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First riding lesson aged 46 am hooked!

27 replies

knackered69 · 22/10/2015 12:56

Had my first lesson today Grin it was brill! I did stop, start, turn, and even a bit of trotting! The horse was lovely - a bit reluctant to move and showed an inordinate amount of interest in the hedge at times - and trotting was really cool.

One minute you feel like a sack of potatoes bouncing up and down - then suddenly you get the rhythm and it all comes together for a wee while...

I didn't realise how much you use your tummy back and legs - I had this naive belief that the reins and stirrups kept you on Blush it was hard not to pull back on the reins when trotting - there's so much to remember! Is it normal after 1st lesson to ache a bit? Blush you really do seem quite high up don't you?

She also said that I have a good seat - is that equestrian speak for a fat arse? Blush

Do you remember your first lesson? I know I'm a bit old but I'm quite fit and supple - but evidently I need to be fitter!

I have my next lesson next week - I can't wait Grin

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knackered69 · 22/10/2015 16:44

Ah! Just Been looking through some of the threads and am way out of my league Blush

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Dapplegrey1 · 22/10/2015 16:49

It's the best fun in the world - keep going to lessons and don't become disheartened if you feel at times that you aren't making progress as it can take time.
If you keep having regular lessons, in a year's time you will be amazed at how much you've learned.

SimLondon · 22/10/2015 19:55

I've had two lessons since a long gap and found it a tad nervewracking, you sound way braver than me - i think my instructor is going to get tired of running alongside me at the head end :-)

Oh and I discovered that i can only do one thing at a time, e.g i can sit up straight and keep my hands up or i can keep my legs back but not both at the same time - learning to drive (cars) was way easier.

Gabilan · 22/10/2015 20:17

Yes it's hard work and you'll ache!However fit you are, it uses lots of muscles in strange ways. Hope you carry on enjoying it though.
A good seat means you have a good position on the horse. One thing though -at the end of the reins is a metal bit pressing on the horse's tongue. So the reins are for control NOT for you to hang on to.

knackered69 · 22/10/2015 20:24

I know Blush I'm trying very hard to fight my natural inclination with my hands.

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Gabilan · 22/10/2015 20:35

Give it time! The more you can relax the better. As you progress balance gets easier.

honeyroar · 22/10/2015 21:36

What a lovely thread! It sounds like you did really well and had fun.

RatherBeRiding · 23/10/2015 21:17

A neck strap is invaluable if you want to avoid hanging onto the reins for balance etc - if the school doesn't provide one then ask if you can have one. I have recently discovered the benefits of neckstraps whilst riding away my newly backed youngster - it has saved his mouth during many a violent spook and kept me in the saddle!

Core strength will improve the more you ride, as will balance and suppleness.

PS I am nearly 60 and know lots of other "mature" riders, including some in their 70s so you're a spring chicken really!! :)

inthisdayandage · 23/10/2015 21:25

I had my first lesson at 40. I am now 42 and still love it. I sometimes lack the confidence of younger riders but can now canter, trot and jump very tiny cross poles happily. Keep it up. It was the best decision I ever made.

Ememem84 · 08/11/2015 15:09

I went back to riding last year (am 31 now- booked myself a lesson as a birthday treat). I have learned so much. I had a fall when I was younger and it scared me off.

So far with the help of a very patient instructor have progressed from walking in circles on lunge rein to cantering laps around the sand school, group lessons and small jumps.

I love it. Core strength has increased. Confidence has improved.

Keep going!

ShapeSorterGoesWild · 08/11/2015 20:59

I'm about 7 lessons in after a 20 year break and I love it :). Although,my position needs work so I'm having lunge lessons which are great. How are you getting on? Love hearing from people who are at the same stage :)

SimLondon · 10/11/2015 20:05

Hi ShapeSorter I'm now 4 lessons and 1 hack in after a long break - i've never had a lunge lesson - don't you get dizzy? or is it not all in circles? i am thinking about booking a mechanical horse session.

Maybe we need a new thread for returning riders so we can track our progress, something to look back on and encourage other readers to take back the reins.

ShapeSorterGoesWild · 13/11/2015 14:41

Hi Sim :)

A separate thread for returning riders would be great! Usually, the actual lunge part of the lesson is only 30 mins so not too bad. Find it really helpful for concentrating on what my body is doing as it seems my left side remembers how to ride and my right side has decided not to play ball! I'm really enjoying it though. I have looked at those mechanical lessons, I think they would be very useful, think I might do one in the new year when my body has got a bit more used to riding :)

Ememem84 · 14/11/2015 16:52

Today's lesson was brill. Change in attitude for me, and pony was so good. We had a proper fast canter. My seat and legs were doing that they were meant to, I relaxed into it, and it was my best one yet.

