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Re-learning to ride after many years

(14 Posts)
lemontwist Sun 14-Aug-16 22:54:46

I'm 35 and used to ride for a few years in my early teens until both a bad experience and changes in my situation caused me to stop. I've just come back from a holiday where I treated myself to an hour's ride with a local riding school. I absolutely loved it ( though I ached in all sorts of places for days afterwards!) and want to start lessons again. I walked, trotted and had a couple of very short canters but realised I have to relearn so much.
I've only really one option for a local riding school, which was actually the one I used before. I can only really afford a couple of lessons a month so not sure how much I'll progress. Anyone else started again after a big gap? Also I'm not sure whether to go for an hours lesson a couple of times a month or eek out the pennies for half an hour every week. Any tips would be appreciated.

Spudlet Sun 14-Aug-16 22:56:53

I'd go for the half hour to start, then when you've got your sea legs see if there's an adult group lesson you can join. Half an hour of work in the school will be enough to start with, or you'll be knackered!

lemontwist Sun 14-Aug-16 23:12:20

Thanks. I think that's sensible advice, at least for the first few lessons. I just worry that half an hour wouldn't seem like much.
Another question I meant to ask...the riding school I used last week used neck straps. I've never ridden with one before but my instructor said she had been totally converted since working in that particular place. Any opinions on them? I found it helped my confidence a little.

Spudlet Mon 15-Aug-16 07:22:41

I just started again after a year and a bit off to have DS, and half an hour is plenty for me. A group lesson where you get a break is less intense but a private lesson is full on!

Nothing wrong with a neck strap, v handy especially when you're finding your balance again.

Good luck and enjoy! smile

DraughtyWindow Mon 15-Aug-16 16:14:08

I still ride with a neck strap! Even in dressage comps! grin You never know when it might come in handy and much better than socking them in the teeth. I would suggest 1/2 hour private lessons - you'll get much more out of them than an hour's group lesson although it depends what their max no of pupils is in a group. Take up Pilates too - that will so help with your core strength.

frostyfingers Mon 15-Aug-16 21:24:19

William Fox Pitt always has neck straps on his horses and if it's ok with him it's more than ok for me. Round our neck of the woods they are called "oh s**t" straps!

Curlgurl Mon 15-Aug-16 22:45:29

Neck straps are good for the oh shit moments.
To be cantering in your first lesson back is good, however don't rush. Take your time, build your confidence slowly and enjoy it

lastqueenofscotland Tue 16-Aug-16 08:09:11

I love an oh shit strap grin
Great for any rider for those moments when your darling steed decided to audition for the Spanish riding school, and great for novices to rebalance not on the horses mouth.

I'd go for more frequently but shorter periods of time.

ProseccoBitch Tue 16-Aug-16 12:35:58

If you have any spare time to offer you could try putting up an advert in your local tack shop/feed store offering help in return for riding? You might get lucky and find someone who would welcome the help and company and has an older horse you could ride that they've moved on from. Al long as you're honest about your abilities it could work well, I made one of best friends when I saw a similar ad she'd put up in our local tack shop. I had kept my pony from my younger days but had got a bit big for her but said friend is 7.5 stone wringing wet and was perfect for her.

ProseccoBitch Tue 16-Aug-16 12:36:49

As long*

lemontwist Tue 16-Aug-16 22:15:36

Thanks for all your advice. Good to know about the neck straps - I was just surprised as I've never really across them before but they do seem a pretty good idea.
Can't wait to get stuck back into lessons. No danger of not taking it slowly though - finances wouldn't allow anything else!

smerlin Thu 18-Aug-16 18:27:43

I do half an hour private once a fortnight which is as much as I can afford. Progress much slower than I would have if could afford every week (is nearly £50 just for one private 30min lesson though!) but I have definitely made progress since taking up riding again as an adult. Am learning to jump which I never did as a teen and get lots of canter work compared to in a group lesson , everything is customised depending on how well I am progressing within the lesson etc.

randomsabreuse Thu 18-Aug-16 18:34:15

Definitely. I've had a few long breaks - the worst bit is definitely getting off the inevitably wide worse and not staggering and sitting in a muddy puddle.

Would go with half hours weekly at least initially - my RS only really does 45 minute privates full stop - plenty of time to work on things in that time, including jumping.

TaLLyHOnellie Sat 20-Aug-16 19:18:06

I went back after a few decades break.

I do an Adult Group and top it up with a private when I can.

Well done for going back to it. I nearly gave up again a couple of weeks back but I have stuck to it and am enjoying it again.

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