In which a re-rider learns horses are no kin to bicycles
Since one can, apparently, forget how to ride the former.
Not getting discouraged at all. I only started lessons again last month, with a terrific instructor and a wonderful lesson horse, so I'm sure I'll get there . . . eventually. I'm just wondering how long "eventually" takes. On average.
Right now, I'm struggling to recover my posting trot. Not that many years ago, I was happily posting away without stirrups for miles. Now? Can't yet manage one orbit of the ring. In fairness, I have changed disciplines - I used to be one of those "wenglish" happy hacker types but now I'm taking h/j lessons with the goal of hunting one day.
So some things are entirely new. Like the part where you apparently need to detach your leg at the hip joint and screw it back in so that the front of your thighs face each other
But other skills - like oh, I dunno, the ability to rise to the trot and come back down somewhere in the general vicinity of the saddle? - I'm pretty sure I could reliably manage that at some point in the not terribly distant past.
Anybody else ever felt like this? If so, please share!
I never rode a broke horse but then maybe I'm a sorry hand. - Ray Hunt
I had my own horse for 4 years as a teenager (sold him at 17 to go to college). Did not ride for 25 years! Then started once per week lessons. It was frustrating for me that I could sit the trot just fine back when I rode and it took several months before I got that back. Be patient with yourself, things will come back! It also helped me so much when I leased a horse and was able to ride more often. Then I finally got my own horse and riding nearly everyday has made a HUGE difference. Good luck and keep us POSTED (ha ha)
I'm a rerider, a several time rerider...and yes, I totally empathize with you. I ended up overfacing myself because my brain was ahead (way ahead) of my body. It's hard, when you know what it should look/feel/be like and you can't do it - I'd much rather be a beginner again and not realize how sucktastic I am sometimes.
Riding every day helps it come back faster. I've ridden every day this week and wow, I can really tell a difference in my fitness and ability. I just have to keep it up - and maybe someday I'll be as good as I once was.
I rode a little when I was a teenager (bad hunt seat) and then took it up again when I hit 50. At that time, I started with Western lessons and had to unlearn much of that bad hunt seat I learned when I was young, particularly the h/j contact and perching in the canter. Then, a couple of years ago, I started dressage, so I had to unlearn a lot of the Western.
Recently, I have started some very low jumping. It's odd, but in my crazy re-riding process, the only thing that has come back to me from my childhood is two-point over jumps, since the rest of it I have had to erase. I can't remember perching in the canter to save my life.
It's odd, but in my crazy re-riding process, the only thing that has come back to me from my childhood is two-point over jumps, since the rest of it I have had to erase.
It is strange what parts come back. I've developed a bad habit of collapsing into my mid-section (despite daily Pilates) - except when my horse spooks. I guess my old guy Bram did that often enough to instill in me an automatic sit-up-tall and drop-my-weight response.
Once my balance gets better, I will start riding more often. I believe Bram could handle short walk/trot sessions on our flat-as-a-pool-table farm, as long as I'm balanced on his back. The little paint horse, though, will probably need a refresher course himself before I can go back to riding him.
I never rode a broke horse but then maybe I'm a sorry hand. - Ray Hunt
Hahaha, try being a rerider whose first several months include falling and breaking every bone in her body! I couldn't even post an entire 20 meter circle without falling apart after coming back from that! And I was S shaped!
Here's the great thing. When you start low, you have LOTS of cause to celebrate! You get to congratulate yourself for posting all the way around the ring, then for posting around the ring with some semblance of rhythm, then for posting around the ring with rhythm while managing to keep your horse on the aids.... there's just no end!
Longe lessons are a great thing.
But most of all, keep positive and don't give up! Remember that the only thing standing between you and success is your state of mine and some hard work And some lessons followed by lots of motrin and a soak in a hot bath
I can totally relate to what you are feeling, except I don't even know if I can qualify as a re-rider. I too am learning to ride with the goal of hunting (and live in SC as well). Sometimes it seems like I'm getting close to being able to hilltop, but a few weeks ago, I actually asked my instructor if she though my riding abilities were going BACKWARDS. I'd had such a tough time in my lesson, I was having trouble reconciling what I'd not been able to do with having gone on a 1 1/2 hour walk/trot trail ride a few weeks earlier. She assured me that what I was going through was totally normal and that any other adult new/re-rider would relate. I'll take her word for that...
In the meantime, riding along with the wheel-whips can be fun too!
Paint, the response to a balking, spooky horse--funny, it's another thing that came back to me--pushing the horse forward, while letting the reins go loose so that the horse doesn't feel claustrophobic. It was just automatic. Some of those emergency responses do seem to come back, thank heavens for that!
Kids are so lucky in some ways. They learn so much just from imitating better riders. We adults have to think about it, then practice it over and over again until it becomes automatic.
