I just wanted to know if i was the only one out there going crazy? Is there anyone out there,like me, who used to ride when they were a little youngerand had a very well balnced seat and confident about being a good rider, then stop for 3 years and its almost like your starting over?
I started riding when i was 9 and consistently rode until i was 16. I was really well balanced and very confident. The more trouble the more fun. I had perfect posture, sat right up after all those jumps and got many ribbons in the few shows i did... now im 19 and been riding again for a few months and cant seem to pick it right back up like i used to be able to. I feel like im getting a little better but i still feel very sloppy and get frustrated cause if i didnt ride for 6 months i could get on like i never stopped..
Am i alone?
God no. I stopped for 6 years, I'm in my second year of riding seriously again, and I've come to accept I will never be the talent that I was as a junior It takes TIME, and more importantly someone really good on the ground to work on all the tiny problems. I figure in another 6 years I'll maybe be back to where I was.
Though to put a silver lining on it, I think I just enjoy the act of going for a quiet ride more than I ever did - because I missed it for so long, it feels so wonderful and I don't take it for granted, ever.
Good luck, and keep at it, it's going to be hard for a while, but it will get better, I promise!
I stopped for more than 12 years, and I am no longer confident, and I can't get a nice sitting canter anymore for the life of me. And I used to be an equitation master! Still look nice at the trot, but cantering and jumping has been really difficult for me to regain my form for some reason. I think I need pilates!
I agree with not taking it forgranted anymore. I as well missed it for so long i even like riding them pokey slow horses now..before i hated it...
And painted hunter me and u both..i just started them yesterday!... NETFLIX!
Let me know if the pilates helps! And if so, what exercises specifically. Seriously, my sitting canter is atrocious. I can half seat it nicely, but I do need to get my sitting canter under control. I think I am embarrassing my trainer. LOL. it's like my lower back is just way too stiff to have a nice seat.
Ya im just waiting for it to get back.... painted i have only tried one video so far...and it deffinatly makes you sweat... but for me i need stomach muscle so i can have a straighter seat especially after the jumps...and keeping my shoulders back... but i didnt feel it was eorking to my core... for cantering it helped me to stand up a lil more in the stirrups and "shoe off that booty" roll them hips lol
Here here! I rode from about 8-16 in the 80's and had a great seat, or so i was told. Came back to riding on and off in my 20's and fully restarted in my 30s. Now I'm learning huntseat after all kinds of hybrid seats over the years..haha. I'm doing as much 'untraining' as I am learning. Just the other sitting the canter (non-dressage style) finally clicked but i'm still struggling with the front-back instead of up down motion of posting. Dang. Don't even get me started on straightening my shoulders! Once i get myself looking good i feel like my focus is off my horse and he kind of falls apart. Someday soon it will all fall into place
Pilates does wonders though, if you can do a live class where the teacher can correct your form that's the best. The breathing is immensely important and helps you align your muscles / spine the correct way. You will feel taller and stronger through your core.
heck, I ride every day and I feel like I can't ride as well- I hate growing old- no matter what anyone says, growing old is not fun- and it curtails my riding abilities- since when did 3' look so big? I am hoping USEF does not place an age limit on people riding!!!!!!
Nah. The muscle memory was all still there after five years.
But as I noted on a 'how is your dancing going' thread at danceforums, my body is 33, my spine is 60, and my knee is 90. Everything still works but it really hurts a lot faster than it used to. Heck, I've only been dancing since Nov. '06 and things that didn't used to hurt (see knee) are starting to hurt. Was talking with the dance teacher, who lost a chunk of his career to ripped tendons--we're all like racehorses, we beat ourselves up starting young (he was a 'late start dancer', getting serious about it at 18, I started riding when I was 6) and by the time we're middle-aged we're falling apart. My old dance teacher had his knees done at 28! I can still ride, and I didn't lose any reflexes (first time back on in five years and the pinto tried to spook out from under me and I stuck it fine) but I don't remember a normal hack leaving me sore.
Of course while the HORSE gets a nice rubdown and liniment if poor baby has to longe for fifteen minutes, when I get home it's time for long dog walk and if it's summer 'm going to HAVE to mow and weed and do the yard....horse even has a masseuse...
I feel your pain. I can't believe how much and how fast things fall apart and takes 10x as long to get back half as secure. PLus my confidence is nothing like my younger years, so that doesn't make things easy.
Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses
It was hard enough to get back into riding shape after taking my freshman year of college off - I will never again take a break unless I absolutely have no other choice! Especially seeing threads like these lol. I thought my ankles were going to break the first time I started trotting after not riding for a year - apparently I have weak ankles lol.
I started as a once-a-weeker when I was 10. After a year or so I was able to ride a few times a week on quiet school horses. Around 13 I leased a pony, so rode every day. At 14, leased a horse and started riding some boarders' horses. From then 'till about 23 I rode several per day - sometimes four or five per day. I schooled several horses over fences each week. I had a pretty spot-on eye and generally pinned high in equitation classes at the B shows I was doing. I could ride some of the tougher ones well, although sitting a nasty buck has never been a talent of mine. I certainly was not amazing, but I could hold my own.
Then from 23-ish to now (28) I've pretty much only ridden my own horse. He's 17, push button on the flat, and quiet as heck. He's easy and its made me lazy! I don't have the time nor the drive to want to ride more than him, really. I haven't jumped in ages, since my horse does not like to stay sound with much jumping, except for one day over the summer when I popped over some baby cross-country jumps. It was a blast, and I was pleased to see I can still find the jumps and stay on. I was sore as all heck the next day. Ok, the next three days. Sitting on my horse while he packs my butt around on the flat doesn't require quite as much muscle as actually riding riding.
I've been doing a little no-stirrup work here and there. I realized it's kind of embarrassing how weak I am without stirrups compared to when I was a teenager. I used to be able to jump 2'6" courses without stirrups, now I'd probably topple right off the side of my horse if I tried that!
If I sat on a green one I doubt I'd be useless, but I don't think I'd be as effective as I used to be.
In a few ways, I think I'm better. I'm a softer rider and a more patient rider. I like to think I'm a little wiser. But I'm not as strong, not quite as brave, and not quite as thin as I was back then.
BUT I am pretty ok with it. Someday I would really love to own or lease something I can jump and show, but I'm not in a huge rush.
Nah. The muscle memory was all still there after five years.
I also vote for "Nah" with caveats.
I can take time off and get back on with lots of muscle memory. But that came from riding all the time, good ones, bad ones, for more than a decade when the longest break I had was a couple of weeks.
I know where I'm not as strong. But I can feel that and know what it will take to fix it. That's just saddle time, not reinventing the wheel.
I also know when I have lost a bit of body awareness. That's harder to discover. I get the best "wake up calls" when I have a good ground person eyeballing me hard. I'm not sure whether I lost some feel and finesse that I had, or whether these skilled, hawk-eyed instructors are taking me up a notch.
Either way, I don't care. I'm a fan of the journey and the goal. As long as I'm working on improving some part of my riding, it's all good.
I agree with the previous poster- i also think I'm a lot more patient and don't get frustrated as easily. I may get frustrated with myself for not being perfect, but my break from riding has made me enjoy it a lot more. I also enjoy jumping more than I did before and have more confidence, or am more eager to jump (higher) than I was before.
I really wish I had photos or video of my riding from years ago. I seem to always have SOMETHING wrong with my equitation!! I wonder how it- my riding now- compares to my riding back then. In many ways I think I must be better... I have regular lessons and free rides/hacks, and my trainer is really thorough and has an awesome eye. She's more thorough than any trainer I had in high school or before. (She was my old trainer the first two years of college- my last years before my break from riding- but i wasn't riding as regularly then... Now I'm taking it more seriously).
I definitely notice my body gets in the way of my mind more! I also am aware of my hips and knees being uneven. I am considering massage or Chiro work, which wasn't even on my radar years ago!
After only a few months off I came back feeling like someone took me apart and put the pieces back together wrong! I could tell you what I was doing wrong and objectively how I should fix it, but I couldn't actually DO it for the life of me. I shudder to think of what I would look like now, after a year without riding.
Here's the good stuff that does come back: I may ride like sh!t but I at least feel comfortable in a saddle, I know what to do with bucks/bolts/shying etc, and I can handle just about anything on the ground, which is more than "first time around" beginners have.
I remember when my mom went on a trail ride, she said she felt precariously perched on this little bit of leather and like she could fall off at any second (at the walk, in a western saddle ). I am far from a good rider, but I can't even remember that stage!
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden
You are so not alone! I stopped riding for 30 years. I've been back at it for 18 months. In some ways, I ride better than I did before (there's nothing like bringing some emotional maturity and perspective to the situation ), but I'll never, ever be as strong as I was and that's a hard pill to swallow.