My feed

to access all these features

Discuss horse riding and ownership on our Horse forum.

The tack room

Any recommendations on books about riding - for a novice

21 replies

CMOTdibbler · 23/01/2010 21:47

I'd like to be able to see what I should be doing with my legs, and obv its a bit hard to do that apart from a book with good explanations and illustrations. But everything seems to assume that you learn as a child, and so anything aimed at adults is far too high a level for me.

Any ideas ?

OP posts:
MitchyInge · 24/01/2010 11:33

One of the monthly magazines has good stuff for beginners, I think it might be Your Horse?

have got a quite old paperback somewhere called 'The Right Way to Ride a Horse' which has useful information, by William something or Walter something - don't know if still in print though

oldernowiser · 24/01/2010 20:48

I've been lent a fantastic DVD by my instructor, from the Animated Riding series (DVD 01: Balanced Beginnings)which shows what all the muscles are doing. I don't have a link, but it's from fatcat studios (

I've learnt loads, and needed to because when I was taught way back when it was the Leicestershire hunting seat we all learnt:
(toes up and pointing inwards, heels down, elbows into your side, grip with your knees,shouldn't loose a penny if holding it between knee and saddle, should see an inch of toe when looking down, hands down and together, and steering aids given across the body!) CMOT, sometimes it's easier not to have learnt as a child!

CMOTdibbler · 24/01/2010 20:53

That DVD sounds great - I'll have a look for it.

And will check through the magazines when I'm at the airport tomorrow to see what I can fine - I assumed they were all far above me

DS seems to just sit nicely with his heels perfectly down and glued to the saddle somehow. Is it wrong to feel inadequate next to a 3 year old ?

OP posts:
MitchyInge · 24/01/2010 21:10

I would like a book that explains how a horse can come in willingly from the field, seem quite happy to be tied yet, when you turn your back for less than a minute, wriggle out of his perfectly fitted headcollar and leave it there, still attached to the lead rope, while he silently vanishes before leading you the merriest of dances for about an hour as you try to catch him again


CMOTdibbler · 24/01/2010 21:15

That is called pure cussedness. Just like how when I was a teen, if I was left to do the milking, senior goat would stand perfectly still whilst I milked, and then right at the end, totally deliberatly and neatly, put her foot in the bucket.

OP posts:
MitchyInge · 24/01/2010 21:20

head collar was still done up though! it was like he had just disappeared - usually he breaks the lead rope leaving the string intact

bet he is really pleased to have added a new escape method to his already impressive repertoire

Ponymum · 24/01/2010 21:25

I would recommend an excellent book called, er, 'How to Ride' by Debby Sly. Link here.

It starts with the absolute basics, but then carries on through to some fairly advanced lessons - but all really well explained in an easy to follow way. It is also packed with multiple photos illustrating everything, which really helps. I've not seen a better book for novice adults, or for people wanting to brush up on anything they've forgotten (or need to do more correctly!). I refer to it often as it is very confidence giving and also very correct.

Ponymum · 24/01/2010 21:27

Sorry - I don't think this book can help with Mitchy's problem!

frostyfingers · 26/01/2010 18:12

Mitchy - know the feeling. My TB is a dreadful escapee - he twiddles away at the leadrope until it comes undone then quietly wanders off. It doesn't matter how many loops I put in, he carries on until he succeeds. He will also undo other pony's headcollars and leadropes, open the feedroom door, undo gates if the fitting is the least bit loose, undo the front of his rugs, knock anything off left lying around on doors, shelves etc etc.

He also undoes the farriers apron when being shod - farrier not impressed! Another favourite is opening and closing the zip on your coat - he's a strange and simple soul really!

There are so many things to remember before I leave him anywhere, and I nearly always forget one. I've left the yard before now, come down the drive towards the house and then realised he's following me in a Monty Roberts way - he goes back quite happily without being led, I just put my hand on his poll and point him in the right direction - but god it can be a menace sometimes!