Count me in as another one who is working towards foxhunting. Went once a couple of years ago and loved it but realized I wasn't quite ready to take it up full-time, so to speak. I need to learn to be comfortable and relaxed at a gallop. I'm not there yet.
Definitely a re-rider here. I picked up the posting trot quite easily but the sitting trot took time and I'm not even cantering yet.
Coming back, I realized that the first time around, I was definitely more a passenger than a rider and so this time I want to really ride well with all types of horses and situations. There are horses and situations that make me look like a far better rider than I am!
BTW, I'm from South Carolina; I started riding at Wildewood in Columbia. Then we moved with my teacher to another barn whose name I don't remember.
There are a lot more riding options in New York than I remember when I was in South Carolina but they seem pricier. Maybe everywhere is pricier now though.
Reriding is much, MUCH harder. The funny part for me was that all of my bad habits came back. I dug out a photo of me jumping (I did jump, but looking back am amazed I lived) as a teen and realized that I still fight all the issues I had then. Unfortunately, I've added 70 pounds and my center of gravity has, uh, migrated! My trainer and I were talking today about how I wish I had the body I had then and the brain I have now. SIGH. Hang in there. Ride as much as you can. Try not to overthink what you could've been/would've been.
On the bright side, all the younger riders think I'm very cool for getting out there and jumping. I like that
Last time I was a re-rider I was terrified of being on the back of a horse. I think it was 3-4 lessons before I would even trot at all. The first 2 were being led around like a 3 year old.
There is absolutely no explanation for this at all. I blame it on menopause.
Once I got past the fear of just being up there AND having the horse move I did have a light-bulb moment where one trip around the round pen I was holding my breath and hoping for the best and the next trip I was suddenly using my inside leg to outside rein and asking for the bend and it was just like old times.
The horse was nice and patient, but in between lessons 4-5 and the instructors 4-5th beer, she mentioned the horse was know to buck people off and then go back to stomp on them. The suspected it was because she was blind in one eye and couldn't see much out of the other. So I sort of never got to the cantering part The instructor was scared to death of the horse and would NEVER ride her herself Nice. So I was doing something right, but clearly it was not picking lesson programs.
I switched horses and went out for a hack. The new horse was only "suitable for light riding" which I think meant she was too lame to do more then jog, so I KNEW she would not spook or bolt, but I still had some pretty intense anxiety about going down a small hill, through a stream, and up the opposite bank. I would only walk. And even that was one step at a time. Step--wait--breath, relax, step. . . . .
My body has changed so much getting on was an adventure, but once I had the fortitude to just mount without freaking out I went back to using a mounting block. The muscle memory was still there, but the muscle had been replaced by blubber that did not remember much at all.
I know even with my awkward body and time away from the saddle if I just rode every day for a few weeks on a safe, decent horse it would all come back. Just not pretty, but its still there somewhere.
Tack freaks my out. I cannot just dismount at any speed anymore and once I am up there I sort of have a problem with the getting back down part. When I ride bareback I feel safer because I can just slide back off, but tack? I sort of get hung up in it. All the spaces that used to be between me and tack when I stood up in the stirrups are now filled in with more me.
But having those few rides before I knew the horse was crazy and feeling things fall into place to such an extent the horse was getting trained made me realize its just a matter of time in the saddle and trusting the horse I am on.
My fat flabby weak old body seems ready to e-ride with success. I just have to convince my brain to forget all the many ways in which horses are dangerous and unpredictable animals and broken bones are not likely to happen with so much padding.
I think, for me at least, just staying in the saddle for a few hours a day would get me back on track. Because I am not learning, I am re-learning. Unfortunately, I get bored after about 20 minutes. If I am not training I am just sort of bored as soon as the fear goes away. I can't be trained at this point because I already know what to do, I am just too anxious and fat and out of shape to do it.
Lots of trail riding in good company would fix that, but then there is the problem of those hills. . . .. .
Now if I could just find a bomb proof dead broke green horse to train all would be well. My plan is to find a western pleasure horse and train it to go English. I am also pretty sure a flask of some relaxing substance would get me on the right track, but I think I'd rather learn to re-ride sober.
I'm a re-rider too. I felt that the basics of W/T/C came back pretty quickly for me. Within a few weeks of re-starting I was taking trail rides, trotting and cantering up banks, through water, etc. I even participated in a hunter pace. But the subtleties of dressage have taken a good, long while. I'm just now starting to catch on to some of it at the trot, but I'm still a real mess at the canter. I've gotten much better at the transition from walk or trot to canter over the past few months, but once I'm there I feel like I'm all over the place. I also get so winded at that gait so easily. I can trot on indefinitely, but canter? Not so much. Even my jumping is coming back faster than the canter work. Very frustrating.