Would this have annoyed you?(21 Posts)
Something happened last week whislt I was hacking out and it's been bothering me ever since.
I hack out in a group of people, mainly those who don't have their horses and so don't get to ride more than once / twice a week.
I am generally quite nervous about it because I have only recently returned to riding after a few years 'off' having totally lost my confidence.
So, on the first canter of the hack, all was going well but after a few minutes my pony lost her footing slightly on the track. This caused me to lose my left stirrup as she stumbled back onto the track.
I was fine for a few moments after riding with only 1 stirrup but suddenly felt very uncomfortable and knew there was a horse right behind me if anything should happen. So, I shouted to stop as I had lost a stirrup.
A few in the group were annoyed as I had spoilt their canter, and I feel guilty to have ruined something they obviously enjoy, pay a lot of money for, and don't get to do very often.
It would have annoyed me that they were cross about stopping. You could have had a fall, so they should have been more understanding.
if you're riding correctly losing a stirrup shouldn't make you any more likely to fall tbh.
if you were that uncomfortable could you not have pulled off the track slightly so the person behind could pass and caught up once you'd sorted yourself out?
i'd have been fairly annoyed too tbh, best thing you could have done would have been to kick off the other stirrup to balance yourself and enjoy the canter
Ok I'll do that next time, thanks. Didn't think of kicking off the other stirrup.
I agree about correct riding position and you shouldn't fall, buyt as the OP says, she had recently gone back into riding after losing her confidence, so understandably would be nervous of a fall and the other riders should be more considerate.
it's hard to think when you're panicing, which it sounds like you were tbh.
can i ask what caused you to lose confidance? was it a fall? if so it's understandable that you're a bit nervous but unfortunately nervousness and guiding a horse 4 times your size aren't compatible.
is there any way you could go for some lessons to boost confidance? or practice riding with no stirrups/reins/saddle to improve your balance and confidance?
You're right, I was definitely having a panic, I thought I would be fine without the stirrup as I have had a few lessons without, I think it was the stumbling that threw me.
It's all about confidence I suppose isn't it? When I think about it now I guess I'm just embarrassed about being nervous in front of other riders. I'm sure I would have been ok for the rest of the canter, I didn't think I was slipping or anything, nerves just got the better of me!
Thanks for the advice.
But when you ride in a group it's just good manners to go at the pace of the least experienced/most nervous rider surely?
I know someone who canters off regardless of problems other people might be having because she 'didn't come all this way not to have a canter'. I've known people be thrown because of her attitude yet she is still all over 'new' people saying that if they are nervous she will take them out!
Bunty, was this a riding school then? Was there someone supposed to be in charge of the ride?
Pixel, yes it was a group from a riding school.
I was very grateful to everyone for eventually stopping and apologised.
I guess I just wanted to check here to see what people thought, as I wasn't sure if I had committed a horsey faux pas in asking for a stop or if it was an acceptable thing to do.
We did later on have a (successful) long canter.
Thanks for all the thoughts.
Of course they should have stopped. If you're riding in a group, you go at the level of the least confident. All they had to do is stop while you got your stirrup back then carry on - you didn't spoil anything.
And as for kicking off the other stirrup and carrying on - that suggests a lot of capability and confidence - fine if you've got it!
I agree they should stop and not grumble, safety first - it is easier to canter without stirrups though, until you come back to trot of course if horse is a bit bouncy?
* feels awful about own prior lack of hacking etiquette *
now that I think of it, have not hacked for about 85 thousand years - severe withdrawal
I can't see you did anything wrong. If I was out with someone who wanted to slow down/stop for whatever reason I would rather do that than have them fall off and an accident happen <<dons Health and Safety jacket>>
We are frequently having to stop our canters due to excitable pony at back bucking problems, rather that than a rider fall and lose their confidence.
Don't worry about it and carry on enjoying your rides.
having previously worked as a trek leader, I am always aware of people in canters and would check if everyone is ok before, during and after as there is such a difference between trotting and cantering on a hack. Even people who seem fairly in control in trot, and who canter fine inside can be taken by surprise and it is only manners i think. Can you find a more sympathetic group to go out with or just go with an escort on your own for a couple of times to get used to the horse and its behaviour outside. I do however sympathise because as a paying customer i have had a few rubbish holiday rides where there are very novice riders. I think the key lies in matching the groups if possible so everyone has the same expectations eg the ones who have got to canter or it has not been with a hack and a different group with the ones who think - maybe i'll have a wee canter if everything is going well and i feel like it. When people do not have much time to enjoy horses it is something that you look forward to all week and maybe the others build it up and make the canters the main thing.
TurkeyLurkey thank you for your kind words.
Horseymum, I think you're exactly right in that it is important to match up equal riding abilities. Unfortunately I find myself comforted by knowing I am not the worst rider in my group! I too have booked rides on holiday only for a whole group of boy scouts who had never ridden before turn up to join in!
I go to a 'trekking' type stable when on holiday (have been going there since I was a teenager) and they never have a problem with mixed groups. They just put the novices at the front of the ride with the trek leader and the people wanting to canter at the back. When they get to a good cantering place the front people trot (or walk if real beginners) ahead and the back people hang back until they are out of sight, (and then a bit longer if they have the patience ). Then they just canter to catch up, simple.
This is on the 1 hour rides though, they only accept experienced people on the 2 hour rides as they do cover a lot of ground and need to keep up a good pace. I went on one once and even though I was riding regularly at home then it nearly killed me.
bunty I think it's the law of the "world", when someone yells "STOP", you stop - even if it is the perfect grassy track through the trees.
If you're in the front I feel you've a responsibility to check over your shoulder for "casualties". (I've also worked in a trekking centre .)
We had someone yell STOP on Sunday and one of the girls didn't stop - she got ballsed out by the others and I'm shocked that they bitched at you instead.
If they don't want to ride with you they don't have to.
Are there really people out there so selfish as to resent stopping for a few seconds whilst someone gets their stirrup back?!
BTW "could you not have pulled off the track slightly so the person behind could pass and caught up once you'd sorted yourself out?" may sound logical but unless the pony in question was an absolute saint, pulling up whilst all it's friends are cantering off and then have the one behind canter past it and off with the rest might cause equine temper tantrums!
Nekabu Yes, we also operate with a "no overtaking" rule.
When somebody says stop all riders should do so without complaining - they don't know what the problem is and one day it could be them.
I'd have probably just put my foot back in the stirrup but I'm used to losing them out hunting!
They should not have made any fuss - lets face it a moments wait and they'd be back cantering again - idiots.
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