If Tennessee is not too far from you, this barn is about 30 minutes south of Nashville. www.hunterscourt.com.
They are great! Good instructors, and wonderful lesson horses. For two days, I'd suggest two private lessons. If you're staying longer, maybe a couple of privates, and then a lesson or two in an adult group. I take privates whenever I want to work on something specific. I'm in a group lesson on Tuesday evening, and Saturday morning. We love to meet new people, so c'mon down! If you want to pm me with a phone number, I can pass it on to the instructors.
Carol, have you tried the gel seat covers, or the extra thick sheepskin covers? This might give you a little cushion and make riding a little more comfy. Also, the synthetic saddles are softer and absorb more of the shock and impact than the traditional leather saddles. I love my wintecs, both with Cair panels and without. Best of luck to you, hope you find a solution.
Stolen, you've had a lot to contend with also...keep your chin up and let us know who things go. I recommend putting pictures on a site like photobucket and then posting the links. Unless you're a Premium member (whatever that is), you can't post pictures directly.
So. Just need to vent a bit. I had a horrible ride last night. Trainer is away at a show, so it was her "assistant" giving lessons. I have been hesitant to lesson with this assitant because she's very different from my trainer. Rides very differently, and has a very different approach to teaching. Last batch of lessons I did with her did not go well.
Long story short, assistant trainer tells me that my horse is not a good match for me, that she is "unsafe" for me and that I shouldn't be riding her for the next two months while she gets constant pro rides. This comes from the fact that my horse can get fast to/after jumps sometimes, and will do rider "override" at times. Mind you, we're not doing anything big. The largest fence I've jumped in the last couple months has been 3', and last night we were literally doing a 1' fence.
My regular trainer acknowledges that my horse is advanced and is "teaching me to ride". However, I bought her for that reason because I didn't want to have to buy up every couple years. I have been challenged riding her, the learning curve has been very steep, but never have I felt that she is unsafe. Yes, her evasion is to get quick but 99% of the time its manageable. This is also a horse that no matter how you push her, she has never offered to buck/rear. She has a very good brain, she just likes to challenge her rider and will only put in as much as you ask of her.
So, I dunno. I guess I'm just feeling very frustrated/discouraged that my regular trainer seems to think we're fine, and then assistant thinks I shouldn't even be riding her. Its like it goes from "good job!" on a whole course to I shouldn't even be riding my own horse a span of two days (and it has seriously been two days, I rode with my regular trainer this earlier this week and it didn't seem to be a problem). I just don't know who/what to believe anymore. Ugh. Need people to tell me I'm not crazy (or maybe I am, I don't know, if you think this sounds dangerous to you too, please tell me). Either way I've been obsessing over this a bit all day.
I also don't know if I should approach my regular trainer about this. I don't want to cause a rift between them and I feel as an adult, I should be able to handle it.
Welcome Carol. You should talk to Spacytracy, I think she had the same surgery as you did a few weeks ago and has just started back riding (read back a few pages). I don't have any riding suggestions, but why don't you go see a plastic surgeon about the scar tissue? I think there are ways they can make it better, and then you wouldn't have to ride around the problem.
Yes I 'm pretty sure today is the day Dreamin had her surgery. I hope she wakes up enough to let us know how it went.
Good for you Jaslyn. Glad you had a great ride and an a-hah moment, those are just the best.
KateKat, I feel your pain. I would definitely talk to your trainer about it. Why would you pay money to ride with an assistant trainer who demolishes your confidence and says you shouldn't ride your horse? I, too, bought a horse that was way too advanced for me ( and one for my son too I might add). I kept apologizing to him every time I did something stupid or caught him in the mouth. My trainer told me to stop, that it was his job to teach me, that was why I bought him. 2 and a half years later, he has taught me SO much and I am so grateful for his patience. Now he loves me and I think is happy and proud of what I can do. Same with my son. Totally over-horsed at the beginning. I got an adult co-boarder, had my trainer ride him, and you should see what he taught my son to do in a year. The two of them are thick as thieves. I was at a show listening to another trainer hollering at her poor adult, who probably needed to do a bit more work at home before she showed, but that's beside the point. My trainer couldn't believe what this trainer was saying. My trainer couldn't figure out why this adult ammy would PAY a trainer to treat her like that! Kate you're an adult, you're supposed to be doing this for fun, if you're paying for a lousy lesson that just upsets you, vote with your feet! Just tell your regular trainer that you would prefer to have your lessons with her or not at all. I don't think that's unreasonable.
