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The tack room

Back in the saddle - returning to riding chat. Come and join the pony mad pals!

86 replies

SeventeenTwoChestnutMare · 17/09/2017 01:57

Inspired by another thread, this is a chat thread for those returning to riding after a long break.

If you're new to the thread, why not tell us a bit about yourself, your experience and what stage of your return you're at. If you were on the other thread, a quick recap for the benefit of any new pals joining this one would be fab.

(Consider a horsey name change for 'The tack room' topic if you don't want to out yourself under your usual MN username.)

OP posts:

Gottogetbackon · 24/09/2017 21:16

17.2 - he is probably the only one who knows everything that happened and I've spent a few evenings sat in his field/stable in the last few months 'discussing' the situation.

Frouby - had him back over a year, but in that time the ex really put me through hell, even being an ex, and house move etc. Traumatic for all of us. He was flat, fat and unfit - and then got bloody lami - he's just coming back into ground work on soft surface, 6 to 8 weeks until he can be ridden or hacked out. He's foot perfect on the lunge, but the time I'm spending with him is helping. He's just a bit of a brat who takes the piss if you're nervous - so I'm aware that he'll play up because I'm nervous, if you tell him to shut up and get on with it he will protest, sulk and then go 'OK, oh this is fun!' Lol
I get what you mean totally about doing it yourself Frouby, you know day by day what you're dealing with, where as if she goes away and comes back she'd be an unknown quantity. Is it feasible to do her yourself, time and facilities wise?

So has anyone ridden this weekend? Achy bums and thighs? Ha ha I am not looking forward to that first week of muscles I forgot I have protesting after the first few rides!


mateysmum · 24/09/2017 21:42

seventeentwo Happy to compare notes assuming I make it back alive!

I have been quite careful about my choice of riding school as I wanted somewhere with qualified instructors and an indoor school. I like your user name,mine would be 15.2 max as I'm not very tall. So hope they don't put me on something gigantic.


Frouby · 24/09/2017 22:36

Facilities wise we are fine. Have an old and tatty but perfectly useable sand school. Timewise is a bit of a push but I think she will do better doing things 4 days a week rather than 6 or 7. And although she is 4 she is a big girl and still growing so I think slow and steady will be healthier for her joints long term.

There is a pretty decent instructor teaching some girls on our yard already so once we are both fit enough will have lessons from her. And the riding school I grew up at is a 10 minute hack away if I want lessons there too.

And yard owner where we livery is my best friend and an AI so have lots of support around. I am good at groundwork and absolutely love it but know I will need eyes on the ground soon enough.

The only thing we are lacking is decent hacking. Which is a bit of a problem. We are getting a trailer next season but it's still a faff boxing up to go riding.

Annoyingly there is about 300 acres of council fields 5 minutes away which we used to ride on but they have gated it all off to stop off road motorbikes. Every so often the gates get taken off or the locks smashed so we spend a few weeks tootling around it which is always nice.


yikes76 · 24/09/2017 22:41

Loving the photos of all the gorgeous horses and ponies. Enjoying reading all the comments as well.

Seventeen - ha ha ambition is one way of putting it ;) (I think my mother thinks it is more a mid like crisis....) Hopefully I will stay in the saddle rather than landing on the floor again.... Taking lessons in French is sometimes a challenge and the vocab is very different to English but my RI is lovely and I'm enjoying the riding and the new language. Yes Decathlon is great for riding stuff and very reasonable :)

Mateysman - it has been about 20 years since I had regular lessons too. I had been on a few hacks in my early 20s but hadn't done anything for about 15 years. In June, after watching my daughter having lessons, I decided to have a lesson and now ten lessons later I'm enjoying myself. The first lessons hurt and I felt so unfit and unbalanced. Unfortunately, I fell off on my 4th lesson but I surprised myself and have continued. I'm slowly feeling more confident and I hurt less but still have a long way to go. Enjoy your lesson and hope you don't ache too much the following day.


SeventeenTwoChestnutMare · 25/09/2017 11:26

Just got back from my lesson! Reporting in from the warm bath I'm having before I stagger off to collect DS from nursery.

So, the lesson was great, I loved it. A whole hour private was hard work though!