CMOTdibbler · 26/01/2010 20:25

Thanks for the recommendations - have ordered both DVD and book

OP posts:
pandora69 · 27/01/2010 08:52

My horse used to have 'ESCAPOLOGIST' on a placard on his door when he first moved to one particular livery yard. He ate the sign during the first week, but did not escape. He waited till all the yard girls had forgotten about him escaping, then let himself and all of his fieldmates out of the field - him at the front with a 'follow me, chaps, I do this all the time' expression on his face and the others all looking far too excited.

He also let himself out of a temporary stable at a training camp once. I HAD asked for a solid, escape-proof stable, but sadly none had been available. I don't understand who even invented such 'easy-escape' stables as these were, but every night he was out.....

MitchyInge · 27/01/2010 09:19

aww, there is a TB at our yard who likes to undo the completely horse-proof series of extra clips on his already horse-proof bolt and then let all his friends out to play - he is getting quite old now though and has been ages since he did that. Is always good to be reminded that they can ALL be rascals and scamps!

but Barney for first time ever escaped from his stable yesterday (special birthday present for me?) think he wanted to draw attention to the fact that he had done something extraordinary with his new combi stable rug, when I kissed him goodnight it was cosily covering him almost from poll to dock, but when he escaped in the morning it had turned into a nappy?

frostyfingers · 27/01/2010 17:40

Great image Mitchy, know what you mean. If I leave a rug airing on the fence or gate himself will pull it down, and if I'm really lucky widdle on it - yuk, yuk!

notasausage · 27/01/2010 22:19

I used to have a book called Centred Riding (Sally Swift) - it had some fantastic illustrations to help with your position.

CMOTdibbler · 29/01/2010 10:32

I'll have a look for that notasausage.

DH surveyed the pile of horse magazines/books in the downstairs loo yesterday and commented that riding was starting to take over the house. Then I found him perusing the website of the local estate agent that specialises in houses with land

OP posts:
mummydoc · 29/01/2010 11:16

ooohhh cmot how exciting - i have a dh who is allergic to horses but luckily quite tolerant of tack piling up in the hall waiting to go on ebay

CMOTdibbler · 29/01/2010 11:25

Not that we can afford a bigger house at the moment though !

If you were thinking of selling any small childrens riding clothes, I'm in the market. Ds's riding instructor has asked if she can borrow him for showing, so am trying to pick up some age 4 stuff.

OP posts:
pandora69 · 29/01/2010 23:24

CMOT, tiny boy's showing gear is like hen's teeth, but if you manage to track down one FMM (you won't find her here, but you'll definitely find her on Horse and Hound Online) she has a little boy who I think is about 8. She is absolutely never ever having any more kids, and occasionally tries to sell me his outgrown stuff for my daughter, but she's only 2 and far too small for his old stuff. I'm sure she won't mind me suggesting you ask her. She knows me as pandora.

All the other people I know selling stuff seem to be selling pink jods!

CMOTdibbler · 30/01/2010 15:04

Thanks Pandora - I find Horse and Hound a bit scary, but will have a look. I've noticed that boys things seem v hard to come by, and I'm not fussy by any means.

OP posts:
PlanetEarth · 31/01/2010 12:31

Bookwise I recommend Heather Moffett's Enlightened Equitation. It's out of print but there are usually copies available on Amazon or ebay. It goes into a lot of detail about your movements and the horse's movements, which might seem excessive for a beginner but is actually invaluable. (I remember learning with books that had just one sentence about each topic, e.g. "To ask the horse to trot, squeeze both legs." )

mummydoc · 02/02/2010 12:59

Cmot - i have daughters aged 5 and 10 and only just started so no stuff here. try horsegossip , it has a for sale and wanted boards and seems to be the place that show people hang out alot. be warned decking my 2 out for showing has cost well over £250 and theat was mostly second hand .....

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.