Wow, been away briefly & so much to take in, I have to put up adjoining Windows to comment.
Congrats, Pancakes on the show. I wondered about the show with your ribs, so glad you stayed conservative. Beautiful pictures! So sorry about Dash. That's rough when you've been there for each other. Hope the new guy helps you to get by.
pony4me - neat that you were able to do ClipClopNYC - was fun (and looked a little scary...) to follow the happenings. Good luck on the vet check.
Bumknees - miserable BMs & BOs are the pits. I have an ok situation, but previously was almost always at a barn where you almost didn't want to leave - everyone was so supportive. Here they don't encourage friendships! So I ride, but really miss the camaraderie. That's crazy what your BM is asking you - makes no sense since you've paid through the end of May. Of course what I've realized since being a rerider, is that everyone seems to have all i's dotted and t's crossed by thinking it needs to be done by those they pay for. How/why would anyone have known how to do it themselves? (By learning by the seat of your pants, dingdong...) Keep a record of your horse's care if she feels she can hang her hat on that aspect. And I'd strongly mention to her that your advance board would need to be repaid in full. Good luck, and good luck with your foot (and driving!) issues.
Katherine - your tale was really entertaining. Thanks for such a great recounting of your adventure! Was that scripted?!? So glad you all made it home in one piece, and congrats for how well you all did. The ribbons are great, but the memories much better. Hope your burn is ok...
SV - my BO is a prima dona as well, and you'd think the barn was the Taj Mahal - they are also dressage/"eventing" people only, although I question the eventing portion since no one's been over a fence all winter. As a H/J person, my knowledge is constantly questioned, when, to me, I see several holes in their operation. But it's convenient, close enough I can check B daily, otherwise I wouldn't leave him there. Lots of accidents waiting to happen at that place. Lucky that you can bring him home! Looking forward to seeing what your little guy looks like, and hope your old guy is ok. I'm over 50 too! and I'm doing ok! (Of course I tell everyone to quit coffee and sodas, which really reduced all my aches & pains, but I know it's tough for most - and I'm not really much of a health nut...it just worked.) And B came into my life for good, just at the time I was ending my last relationship. Whoever wrote all those fairy tales never realized it wasn't the knight on the white horse, it was the horse!!
Carol - welcome, and Yea! so glad you are trying. I have padding, so don't have quite the same issues, but glad to see you have some good advice provided. Except, as I just mentioned above, losing the coffee and sodas (especially colas) really, really helped me feel a great deal better. I'm not sure what you're wearing riding wise. I wear jeans & chaps, but I find, in even doing housework, that some jeans feel better for some purposes, and others don't. I like the high waisted kind like Lee's for riding - and maybe if you wear a soft shirt that is long enough that when it tucks in it provides extra cushioning? Or if you can try out different kinds of saddles? Maybe riding in a style different than what you're used to might be strange at first, but if it keeps you riding, why not? What does age matter? My sister had a next door neighbor who rode past 90, on a big old OTTB from "back in the day" - she was my hero!!
Katekat - hmmm, I'd just say "OK", to the assistant, and then go on my merry way and make the forward progress your trainer has mapped out for you. Why is she stirring things up?!? Frankly, kind of taken aback that the assistant would suggest that, since it's obviously counter to your trainer's goals. I hear elsewhere, and read on these forums, so many recommendations to simply change horses when there is no big issue. There certainly are trainers out there who have learned that being negative, is the way to be, and sounds as if she may also be looking to ring up the board bill by adding on extra training?!? I have a green OTTB that has been giving me bucking problems, which might thwart some - but one I asked an opinion of when they started up with a bunch of comments, immediately told me to start looking elsewhere, when they had no idea behind the history of this horse, or why I own it. And frankly, we are finding ways to address it. So when everyone else thinks they know what's best for you, by simply going "easy" and merely buying a replacement, let them take that direction in their own life! For me, I have to work through things first. So much of riding, and so I believe particularly for us "reriders" is the quality of the accomplishment that riding brings, not just having a horse for bragging privileges. Or it's to hang out on a forum together!