Also did some jumping. Scary. But really good. Instructor sneakily put some jumps up a bit higher. I didn't realise until I was about to go over them.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 14/11/2015 17:47

I'm very Envy I've swithered about going back to horse riding but my back wouldn't cope (previous injury and now prone to sciatica)

The advantages I found with lessons is you get the chance to ride loads of different horses, they all have their own character. Some school horses are lazy blighters (and probably bored) some are very clever and will try to race round the area to the back, cutting the corner if you let them .

When I was a teenager I helped out with a horse (riding in exchange for stable work) and she wasn't good in traffic so I was limited where I could go.

Enjoy, and buy some Radox (other muscle relaxing bath products are available Wink )

ThatsNotMyRabbit · 14/11/2015 17:56

I used to teach riding. Your post reminds me of when I booked a bloke in for a lesson. His two daughters rode with us and he could ride but hadn't done for years. Convo went like this:

Me: Ok so shall we start with a half hour private lesson?
Him: Oh I think I'll have an hour group lesson.
Me: You're going to REALLY ache...
(The group lesson he wanted wasn't a beginners one, so he wasn't just going to be toodling around)
Him: Oh I'm very fit. I ski and go to the gym 5 times a week and stuff...
Me: You'd be surprised. Nothing really prepares you for riding...
Him: Oh ok. I'll try a half hour. But I'm sure I'll be fine.

So he had a half hour.

Come the next week...

Me: So how did you feel after your lesson last week?
Him: to be perfectly honest.... I was in fucking agony.


ShapeSorterGoesWild · 14/11/2015 19:56

Haha! It does really ache at first :) I'm ok now after a lesson, no pain, but my right side still isn't doing what I think /want it to do :). Apparently I'm jumping next week! Exciting but scary seeing as I'm still quite unbalanced...well a lot less balanced than I used to be. I do love riding different horses though. Each one shows you a different weakness you have ! I must keep remembering it's a long term goal to be able to ride how I used to and have to say I am enjoying every moment :) ...well until I come off at some point which I guess is inevitable!

MaybeDoctor · 28/11/2015 08:13

I hope nobody minds me asking here - I am thinking of starting riding in order to get a bit more active. Just to do lessons/hack - no ambitions to gallop, jump etc. I have a prolapsed disk in my back so could benefit from any form of activity which is upright or helps core strength- would riding help or hinder?

DollyTwat · 28/11/2015 14:06

I'm 46 and have just started lessons again, I love it as much as you op! It's terrifying and brilliant in equal parts.

I am trying to master trotting into a canter and just can't seem to get it, too many things to concentrate on. My ds2 is learning at the same time, we're sharing lessons, so we get to do something together and I get some exercise

Ememem84 · 28/11/2015 14:21

dolly it took me ages to get trot canter transitions. And still have trouble staying in canter.

I was taught to ride a fast rising trot, sit then leg back and small tap with leg to get my canter.

i tried a walk canter the other day. Much easier than trot canter.

DollyTwat · 28/11/2015 17:18

Thanks Emenem, I probably need a longer lesson to get it. There's a lot to remember isn't there! Walk to canter sounds less scary actually.

Knackered69 · 23/02/2016 17:27

Sorry for my absence -I started this thread then buggered off! I had to work full time for a while and it was winter and dark so I had to put lessons on hold.

Reading through it again was amazing! I found myself nodding so much in recognition I thought my head might drop off!

I went back to lessons at end of January as I went back part time ( my line manager came back from sabbatical)

We did lots of lessons trotting, changing reins and generally getting more confident.

Today I went for my riding lesson to find my instructor all tacked up astride a horse 🐴 - we went for our first walking /trotting hack!

It was lovely weather - she was in front with me following on. We went down into the village and back again.

It was brilliant! Everything seemed to fall into place - all that trotting - I trotted proudly along beaming away to myself. I felt like I was really riding - and my hands 👐 are much much gentler now.

What surprised me was that when my instructor started trotting, my horse 🐴 didn't need much encouragement - it was like - yeah - now we trot..

No diversions off into the nearest hedge for a quick nosh up and after feeling initially a bit nervous I had a great time! He just seemed to follow the horse in front!

I love it!

Hope you are all getting on OK!

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MissTriggs · 22/03/2016 20:57

Nice thread, am thinking about riding as physio recommended it

Poppyseed111 · 23/03/2016 10:54

I took my first lesson aged 54 and bought my own horse a month ago, exactly three years on. Learning to ride is an emotional rollercoaster but sooo addictive!

I was lucky enough to buy a lesson horse from my riding school which no longer operates as a school, and am able to keep him there so get lots of support. I wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise. It's hard work but I love it and feel so lucky, still can't quite believe he's mine!

Enjoy your lessons, there will be many ups and downs along the way but it is so so worth it, there's no feeling like it in the world when it all goes well!

Knackered69 · 28/03/2016 08:59

Omg Poppyseed - am so envious. I don't know one end of a horse from another yet - where would I start? Are there courses I could do?

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