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Can we have an adult re-rider support group?

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  • Cupid- Congrats on the birth of your son! He is adorable and already into horses

    Lucky- Thank you. It's been a struggle but it has really opened my eyes to how many people are struggling with mental health. I think it has changed me for the better.

    Warwick has quite a few videos posted on YouTube and a paid subscription service that is really worth it if you want to do the program. I always use a saddle and helmet

    RB destroyed his hood as I mentioned earlier and I just got a great deal on a used on ($30 vs $100) so I'm happy. We have a real feel of -13F so no riding for me unless it warms up a lot on the weekend


    • VJ- I'm sure you and Sun do it the right way What's the purpose for a hood? Yikes, with the real feel of -13, I won't complain of the 47 F temp for this Saturday's lesson. Where exactly is PE? DH and I went to Victoria last April and fell in love with it. Canada in general and Victoria/BC specifically.


      • Lucky- A hood attaches to the blanket and protects the neck in cold/wet weather. PEI is a small island on the east coast of Canada. We are close to Nova Scotia & New Brunswick if you are familiar with those provinces? I love it here but I do wish we had a bigger equestrian community and more options for showing.

        Blanket with hood-


        • VJ- thanks for the pic, I do love a visual. I've seen those getups on the Behind the Stall Door, with Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton. most of their guys have them. Although theirs may be due to being clipped. Is PE and PEI the same thing? Can't remember where Anne of Green Gables was filmed.

          Should be able to have quality barn/Fab/Pony time on Sunday. Can.Not.Wait. I hope Pony won't snub me- it feels like forever since I've seen her.


          • I hate hoods and am lucky I am not where there is snow. I use neckrugs but not hoods. A very quiet horse agisted where I worked managed to get the hood over his eyes and panicked. He went through several fences, was severely injured and not found until the morning.

            I rode Stars this morning and his a**hole register was down to 0.75.
            It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


            • suzie- what's the difference in a hood and neckrug? What VJ posted is what I've considered a neckrug, I figured a hood covers the head.


              • A neck rug stops before the ears. A hood has ear and eye holes and comes down the face.
                It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                • I just clicked on VJs link and yes that is a neckrug not a hood.

                  This is a hood with ears, most do not have the ears.

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                  Last edited by SuzieQNutter; Mar. 2, 2019, 05:39 PM.
                  It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                  • I've been wanting to join in on this thread for a few years now and happy to say that this week - after 5 years out of the saddle - I am officially a re-rider in need of support.

                    3 years ago we moved to a new city (in France) and I did a lot of research on which barn/club I wanted to join. My prior experiences in France were disappointing to some degree and my priorities were: healthy horses, turn out, lighted arena, and the catch: must be able to get there without a car (I can drive, but sometimes I just can't deal with French administration).

                    I found the perfect barn - I can ride my bike there or take the bus, or it's a 5 minute drive from our apartment which is handy for guilting husband into picking me up. It's in a park near downtown and frankly pretty magical. No indoor but turn out with decent fencing, healthy horses, and group lessons for adults. I signed up for 2 lessons a week and just finished my first week. My body hates me but my brain is loving it. In fact my body loves it too, it's just going to take some time to remind it of that.

                    The barn I found does jumpers, dressage, eventing, and even HUNTERS! There are shows! There are half-leases! This is a slippery slope I'm on! Thankfully riding is a lot more affordable over here than in the States.

                    This week was dressage (I've never had a dressage lesson in my life). I learned that horses will go on the bit if you do lots of lateral exercises. I cantered a 10 m circle with a halt at the end. We did counter canter exercises (I had to search these forums for "how to ask for the canter" after that one). I asked for that halt with my seat and legs. Frankly I'm feeling a little floppy but a little fancy too.

                    For the rest of my life I will hear: shorten your reins! Sit up! Thanks America for those great habits of leaning forward on a loose rein. Will have to work on that...

                    I haven't been on this forum since I posted this:

                    So I'm happy to be back with good news and thanks for the support in advance! It's harder than I remember so I think I'm going to need it
                    How do you make a small fortune in the horse industry?

                    Start with a large one.


                    • Lucky-- hope that you get some lovely horse time in on on Sunday.
                      Suzie --nice that your horse adjusted his meter! You know that Albert is not nearby!

                      Vanessa Jean-- welcome back! Sorry to hear of your struggles, and fingers crossed all continues to go well with your DH, and that you find the right person to lease and love Kohl.

                      Cupid-- love the pic of you, your son and horse. So cute.

                      Greys-- hope your show weekend is good and fun and succesful! You are such a beautiful rider, love looking at your videos. Sandro is so gorgeous. I adore him! And thanks for the kind words on how I managed PH's 4.00 disaster ride.

                      Work continues to be... I don't know.. fiercely busy. I teach law at a university-- I love the classroom, really enjoy my students. Work politics and drama not so much. There is also the omnipresent publish or perish, and I have 3 giant publication deadlines staring me in the face-- a book chapter, an edited book and a monograph. Ugh. So even away from work the pressures seem to never go away, as research is largely an evening and weekend thing lately.

                      However... ! I have had some lovely productive rides on PH. None of them at 4.00.

                      He is a horse that likes a long slow warm up and is a better, more in tune horse 30 or even 45 minutes into the ride. He is a fit thoroughbred, so he can keep on going-- although I do not usually ride more than 45-60 minutes. I have deconstructed the 4.00 disaster lesson. A lot went wrong that just wasn't the timing. I was on early, before the lesson, so he could have some of his warm up time, before the lesson started. But Trainer came over, started the lesson early, despite me explaining I wanted/needed the warm up time. Trainer response, "You spoil your horse, he just needs to know to get out here and go to work." When he bombed through the grid, we should have, in my view, kept schooling it, but we were not allowed to. Trainer then had us doing some NH thingies that had PH more and more wound up and tense. Now I am no expert. But I do know my horse. And I am not a total idiot about riding. Horses do not learn when they are tense, anxious and defensive. They need to be if not relaxed, at least focused, and not upset. Trainer was getting PH more and more upset, and I finally called time on her exercise, saying it was making him too wound up. When PH starts to get into that frame of mind, the thing to do is back off and let him relax, and slow it all down for him.