This week has been a bit hectic for me. As mentioned recently, my sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer. We have quite a bit in our family - grandmother, aunts, nieces, and now her doctor has advised we should all get yearly MRIs, so my doctor is trying to get one scheduled, even though I don't have any known reason to. But my sister has been receiving better news than worse about the further tests she's received so it's a good day. And her birthday, today, too!
I've been at a crossroads of going to work for myself, as I was laid off last year. Had my attorney begin paperwork for an LLC, and then was called for an interview for one of the hundreds of jobs I've applied for. Had a phone interview & was more than qualified - then was advised the salary was almost entry level for the business I'm in (insurance), so that was the end of the discussion. As I was awaiting the call, though, I decided that if this doesn't work out, the sky's the limit for my own business, so not to worry. I'm excited! (And I can remain flexible enough to ride when I wanna! )
And speaking of which, B is still being pretty good. Now that it's warmer, he's quieted down quite a bit. New adventure, though! He's improved with a lot of ground work, so I observed an outside trainer last week who does (shhh...) natural horsemanship. Barn owner really pushed me to think about it. The trainer was very low key, and a lovely horsewoman. She'll be coming this week to work with B and another horse in the barn. The horse she was working with at her place had a very similar personality to B, and I can see where we're going to have some fun with it. Frankly, the lessons from the barn trainer are often very regimented and although he behaves doing rote in a lesson, he gets snarky about having to work daily at it. Will be fun to mix in some new stuff.
Happy Easter! & everyone have a great weekend.
Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes
Rode for the first time since Christmas and survived! This barn definitely isn't where I'll stay (it's a stable in the park, catering to beginners) but the lessons are priced right and the lesson horses seemed decent. Plan to do this for a few months, then investigate more higher-end/advanced lessons. Which is apparently not as easy as it seems in horse country, at least finding lessons for non-owners.
I do wish I could justify buying my own saddle... school horse saddles are so questionable! One I was riding in today put me in a funky chair seat. I know exactly what my favorite saddle is, and it's random enough - a Courbette Pandur Spezial that they're not that expensive - hard to find in my size though. I just have to find it and convince myself it's a good investment! Anyone else without a horse own a saddle? That seems ridiculous-but I ride so well in it and it seems to fit a bunch of horses...
Anyone else without a horse own a saddle? That seems ridiculous-but I ride so well in it and it seems to fit a bunch of horses...
Nope, not ridiculous at all. I bought a pancake Crosby PDN (M tree) last year in January and it's served me well. Especially since all the lesson horses were TBs, QHs, Appys or a mix. It did fit some horses better than others, but it's nothing a pad with shims couldn't fix.
For $350, it was a good investment. The saddle was in fantastic shape, it puts me in a good position and I have at least one constant in my lesson from week to week. And for me, that really helps. My stirrup length stays the same. I can get 3/4 inch leathers, composite stirrups, etc.
Now, I wouldn't go out and spend $1,000 on a lesson saddle, but for the price, it was hard to pass up.
Looking for a get away for a much needed riding refresher course. For 2 - 5 days. Anyone have any recommendations? Doesn't have to be fancy, just friendly and safe. Will travel most anywhere. Need an experienced instructor who has worked with adults getting back into riding again. Overcoming fear and minor medical issues. Are their clinics for this type of thing?
I'm not sure where you're located, but I'd contact Hunter's Rest in Virginia and see if they think they might be able to help you. They're a bed and breakfast and riding place, and they host a handful of foxhuting clinic weekends that the women of CoTH rave about.
And their lesson and trail riding prices are quite good.
I say this as someone who has thought about going through them for a week-long riding vacation, since I've been having some confidence problems of my own.