The lovely instructor went over the basics and then we did walking, trotting (rising and sitting), trotting 20m circles and then moved on to some canter (the latter not being at all elegant but we got there).

I had to ask for a walking break after the first half hour because I was a little out of breath and very warm!

The sweet, sensible, mature gelding was a good horse to start back on, no surprises, and I was pleased to find I haven't developed any fears being away from riding for so long.

Dismount was fine but walking out of the school my legs were less, um... reliable than usual. We'll see what tomorrow morning brings.

Obviously, I've booked my next two lessons. Bye, bye money Grin

OP posts:

mateysmum · 25/09/2017 13:17

Thank goodness my lesson is only 30 mins. glad you enjoyed it.


SeventeenTwoChestnutMare · 25/09/2017 23:22

Have a fab lesson tomorrow, mateysmum Smile

OP posts:

Frouby · 26/09/2017 07:34

30 minutes will be my limit too Mateysmum! Have a fabulous lesson and don't forget to put the hot water on before you go so you can soak those aching muscles!


Squirrel26 · 26/09/2017 10:03

I find an hour in a group hard work, let alone one on one!

Hope your legs are functional today Smile Have a good lesson, Mateysmum!


SeventeenTwoChestnutMare · 26/09/2017 11:23

Definitely recommend stretching, a warm bath and a nap, if possible. I lay down next to DS for his post-nursery/lunch nap and ended up having a very nice post-lesson one myself. Thank goodness I set an alarm or I'd have had a phone call from the school wondering why nobody came to collect DD!

Amazingly, my legs are in pretty good working order today (I went to a weights class in the evening, because I forgot to cancel it and didn't want to have to pay for not going) but the muscles I can feel are definitely the riding ones.

Half-hour private lessons weekly would be preferable to hour-long ones fortnightly, but they don't offer them where we're going.

Little and often would be much better for DD too, I think; she's got a good seat but I can see her starting to slump after 45 minutes, bless her.

OP posts:

SeventeenTwoChestnutMare · 26/09/2017 11:27

Oh, and yikes, hats off for trying 20m circles at a canter. I was struggling to get canter to happen and not really managing to maintain it for long.

OP posts:

yikes76 · 26/09/2017 21:58

Seventeen - well done and really pleased you had a good lesson. I only attempted the 20m circle once in canter and ended on the floor! I'm much happier to simply canter around the outside of the school for now ;) I also have hour private lessons as that is what is on offer. It's tiring but getting a bit easier as I get a tiny bit fitter....(and I sleep very well the night after my lesson).

Mateymum - how did your lesson go? 30 mins is ideal.


boxesoffrogs · 27/09/2017 00:41

Hi can I join in? I am currently 8 months pregnant, due in 26 days apparently...

Had to give up my gorgeous loan mare (tbx 16.2 on a good day, far bigger if she decided to stand on her back legs!). Had her on loan for five years. Really really missing riding and the yard so much, rode up until 20 weeks pregnant and am literally itching for this child to be born so I can get back into it...

Reading all your back-in-the-saddle escapades with so much jealousy...


mateysmum · 27/09/2017 12:00

Well, I survived and really enjoyed it. Thighs a bit sore today but pretty OK.
30 mins in an indoor school was about right -even managed a short canter and was encouraged that I really did remember what to do. I was on a 16.2 horse which is larger than I have normally ridden so hopefully they will put me on something a bit smaller next week now they know my ability level and size.
Really pleased I took the plunge to go back to riding.


KingLooieCatz · 27/09/2017 13:54

Hello everyone.

Seventeen I was thinking of the Pony Club Manual for me! I got through the first couple of lessons better than I expected but I fear I am bluffing it sometimes and not really understanding what I should be doing (legs on the girth or behind and why, riding with my seat).

Last night I had a group lesson on a more responsive horse than the previous two and I felt very exposed - everyone was saying how good he is but I felt like my riding was worse! If we weren't doing what we should be doing it was clearly my fault not his. Bit dispiriting but probably great learning. The instructor was a bit tougher too, but she starts every lesson asking if people would like to concentrate on anything, and before I basically said getting through it would be enough and last night I said "getting the basics right", so she took me at my word.


