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Back to riding - just need some encouragement!

(9 Posts)
hatcam Tue 04-Dec-12 18:21:03

Like lots of mums, have come back to riding recently. Loving it, almost obsessively! Seem to be getting back into the swing of it. Am just having a wobble that I'll ever really improve. I think (hope) it's just that you forget your starting point and the fact is that every lesson you get pushed a bit harder?

Had an amazing lesson today, I loved it. Concentrating on lots of figures of eights on a lovely horse that isn't 'tricky' but needs riding, if you see what i mean, cantering over triple poles and keeping a really good line. I really want to jump again and I know that getting this really right will make jumping come easier but - oh I don't know, I got tired by the end and so was the horse and I confused her and we went off on the wrong canter lead about 3 times....

Maybe I am just being too harsh on myself or am I deluded that I can really fly over jumps like I did when I was a kid and didn't think about it. Any advice - even a reality check is very welcome.

MoonlightMerrimentandMistletoe Tue 04-Dec-12 23:15:25

You will fly over the jumps again - although maybe not entirely like a small child on a pony smile
It can take quite some time for your leg to come back - in my case about nine months after being off for a similar length of time (mind you that was also going from riding six days a week to riding about two hours a week too).
Also went through the 'but it's not absolutely perfect' stage when it's one step forward and about five back.

You will get there - only advice I have is don't overthink, go back to feeling when it's going right and enjoy it.

N0tinmylife Wed 05-Dec-12 12:24:50

I know exactly what you mean, it all feels so much harder than it used to doesn't it? How long have you been back to riding? I think you are right in that you do forget where you started, and end up being harder on yourself than necessary. I think it is easy to idealise how things used to be as well. I bet you had times as a kid when it all went wrong and you wanted to give up!

I started riding again in May, after a few years off. It has taken ages for the leg muscles I used to take for granted to come back, although it is starting to happen. I have also fallen off more in the last 6 months than I did in the last 6 years I was riding. I am determined to stick with it though, hopefully it will all be worth it in the end! smile

hatcam Wed 05-Dec-12 19:15:12

Ha ha MMM, I probably do look a bit like that!

Thanks for the encouragement. I rode as a child and a teenager and then odds and sods since, started back in earnest in June and been riding twice weekly (one long hack and one lesson) most weeks since then. I LOVE it and even love my lessons and slightly scary instructor.

The not over thinking advice is spot on, I keep coming away from my hacks and my lessons worrying about really small details rather than thinking how totally lucky I am to be doing something that is such fun outside. Don't care what the weather is doing, or where we're going - any riding is good riding in my book.

I love that feeling of stillness - sounds mad but it's like it all goes a bit quiet when you get it really right and weirdly you don't feel like you're trying anymore.

Am just about to embark on a 1 day per week horse share, am worried I am not up to it in terms of horse care but owner is lovely and I have been totally honest with her.

Weirdly, my lack of confidence in how it's all coming together is not reflected in my attitude to riding while I'm on the horse - if anything my lack of fear isn't matched my ability!!

catanddog Fri 07-Dec-12 15:07:20

Hi Hatcam,
I'm pretty much in exactly the same position! Hadn't been on a horse in 15 years, and came back to it (finally!) about 2 months ago, am cantering poles too at the moment with the view to jumping again. I just wanted to ask how long your lessons are? Mine are about 45 - 50 minutes and I find that my concentration or "mental focus" starts to waver after about 35 minutes, so just as I'm really getting into my swing, my mind can't always keep-up towards the end of the lesson, and I don't always feel I leave on a "high". So with me it's a tired thing. I have also invested in a few riding books to keep working on my technique and refresh my knowledge which I find has really helped too.

hatcam Fri 07-Dec-12 20:36:46

My lessons are about 30-40 mins and tbh that's pretty much perfect, I'm knackered by then. Know what you mean about the concentration, my instructor is lovely and really tries to make sure I've got the thing we're working on on the last turn around the school - so I feel good when I leave - but honestly sometimes I just lose the plot! I hack for a couple of hours every week too and don't find that nearly as tiring.

Isn't it great to be riding again? (I do know that I sound like an over excited child but I don't care, I'm having a great time!)

which books would you recommend?

Repeating my new mantra - must stop over thinking it, must stop over thinking it......

MoonlightMerrimentandMistletoe Fri 07-Dec-12 21:19:45

Umm, should I have specified you're not allowed to overthink 'not overthinking' either? grin

Some of the '101' books are good, particularly 101 jumping exercises.

hatcam Fri 07-Dec-12 22:34:31

Damn wink

catanddog Sun 09-Dec-12 17:12:49

Loving it too! I ride once a week and do 3 flat lessons to 1 hack if that makes sense, and ditto the no tiredness when hacking. I really like 100 Ways to Improve Your Riding, and Aride With Your Mind Essentials and constantly refer back to them and I found it's really helped.

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