Natalie, I ran into the same problem you have. The lesson saddles were either to big or too small. So, I too went out and got a Crosby PDN with no knee rolls or thigh blocks and it has been on anything I have ridden, including my own horse that I have now.
It's hard enough to learn to ride as an adult who didn't ride a lot as a kid without fighting the tack in the process. Get your own saddle!
Natalie, if you asked this question out on the regular forum, you'd probably get a lot of "you-must-get-your-saddle-to-fit-your-horse" lectures, and while fit is important, there IS such a thing as a good, basic saddle that will fit a number of horses, especially with extra padding as needed. I would check out the horses in your lesson barn. Are they mostly TB types, fairly narrow? QH types? That will influence your choice and the width you buy, but there is no reason for you not to have your own saddle. As others have pointed out, it will give you some stability, and it's convenient not to have to change the leathers, Frankly, it's also nice to have something that's yours to take care of, even if it's not a horse!
My medium-wide Stubben fits almost every horse in our barn, just not the narrow TBs. Nothing helps me feel more secure than my own saddle.
I'll probably wait awhile, just because where I'm riding isn't a permanent barn, just a place to keep in shape until I find something more suited to my needs (if anyone knows of any good lesson barns in the Philadelphia area, I'd love more ideas! For a horsey area, there seems to be a lack of high-quality lesson barns without going way into the suburbs).
At my previous barn, I've ridden everything from the fat Fjord to the 16h Appendix/Paint in the same saddle (with different pads). And yes, I missed that security of "my" saddle! Being short in lesson program saddles is always a pain.
Wow, thanks pony4me, your barn in Tenn. Looks fabulous. You are so lucky to have such a nice place to ride. I would love to someday take some lessons there, actually, I think I'll make it one of my goals (once I get riding again). Thanks so much for sharing. To get started I'm thinking more along the lines of something that offers accommodations like a bed/breakfast or ranch.
Thank you Opus I looked at Hunters Rest also, what a dream vacation that could be. I think I'll give her a call to see what their summer schedule is. I don't really want to go during kids camp, and am definitely not ready for fox hunting camp (although someday I may just do that). Are you thinking of going for the fox hunting? I've always wanted to try that, what a great way to spend the day.
I am in Fla and have tried lessons with some local trainers. They are more geared towards kids and don't quite understand that a 50+ women does not want the same lesson as a 12 y/o girl. I need to go back to basics and become a more confident, secure rider before I tackle anything beyond 2 point!
You guys are great, thanks so much for the suggestions. I'm starting to think I may just be able to actually do this! I've wanted to for over a year, but there are not many trainers in my remote area. Don't know why it never occurred to me to get on a plane and go elsewhere! Thanks again.
Are you thinking of going for the fox hunting? I've always wanted to try that, what a great way to spend the day.
Well, for me, foxhunting would be hilltoppers -- in the back and doing walk-trot-canter. In fact, people show up to the foxhunting weekends to do nothing more than car ride during the hunt ... and enjoy all the other activities the weekend includes.
If I finally make it up this fall, I'd want to spend some extra time either before or after the hunt to take some private lessons. And eat. And tack shop. They have a plethora of nice restaurants and tack places up there.
I am in Fla and have tried lessons with some local trainers. They are more geared towards kids and don't quite understand that a 50+ women does not want the same lesson as a 12 y/o girl.
Not sure what part of Fla. you're in, but I ride just outside of T'hassee. My trainer has been really, really good with going as slow as I need to. I'm still basically a walk-trot rider, but I'm on the cusp of cantering again.
Wow Opus, Hilltopping sounds like my speed too! I will certainly call Hunters run to find out her availabilities this summer. Sounds like we are about at the same stage in our riding. Wish I could find a trainer like yours, does she offer a girls weekend package? I'll keep you posted on my search, maybe you will want to come along. I just looked at The Mountain Top Inn, Chittenden, Vt. They have adult horse camp which sounds Interesting. Unfortunately, I already have a commitment for the week it's offered. Fla has a few bed and breakfast inns that offer riding, but it's more geared towards trail riding, rather than lessons. Nice, but not where I'm at right now.