for time as she works alone and has 14 horses. fwiw i dont think it was really 6months worth - but the field was huge, the horses were in another (they have several on rotation) so i just think it had been a bit neglected while the horses werent using it - not enough day light hours in winter to do it daily with that number of horses and just one person so she has priorities - because none of them live out she is obsessive over stable cleanliness, feeds, water buckets, etc.

i do still think she is a brilliant and knowledgeable horsewoman and a good instructor - the best i have found anyway. Spent the day there again today and had riding lesson, she showed me how to tack up today, im still enjoying going. im going in for pony club days and then the next couple of weekends but then i think i will be back to work so wont be around so much anyway.

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:22:06

i think that was the other problem aunt - the state of the fields has meant its been hard to get a barrow on but they are drying up and growing again now.

Pixel Sun 17-Feb-13 19:45:49

I've been dragging the barrow behind me to get it into the field but still managed to do every day <proud>. Have lost my boots and nearly gone over a few times and I'm glad dhorse isn't shod because he wouldn't be for long. It's been hard this year though, the hardest winter I've known by far. Everything seems to take so long, or maybe I'm getting old partly because of having to take a roundabout route and go under fences to be able to get the full barrow back out of the field!

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 20:39:22

the kids (mostly teens) who go to help out are supposed to help with poo picking the fields but they get bored and wander off - they only seem to want the more glamorous jobs.

50BalesOfHay Sun 17-Feb-13 20:58:26

Our fields are knee deep in mud, but still poo picked daily, onto tarpaulin which is then carried off the fields. They do it because it's important for horse health. It would never be entrusted (or left to) livery clients,unpaid helpers or, god forbid, teenagers. There is no excuse for poo in fields. Come what may it must be done. Leaving it like that means it's not fit for horses. And it's not accepable for horses to have no turnout.

Floralnomad Sun 17-Feb-13 21:00:37

TBH if you do it everyday it doesn't take long , even with several horses , its when you leave it that it becomes hard to catch up .

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:18:06

well, im sure its not normally left too long. the longest ive known her leave the most used fields is a week. The horses do have turnout - daily, but some are laminitic so are on limited turnout.

oh forgot to say i had lots of canter work today. its coming - slowly! i think.

she is scrupulous on every other aspect of the yard and cleanliness - there are 6 fields (and 1 of them is huge!!) for turnout, so its not really a huge problem if one isnt done daily but rather weekly.

i fear ive made it sound worse than it is....i would really have no hesitation in have any horse of mine on livery there - the yard is immaculate, the stables lovely, and there is plenty of turnout, they get different types of hay, she mixes all her feeds herself (about 8 types of feed)

and she does care very much about her animals. all see the farrier regularly, she spends hundreds on vet fees, they are all wormed and vaccinated, she has everything down to a very fine art time wise, but obviously appreciates any help she can get with so many horses to look after.

but i know she loves them all dearly (some are out of work and costing money while earning nothing, but she refuses to sell unless to the right person so she ends up keeping them....

the problem with saturdays is they are so busy lesson wise i dont really get to see her to learn anything, so sometimes it just feels like im shovelling shite all day for very little learning - sundays are different, its usually just me and her, i have my lesson, and get to learn more.

saintmerryweather Sun 17-Feb-13 22:05:17

im quite worried that your instructor doesnt have 2 minutes even to show you how to pick out a foot, its not a difficult thing to show someone. she must have helpers, can they not show you? i the moment it sounds like shes taking the piss a bit...using you as free labour while keeping you hanging on with the promise of showing you very basic horse care. tacking up wise as long as you dont sock the horse in gob, hold the bridle in you right hand, your left, stick your thumb in its mouth and slip the bit in. the ocasional teeth rattle isnt going to traumatise the horse

50BalesOfHay Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:25

Sorry, a week is way too long to leave poo in the field. It's a major health risk. I wouldn't keep a horse somewhere that did that. Doesn't make her a bad person, I'm sure she'd like to do things properly, but if she's over streched the she hasn't got time to do things properly. Sounds like someone I knw who is struggling to keep her business going, but nonetheless it's bad horse management to leave poo in the filed

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:34:07

she showed me how to pick out a hoof today as it happens, and she knows a week is too long, i dont think that happens when the days get a bit longer.

i was meant to do another field today (smaller one) but mucking out took precedence, im not very fast blush and instructor had lessons. im pretty sure she does do all the other stuff she doesnt get time to do on a weekend during the week when she has a little more time.

i think she does sometimes take the fact im there for granted slightly, but she is always grateful for the help (always at pains to say thank you) and she showed me how to tack up today - i will ask next week if i can do it while she supervises, she is very very particular about tacking up - i know someone said the odd teeth rattle wont hurt but she says it does and makes them wary of being tacked up if someone hurts them so she likes it done properly and only after tuition. (p;is when times off the essence its 10x quicker for her to do it than me...)

i do think she is one of the good guys where horses and instruction is concerned - having seen the bad guys prior to finding her....

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 07:21:28

Loads of fields have poo this time of year and they get harrowed and rolled in the Spring. If horses are wormed regularly and all have their own fields ( as mine do) then a bit of poo in muddy fields won't kill them.

50BalesOfHay Mon 18-Feb-13 09:15:00

We all have our own ways, Vicar and we can get quite defensive about our way of doing things (eg, my obsession with not leaving poo in fields). Sorry if it sounds critical of your RI, no-one's perfect, especially this time of year and she sounds like a really good instructor who tries to do the right things.

I suspect she's got more on her plate than she can manage by herself, hence being a bit reliant on your unpaid help, which must be a godsend to her. Hours on the yard now though will not just teach you skills but also enable you to develop your own obsessions for how things should be done when you get your own horse.

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