KingLooieCatz · 27/09/2017 13:55

Also feel a bit daft reading every one talking about stretching and having a big "aha" moment. Doh! Less pain today than the last couple of times though.


SeventeenTwoChestnutMare · 28/09/2017 01:31

Gottogetbackon, I'm sorry to hear that you've had a rough time of it. I hope you've got lots of support so you can start putting it behind you, and that you can find some joy in rebuilding your relationship with your horse, if you feel able to. I'm sure I'm not the only one on the thread who's hoping you're too busy having fun to post about it here Smile

What you said about the naughty ponies back in the day made me laugh and got me thinking ahead to the next thread (when we fill this one!) - we'll have to call it something like 'Back in the saddle - get better or get bucked'!

Frouby, have you had that first lesson with your friend yet?

So pleased you also had a good return, mateysmum. I'm curious to know if you also felt like it was only yesterday since you last rode? For me, the decades were as nothing - felt like the most natural thing in the world. Quite odd, especially since I feel out of the game at work after a mere week of annual leave Grin

Looie, somebody remarked that the PC Manual is a bit dry. I'd tend to agree, but I'm finding it's backfilling gaps in my knowledge resulting from not paying proper attention as a kid.

Interesting that say you felt exposed on a more responsive horse. I was thinking that would be great after having to squeeze for all I was worth for an hour solid. For what it's worth, I think you're spot on having the goal of getting the basics right, and an instructor who will hold you to it is a very good thing.

Welcome to the thread, boxesoffrogs.

I found this when I was looking for inner thigh stretches. (How delighted I was to see that the first two are my favourite stretches ever!)

OP posts:

Squirrel26 · 28/09/2017 07:44

I found some videos on YouTube called something like 'yoga for dressage riders' - I'm not sure about how specific it is for dressage riders (seems like ordinary yoga to me...) but they're quite short, and I quite enjoy doing them.


SeventeenTwoChestnutMare · 28/09/2017 09:28

Great find, Squirrel, I'll look those up later.

OP posts:

KingLooieCatz · 28/09/2017 14:37

Seventeen "backfilling gaps in my knowledge resulting from not paying proper attention as a kid" sounds like exactly what's required! Will add to Christmas list and look forward to spending Christmas break poring over it.

Thanks for the stretching links! Not too bad this time, but these muscles know they have been used.

Jumping next lesson. Yikes. More stuff that I bluffed through as a kid.

Boxes sorry to hear you had to give up your loan. Is this your first child? Horses seem to be a good anti-dote to losing yourself in parenting.


mateysmum · 28/09/2017 21:24

Seventeen Yes I was surprised how natural it was - sorting girth and stirrups, changing diagonals, how to change pace etc. It took a while to get used to the long stride of a big horse at rising trot and my balance needs to improve.
Looking forward to next week.


yikes76 · 30/09/2017 07:44

Well I had my 11th lesson yesterday and I fell off again :( Everything was going well and we were working on transitions (trot-canter, walk-canter) and the RI said stay in canter and do a 20m circle. Unfornately my horse stumbled and I hit the deck. I have pulled my left leg and have a sore bruised bottom. Walking hurt a lot and I'm feeling sorry for myself. We were in the indoor school which is brand new with new sand so I don't know if that didn't help matters. This is the second fall since I started riding again in June. Hope everyone else is being more successful.


Squirrel26 · 30/09/2017 10:44

Oh dear, yikes76. I hope things aren't too painful this morning.

I've fallen off twice since I started having lessons again about a year ago - both times off the same pony! The first time wasn't really his fault, as it suddenly started hailing really hard and he got it right in the face. The second time he did it on purpose, little git. Despite that, I really quite like him!


yikes76 · 08/10/2017 09:20

Hi, how are we all doing? Hope everyone is having fun and enjoying their lessons.
I haven't been able to ride this week as I fell on my hip and had to see an osteopathe (who did wonders and realigned everything). I think I will have to wait another week before I will be able to climb back onto a horse. I suppose these things happen though it does knock my confidence a bit....


Squirrel26 · 08/10/2017 14:42

It really does knock your confidence when you fall off Sad Hopefully you'll be able to ride again soon.

I jumped a spread in my lesson last week. It was about a foot high. I was well pleased with myself (it was all me, of course, not the pony). Grin

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