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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 8, 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    901

    Default Advice for the once-a-week rider

    With my old horse out to pasture (actually, boarding at a very nice retirement farm) I’ve gone from riding 4 days a week and progressing at my own pace to one weekly lesson, which is the most I can afford.

    Anyone else make this transition recently? Do you have different goals? I’m still getting to know this quirky little lesson horse, so it’s been months of “two steps forward, one step back” and we’re still doing w/t.

    Do you think one ride a week measurably improves skill?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2008
    Location
    Where The Snow Flies
    Posts
    2,308

    Default

    Replying only to follow the responses. I'm interested in hearing everyone's opinion on this. Good thread GrayTbred!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2013
    Location
    Hopefully at the barn
    Posts
    429

    Default

    It does improve skill, but not nearly as much as riding multiple times a week.
    Tack Cleaning/All-Things-Tack nut
    ~DQ wanna-be~



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 1, 2011
    Posts
    58

    Default

    As someone who didn't grow up with horses and has never owned land, I've moved between not-riding-at-all and weekend warrior status. The best I've been able to do is ride about three times a week (which I am doing now! Yay!)

    The biggest challenge with once-a-week is just staying in shape. When I'm riding more regularly, my thighs and abs are more capable of giving me a solid base of support. When I haven't ridden for a while, my lower leg gets wobbly and I pin my knees.

    What helped most with getting back in shape was yoga and taichi. I think pilates would be good too - anything that makes you flex your core. There's no real substitute for hours in the saddle, but the stretchy stuff helps.

    The best thing about once-a-week lessons? They are *infinitely* better than not-riding-at-all


    6 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,167

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mizchalmers View Post
    As someone who didn't grow up with horses and has never owned land, I've moved between not-riding-at-all and weekend warrior status. The best I've been able to do is ride about three times a week (which I am doing now! Yay!)

    The biggest challenge with once-a-week is just staying in shape. When I'm riding more regularly, my thighs and abs are more capable of giving me a solid base of support. When I haven't ridden for a while, my lower leg gets wobbly and I pin my knees.

    What helped most with getting back in shape was yoga and taichi. I think pilates would be good too - anything that makes you flex your core. There's no real substitute for hours in the saddle, but the stretchy stuff helps.

    The best thing about once-a-week lessons? They are *infinitely* better than not-riding-at-all
    That.
    Stay as fit as you can manage every day of the week and then riding will come much easier and you can do more.

    Once a week, with a good instructor and sensitive horse to teach you will help, if you are in excellent physical shape to do what the instructor is requesting of you.

    If I only had one lesson a week, I would beg for the first 10/30 minutes on the longe line, for several months.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    2,299

    Default

    I third the rec to exercise during the week to maintain fitness. If you don't have excellent security in the saddle and control over your body parts (not saying you don't, it's just a common problem to lose muscle strength and coordination when you ride only occasionally), then that's what you'll spend most of your lessons working on, when you'd rather be moving forward with your technique and finesse.
    So get out and run, do crunches, ask your instructor for recommendations on what exercises you can do. Another thing might be to videotape your lessons if you can. Watch them during your time off to really maximize your learning from that one ride.
    Try to break down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures. It’s also helpful every now and then to stop, take stock of your situation, and really beat yourself up about it.The Onion



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2009
    Location
    Near the cupcake shop
    Posts
    2,091

    Default

    Stay in shape out of the saddle. You will never be as effective as a rider of a comparable skill level that rides 5 days a week, but DO NOT use the once a week lesson as an excuse to let yourself develop bad habits or have a loose base.

    There are some here who will tell you that you have no business jumping, showing, etc if you only ride one day a week, but that is nonsense.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I only ride once a week. If I had more time I would ride more.
    In the last 3 years I have ridden once a week, and sometimes twice on long weekends.
    As long as you have a good trainer and a horse that you will ride every lesson, you can really move forward in skills.
    It just takes longer!

    In the last month I have been out to 2 local shows. Come home with Reserve Champion in one, and several ribbons in the other (including beating the Supreme Champ Hack in 2 classes!)
    And completed my very first round of 50cm and 60cm SJing.

    So it is very possible to advance in skills. As you and your horse gain confidence in each other you will move forward.
    Last edited by T-RaceR; Apr. 3, 2013 at 02:54 AM. Reason: spelling


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2002
    Location
    Eastern MA
    Posts
    2,345

    Default

    T-RaceR said what I would have said, and said it better!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,336

    Default

    Yeah, once a week is better than nothing. Heck I didn't ride for about 6 months and did OK when I climbed back on, and it was a slightly silly colt.

    I have a horse in training that I ride once a week at most, for less than 20 minutes! Even as little as I do ride, I see rapid improvements in balance and strength, but of course the muscle memory is there. My main problem is laziness. I have a couple of horses at home that I could ride, they really are "easy" but enough horse to keep me legged up, I just find excuses (too cold, too wet, too tired, can't find the martingale, etc., etc.) not to.



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