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The tack room

Your experiences with non-rider's understanding of equestrian sport

18 replies

Moanranger · 30/05/2016 14:43

I had this conversation yesterday with a non-rider, but I have had versions of it many, many times-
She was asking me about my hobbies & pastimes, and I mentioned that I ride, have own horse & compete at RC level. Instead of saying, oh, really, or some similar, polite response, she launched into her one & only riding experience, many moons ago, which, of course ended in grief. (In this case, bareback & galloping were mentioned-on first outingShock. And this is of course now her view/opinion/assessment of riding.
I am sure she wouldn't say, of tennis, for example, "Oh, I picked up a racquet & tried to play doubles & couldn't hit the ball over the net so tennis is not for me/something I am hopeless at."
But why this strange view of riding - bad first expirience/expectation that you should be able to get on a horse & ride with absolutely no training?
Anyone else encounter this?

OP posts:
JustABigBearAlan · 30/05/2016 14:47

Yes. I think lots of people have been to trekking centre where they just get on a horse and go ( and then unsurprisingly fall off!) I think people want to go galloping off - because of course riding is easy. After all you just sit there and then the horse does all the work - and so there are places that cater for that.

It is a bit odd when you think of it. In most sports you are expected to learn the basis first.

Moanranger · 30/05/2016 15:08

Yes, it is the oddness of this response to riding in particular. Some complete lack of understanding that it requires skill & technique.

OP posts:
Equiem89 · 30/05/2016 15:15

I think it might be because non riders only see the pros, who do make it look easy.

tabulahrasa · 30/05/2016 16:22

"I am sure she wouldn't say, of tennis, for example, "Oh, I picked up a racquet & tried to play doubles & couldn't hit the ball over the net so tennis is not for me/something I am hopeless at." "

In fairness, I say almost that about badminton...(with rackets and shuttlecocks not the horse kind).

hollinhurst84 · 30/05/2016 17:12

At work, puissance on tv
Male colleague "I'm not watching horses chasing foxes" HmmConfused
15 mins in from same colleague "HOW high? Is that Britain? Yay Britain" < stands up> "can we boo the others?" Grin

Moanranger · 30/05/2016 23:34

Hollinhurst Grin

OP posts:
hollinhurst84 · 30/05/2016 23:36

He was fascinated. I get whined at when I ask for Olympia/badminton etc on and I always point out how many sodding football matches I sit through and they can suck it up once a year
Generally most people get into it especially the Shetland grand national or XC
My mum adores parelli Hmm or dressage on tv

Rollingdinosaur · 01/06/2016 17:55

It is irritating isn't it. There is one person in particular I know, who is convinced he could get on a horse, and do a round of showjumps, if I spent 5 minutes telling him how. I would love to let him try, but I suspect if I did he would probably break his neck, and I would feel bad. Grin

That said, I can sort of see where it comes from. When it is done well, riding does look effortless. It is only when you try it you realise how much actual effort it does take.

thumb3lina · 01/06/2016 18:16

When I was a teenager I used to compete to quite a high level but my sister had never been interested and hadn't ridden a horse since she was tiny on the lead rein. She went to a competition with me one weekend and when we got home, she announced that it looks easy so she will 'start competing' too.

So we tacked up my safest pony (he was practically bombproof) and she got on the horse in an enclosed but large-ish field. I go to clip a lead rein on the pony and DSis insists she doesn't need a lead rein as she will be competing soon. So she grabs (wrongly) hold of the reins, does a big PC kick and the pony starts to trot off along the fence of the field. Dsis immediatley starts to scream that the horse is out of control, despite doing a gentle trot, while she loses her stirrups, bouncing all over the place, and then lets go of the reins to hang on for her life to the saddle. The pony carries on slowly trotting, very confused, along the fence line all the way around the field despite all the screaming for mummy to catch the dangerous pony. DM, my friend and I were practically rolling on the floor with laughter by the time the pony had gently jogged the full lap of the field before trotting over to us and stopping, looking very confused. Dsis threw herself off of the horse as soon as he stopped and screamed at mummy to sell the dangerous animal. She then ran back to the yard and told everyone that the pony had bolted around the field with her and she had decided that she wouldn't be willing to risk her life on another crazy animal like that so she would now not be competing. Grin

Ememem84 · 01/06/2016 18:27

I got back into riding 2 years ago. And I forgot how hard it was. I fell off when I was 10 and mum said no more. Too dangerous.

So I had to re-learn from scratch effectively.

My dad has been saying for ages how easy it is. How you just sit there. So j booked him in for an hours lesson with me. He couldn't walk for about a week afterwards.

ClashCityRocker · 01/06/2016 18:35

Oh god, I remember the first time I trotted off a lead reign - I felt like I was on a bucking bronco rather than the most placid chunk of a pony going.

Its a lot harder than it looks!

SoleBizzz · 01/06/2016 18:49

I am a complete novice and it's common sense to me that horse riding is skill and takes years to learn!

SeemsLegit · 01/06/2016 18:53

Nope I've got a friend who was telling me about the first and only time he's ridden. Apparently he cantered and it was easy...managed to establish that he did a slow trot on a lead rein

Puppymouse · 01/06/2016 18:59

I think even if you can "ride" i.e. Know the basics and get the horse to broadly do as you ask, there's being able to ride and really riding. I always joke with my instructor when she adjusts my position or corrects me that I know if it hurts more it's probably correct Grin

My DH can't even comprehend me lifting a large soaked haynet, let alone riding.

originalmavis · 01/06/2016 19:04

I watch my sister jump with my hands over my eyes. It looks easy but I know it's not (and her best friend broke her back competing). She does look brilliant when she scrubs up and rides side saddle!

eleven59 · 01/06/2016 19:05

Its the same with mountain biking, people assume that they can ride a bike and that's all there is to it.

After a long break from riding (I had horses and competed in my teens) I went on a riding weekend with friends. I hadn't forgotten how to ride and could still do everything but I was walking like John Wayne for a week and aching for longer!

shotwithmyownbagsofshit · 01/06/2016 19:13

I used to compete as a teenager and did quite well. University, marriage and children got in the way ( well I let them). Then got divorced and decided to take it up again. Went for 'advanced beginners' lessons. First time I did ok ( my seat wasn't too bad but I gripped too tightly with my thighs) but I dismounted and hobbled to the car. I couldn't lift my feet up to use the peddles and had to call a friend to pick me up. Walked like John Wayne for days.

I had to give up again a few years later as I broke my neck

froubylou · 01/06/2016 19:21

My lovely dp spent a few years watching me and dd compete at shows though only in hand. I got pg so he decided he was going to take over for a season.

After years of helpful advice he was quite surprised to find there was actually a bit of skill and knowledge involved 😂😂 and that was with our homebred boy who was out showing at 3 weeks old.

I bought a new filly for me to ride last year. Apparently rather than send her away for breaking in he is going to help me do it because 'how hard can it be to lunge you on her'.

There is no fucking way on this earth or fullers I am getting on a newly backed pony with him attached to the line waving a lunge whip about.

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