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Going at it alone-making the switch from having a trainer to riding solo

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Everyone, thank you so much!!! I have tears in my eyes, because all of you summed up how I currently feel. I have been so scared to make this move, mostly because I know how big of a blow this is going to be to my instructor...she is not going to take it well, and that makes me nervous...but I really need to make this change for myself.

    I started riding more on my own over the summer, and I learned so much! I'm much like KMErickson...if I don't have time to ride or practice before my lessons, then they just fall apart.

    Saddlefitter...no worries! I just wanted to explain my situation a bit better. Thank you!

    I'm looking forward to being at a place that has some nice trails and access to different theories and instructors. I need to branch out and I need to ride something other than dressage at times...besides you can always apply dressage principles to a trail ride

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    • #22
      I have my horses at home (except for a couple months during the winter) and mostly ride alone. For much of the year, I have 1-2 lessons a month. In the past, I've had up to 1 per week. I found that when I was having more frequent lessons, I relied on my trainer/coach too much. I was almost afraid to think for myself. Riding on my own is good for me because it forces me to come up with a plan. I still get reminders when I have lessons and I do my homework between them, but I also have time to relax and let the ideas float around in my head. Of course, there are also times when I feel like I flounder a little. This is helped a lot because I video my lessons. I can always go back and watch some past lessons...that usually helps me ride better for awhile again. By the time the next lesson comes around, I'm quite ready for it and happy to go. Once in awhile, we do 3 lessons in a row (at camp) and that is really good at solidifying a concept. However, once that's over, I'm really ready for a few weeks on my own again. lol

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      • #23
        I see no reason why this wont be the best thing for both you and your horse! I am an independent/self-reliant type of gal. I was never happy being at a training barn because I hated having someone dictating every move I make with my horse. A few people I know won't even ride their horses unless they are in a lesson. That is definitely not for me! When you ride alone you will have a chance to become a "thinking rider" instead of a passenger. It's a wonderfully empowering feeling to know that you are the one ultimately responsible for your horses training. I know that my friends with horses in full training will progress much quicker, but that has never and will never be my goal. The bond and relationship I have with my horse is far deeper than they will ever have and that for me is what it is all about. Enjoy the next phase in your journey!

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        • #24
          Originally posted by JLR1 View Post
          I see no reason why this wont be the best thing for both you and your horse! I am an independent/self-reliant type of gal. I was never happy being at a training barn because I hated having someone dictating every move I make with my horse. A few people I know won't even ride their horses unless they are in a lesson. That is definitely not for me! When you ride alone you will have a chance to become a "thinking rider" instead of a passenger. It's a wonderfully empowering feeling to know that you are the one ultimately responsible for your horses training. I know that my friends with horses in full training will progress much quicker, but that has never and will never be my goal. The bond and relationship I have with my horse is far deeper than they will ever have and that for me is what it is all about. Enjoy the next phase in your journey!

          Love this post!

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          • #25
            I made a move recently and went 100% trainer-less from July until I had a lesson again in late Dec. I think you'll be surprised at just how much you can accomplish. The going is slower at times because there isn't that immediate feedback but by using video you can really get a lot done. We even went out and showed at a new level for both of us and the success we had was very encouraging. I have become more confident in my abilities as a rider and trainer for my horse. Overall it has been a very rewarding experience and I'm grateful for the chance to step out and see what we're capable of!

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Hi All! I just wanted to give an update on how things are going.

              I moved the horses a few months ago, and it has been great! Best thing I have ever done for myself and also for the horses. I'm seeing positive changes in both horses, and feel like I am finally on the road to success.

              I started lessons with the new instructor a few weeks ago, and all I can say is AMAZING!!! Her approach is much different than my old instructor's, and I leave the lessons thinking..."wow, we are already done". She has tweaked my position, so my balance is much better, and I'm feeling a much nicer and softer connection with my horses. She is also giving me great exercises to work on during the week, so I can continue to improve and have a direction and focus each week. This is helping me so much!

              I'm also riding much more! Instead of the maybe 2 possibly 3 days a week, I'm now able to ride nearly 4 or 5 days consistently each week. Having the indoor is a big help with that, but also, knowing that the time I have at the barn, is my own, and not spent doing chores for additional horses. My husband has commented on my new found relaxation, which I am absolutely positive is translating over to the horses. He has been very supportive through the entire process, and he is just so surprised at how much more relaxed and positive my attitude has been...I just didn't realize how beat down I had become.

              So...for anyone who is questioning making the leap from their present situation to a new one...GO.FOR.IT! It is truly the best thing I have done, and I am so sorry I waited so long to do this.

              COTHer's thank you all for your support...a lot of your words were in my head while I was making this decision. Sometimes, it is helpful to have an outside perspective.

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              • #27
                Glad to hear it's going well.

                Comment


                • #28
                  You truly have to think about how to apply the 'aspirin' of a given exercise to change/modify/develop reactions in the horse. Lots of breaks to organize your mind. Your actions create reactions in the horse, if the horse is not 'signing up' YOU must change how/what you ask. Push on a little bit each day.
                  I.D.E.A. yoda

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by greenapples View Post
                    My husband has commented on my new found relaxation, which I am absolutely positive is translating over to the horses. He has been very supportive through the entire process, and he is just so surprised at how much more relaxed and positive my attitude has been...I just didn't realize how beat down I had become.
                    My husband has commented on the same thing when I work on my own more.

                    Good for you for making the change - the tone of your post is so positive, clearly it has been such a great experience for you!
                    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

                    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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                    • #30
                      I'm not a dressage rider (h/j, but I board at an eventing barn). Going off on my own was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself and my horse. We are both much happier this way. I think you learn much better "feel" when you ride without a trainer for an extended period of time. You become a more thinking rider, which is what great riding is really about. You are in charge of your rides and you can decide what is best for you and your horse on any given day. I love it.

                      It can be a little tough to push yourself to do certain things - for me, it's that I hate setting jumps, so I really don't jump in winter, which is fine for both of us. In the summer, there are jumps up in the outdoor all the time, so I can use those. I do still have a professional that I work with from time to time (and in warmer weather, she rides my horse once a week). AND, when you are on your own, you can ride in fun clinics when they are happening without having to ask "permission" from a trainer and that kind of thing.

                      I honestly can't say enough good things about getting out from under a trainer's "thumb" so to speak. I'm excited for you!

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