total novice- reassure me?(16 Posts)
So, I've booked myself a riding lesson in a couple of weeks. I'm early 30s, and had a few lessons about 10 years ago from a not very good teacher. What should I expect from my first lesson? I'm a bit nervous. My end goal is to have fun, get a bit fitter, and I'd love to one day feel confident going on a hack, and jump, but think that might be a bit beyond me, not being very sporty! Just a few tips on what to expect and how to enjoy the experience would be great.
I would've thought your first lesson would be a private assessment? You should really call the riding school and ask them! Did they not discuss this with you when you booked?! If it's an ABRS or BHS approved riding school they would be obliged to complete a rider assessment form - this enables them to match you with a suitable horse!
You will ache massively in places you didn't know could ache
You will probably be assessed on a reliable horse. Probably mainly walk and a bit of trot.
OP - how did you get on? Are you still having lessons?
I've got my first proper lesson tomorrow on DD's horse. I've only done a bit of lead reign riding and a few treks.
I'm feeling very nervous!
When I had my first lesson again three years ago I was put on the lunge rein and was taught the basics.
After a few private lessons on the lead rein/lunge rein I was "let loose". After a few months I joined a Saturday morning group lesson and this has helped enormously. I can see other people doing the things I'm doing have made new friends and really enjoy it.
In the beginning I hurt in places I never knew existed!
OP just to say don't assume you aren't sporty enough. I was a laughing stock at school for my lack of sportiness. It was a school urban myth that I once came second in an egg and spoon race because the person in front dropped their egg and I stopped to help them pick it up
In my life since, I have pushed myself to try running, which I managed to work up to three times a week for 8 miles each time for a year pre DC and now with my horse in my life I am stronger than I have ever been. I might not be lean like the best riders but the more I ride the more able I am and I've lost weight too. You can be great at riding if you set your mind to it! Just be prepared to hurt in places you didn't know could hurt afterwards
Thanks for checking in. I've had 4 half hour sessions. I've managed to get into trot without holding the neck strap the past couple of lessons, and I'm working a lot more with my legs than with the rein than I used to when I had lessons years ago.
However, as soon as I get in trot my legs go forwards and my stirrup slips, just can't get the legs hanging right! I'm sure I'll get there, and had a few moments in the lesson today where it clicked for a couple of strides. Apparently my shoulders keep rolling forwards, so that's probably affecting my balance.
Just wish I could do it more than just every couple of weeks. I absolutely love it.
Suggest shortening your stirrups a bit and get your leg back and underneath you from your hip. When you rise, it's not up and down but think more of your hips coming out of the saddle at a 45 degree angle. Keep the weight down the back of your leg and relax. (Try not to force your heel down as this will encourage your lower leg to move forwards.) It's your lack of balance in your seat and legs that's cuaing you to tip forwards. Sit on your seat bones and keep your pelvis level, try to lift up through your diaphragm. The more you grip with your knee, the worse it will be. If you were lifted off the horse and placed on the ground ask yourself if you'd tip forwards or not. There are plenty of books out there to help you - have a look on Amazon.
Thanks Draughty! I'm very aware that I'm tensing up too, so going to try to relax more and get a bit more loose before hitting the trot next time. I'm overthinking all my positioning at the moment (because I haven't got it right yet), so that's making me tense. Once I have more strength, and muscle memory, it'll come (I hope!). Just going to try to be patient and not frustrated when I get it wrong.
I'd really like to learn more about horse behaviour and how to connect with them, does anyone know of any good resources?
Ask for a lesson or two on the lunge (no stirrups). It will sort your balance out.
Update: Had a great lesson today, trotting pretty much continuously, posture felt right, and started going over trotting poles, down centre line etc. If anyone is still watching this thread, could they advise on what progress should look like, I.e, the common steps and techniques you are taught and in what order? Also, what is there to achieve as an adult, qualification wise etc? I'm not interested in competing etc, but would like to have a list of things to aim towards. Comfortable in canter was my new years resolution, but other than that I'm a bit clueless!
In terms of aiming for something, try to aim for British Horse Society Stage 1. I second 50 bales lunge lesson. Best way to improve. Key steps, Heels down, deep seat, upright posture. Look between horses ears (not down). That's a start. Also, watch good riders & see how they hold themselves.
Aim to walk, trot and canter with ease on different horses. Do you ride the same one each time?
After that trotting and canter poles. 20m circles in trot and canter.
No stirrup sitting trot and canter.
My group is doing the BHS progressive riding tests www.bhs.org.uk/professionals/become-bhs-approved/approved-centres/progressive-riding-tests
The riding sections are quite easy but it includes stable management/horse care as well
- I've learned a lot.
OP here, with NC. Just to update that I had a brilliant lesson today, after a few weeks of struggling with getting into canter, I managed to do it! I was happily cantering round the school and keeping my leg on round corners, and really enjoying moving with the horse. I'm so happy to have made this progress and looking forward to what's next. I've really been enjoying my lessons, some round school, some lunge, some hacks (on a very reliable-slow- horse), and lots of schooling too, all on a really goo variety of horses. Only doing it 1/2 an hour once a week, but I love it.
Wish I'd started when I was younger!
Glad you're enjoying it - and it sounds like you've made fabulous progress! It's certainly always been my 'therapy'!
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