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Pokey pokey horse...

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  • Pokey pokey horse...

    I really like my new instructor, and I can feel my skills coming back (I've been more than a year out of the tack and felt like an unbalanced monkey when I first got on). However, instructor only has one lesson horse and the lesson horse is...well...totally dead to the leg. I understand why said lesson horse is so pokey, because instructor has a lot of beginners, and I don't *think* I'm blocking horse with my seat, but that could well be as I was always known as a rider for making horses s-l-o-w (as a consequence I typically rode the crazy ones, because I could get them to slow down and relax without a fight).

    Keeping this horse in trot (sans whip nor spurs) is...very difficult, and I'm starting to feel a little frustrated.

    Instructor said the horse was lazy, so I suspect that the horse does this for everyone which is fine if you're a beginner kid, but I need to go forward. My legs aren't fully back under control yet, so I don't want to use spurs, and instructor hasn't offered me the use of a dressage whip yet, so I'd hate to ask. If this were *my* horse though, I'd be doing upward transitions post-haste until I had a forward horse.

    In the meantime, does anyone have any tips to check to see if I'm blocking the horse with my seat?

  • #2
    if the horse is also used for beginners, it would be detrimental to its training to make it overly sensitive to leg, but there is no reason it can't be responsive to obvious aids. You may want to see how the horse acts with the instructor on board.

    Saddle fit would be something I would consider though...lesson saddles aren't usually custom made things.

    But...now to your question; do your seat bones move at the walk? Do you feel them rise and fall in the rhythm of the hind legs? Do your legs swing along with his ribs? If not, you are blocking. Now at the trot, feel your leg...where do you feel the most pressure. When posting, does your weight stay even in the stirrups, or do you feel it shift from seat to stirrup to seat again? What happens if you just two point?
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    • #3
      rot, absolute rot that "it is detrimental for beginner horses to be too sensitive......."

      Any horse- whether for reining, dressage, eventing or even just trail riding is a better horse when it is in front of the leg

      get a whip from your instructor, if the horse is not forward from a light aid, get help and make it that way


      • #4
        Riding a plug is no fun and does nothing to improve your equitation.

        And you are paying for that!
        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

        A helmet saved my life.


        • #5
          A beginner horse has to deal with conflicting signals; stiff seat, arms, and legs that have little precision or control. It has to deal with riders that may shift their feet to reposition their stirrups, or who may accidentally bump the horse with their leg when they do not mean to. It would be potentially dangerous if a beginner horse was sharp off the aids. Some beginner horses can adapt to a more fluid rider be being sharper, but not all.

          If I had to take lessons on such a beginner horse, I would accept its limitations, but also hope for a more suiable horse once I got my fitness back, and position stable.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheHorseProblem View Post
            Riding a plug is no fun and does nothing to improve your equitation.

            And you are paying for that!
            I hear you. Man, nofe un.
            Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


            • #7
              Does the instructor not want you to use a whip? If you have a riding background and only took a year off it would be crazy making not to be able to school a horse that dead to the leg. That said, I do get CHT's point and I think it is a valid one. Your instructor may be thinking on the same lines.

              I took 7 years off from riding for university and when I started again I rode a horse like the one you describe. Drove me cuh-ra-zy. After a couple of months I caved and bought a horse off the track...no longer had the "not forward" problem

              My advice would be to ask instructor if she is against schooling the transitions and if so, use him to get your mojo back and then move on. He can then continue to do what he does best...not kill beginners!
              Last edited by Mozart; Sep. 29, 2010, 12:24 PM. Reason: grammar..


              • #8
                Honestly, I actually quit riding with one instructor because of that. Good instructor but the ONLY lesson horse (rest were ponies) was so lazy that it took her behind me with a longe whip to keep him going faster than a pokey trot. I didn't feel like I was making the progress that I should have.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks guys, the plan was to start off on a lesson horse until I regained some strength and some confidence (had a few bad falls last year that sidelined riding) and then bring my horses in (who haven't been ridden in the last year) for lessons.

                  I'm glad to know that it's most likely not me, and yes, instructor stands in the middle of the ring with the longe whip, while I struggle with my lack of strength to post in the saddle. Maybe I should think of it like weight lifting?

                  I think I may tell her that to have the horse so...not forward...is actually making me nervous - which it is, I'd rather ride a hot horse than a balky horse any day, they scare the pants off of me - and see if we can come to some solution in the meantime. My confidence issues actually relate to just mounting and riding period, speed doesn't seem to cause issues.