                      He is a horse that really wants to do the right thing, and tries very hard, despite the occassional Albert episode. He gets very frustrated if he thinks he is not getting it right. He is something of a horse perfectionist.

                      And last, but not least, after a few bridle rides, he really does better if he gets a tune up ride or two in his halter. He is happier in the halter. It puts his brain in the nice place where I get that alive in the bridle feeling, when we do go in the bit. It is just him, it is how it works.

                      Oh, this is getting long! Sorry!

                      Anyway... I put up a tiny grid, and just rode him through in his halter, and he was fine. Very good, very steady, if thrilled to be jumping.

                      He needs lots of grid work anyway, as do I.

                      I hate jumping even that much without a coach, but so be it.

                      Then, after the grid, I schooled him in his bit-- switching over to his loose ring French link sweet iron bit, and he was lovely, soft, got that alive in the bridle feeling. Bada bing.

                      So I keep thinking about moving.... PH is happy where we are. The horse keeping that suits him to a T. The horse care is excellent, and it would be hard to find another place with as much turnout. But I am not getting what I want. I am looking at another barn next week. Just to look. I am also thinking of a middle ground, which would be me doing lessons somewhere else on another horse, and then continuing to work with PH... a friend of mine has a horse in search of a rider, and she would be happy if I lessoned on it a few times a week, so that might work out. We shall see.

                      A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli


                      • Sun Your post is EXACTLY what I posted last week about going to the clinic. In a nutshell I did not get the warm up I wanted to do as the person before me did not arrive. I usually warm him up my way, with no contact with the bit, for half an hour. You and I both listen to our horses and we have happy horses, and like you my instructor has been saying he must come out and warm up quicker. The result like you is I said it is too hot so I stopped going to his lessons and rode at home with a very happy horse.

                        The weather cooled down so I went back, which is when I got the lecture that I am too nice and too quick to praise and he is taking the mickey out of me and he is a 2 on the a###hole meter.

                        So I did as I was told and put the handle on and MADE him go forward when he said no, even though in my mind I KNEW this is not a mental thing but a physical thing and he NEEDS 30 minutes to warm up off the bit.

                        Well I can tell you now nearly a week later is that Stars was training me and it sounds like PH is training you as he is now warming up like a normal horse. I am still in didbelief
                        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                        • NYCspaz...welcome! Can't wait to hear more about your riding adventures in France. Very cool.

                          Still in FL...enjoying the warm weather!
                          My hopeful road to the 2020 RRP TB Makeover:


                          • know your horse best. That is good. I hope you find the right situation for you and PH.
                            My hopeful road to the 2020 RRP TB Makeover:


                            • Welcome Welcome Welcome NYC. Pilates will help with riding and also take away aches and pains with riding.

                              The only time Stars said no yesterday was when I went to pick up the reins after a walk break. That is because it was more than one walk break and that is new. I made him go forward and he did.

                              Hubby came up as we were trotting large. He said wow as he has not seen Stars that forward.

                              Still no foam between his back legs though.
                              It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                              • Suzie I am not sure it is the same situation-- other than perhaps a trainer who would do better to develop more listening skills as part of their teaching. Your "warm up" is very different than mine. You described what you were doing as a loose rein walk for 30 minutes. My warm up routine is to get my horse moving from back to front, starting with some ground work, and moving on from there. Once mounted, I walk and encourage a stretch, do some lateral work, do some bend and counter bend, extended walk, same again at trot, going both directions, then do transitions, more lateral work, etc, until I have a horse soft, listening, relaxed but working. I have a down hill OTTB that I am asking to work not on his forehand. His natural build makes him on his forehand and so it is work for him to do what I am asking. He needs to get his muscles warm, but also to stretch when needed, and with a good warm up then he is ready to do the more difficult work I might ask for him for in schooling. So I stand by that I know what I need from my horse and that a trainer should listen to me-- I think that training and lessons require dialogue. Now PH goes through the grid like an old seasoned horse. He is no longer trying to roar through it. The difference? Lots of things probably, but the fact he is properly warming up-- I send him through the grid actually as part of the warm up-- makes a difference. It is just trot poles and a cross rail. It gets him off his forehand and it loosens him up beautifully.

                                Everyone is different and what they want from a trainer or lesson is different, how they learn is different.

                                A "my way or the highway" type of trainer does not work for me. One size fits all really fits no one, but I get that there are trainers out there who have a rigid approach and just do the same thing all the time, no matter what. I know how to get my horse working without making him tense, or anxious. Why would you want to do something in a way that makes the horse tense and anxious? That benefits no one, certainly not the horse. Perhaps an authoritarian type of trainer gets their yah yahs off on that-- but -- I do not work well with that type of personality. So it is not going to be a productive person for me to take a lesson from.

                                Not only that-- but I feel I have an obligation for my horse's welfare, and to call time on something that is clearly going down the pan.

                                Just edited to add

                                Years ago, I was doing a clinic with some big name rider. I could give the name, which would be recognizable, even today, but who it was does not matter. I had a big rangy 17.2 warmblood/TB cross. He had a heart of gold and was a very special horse to me-- still is in memory-- but he was big and long and big boned. There was just a lot of horse there. The clinician decided to get on the horse and try to fight him to stuff him in a small frame. One-- that is not how you get a horse, any horse in a frame. Two-- the horse was just never going to go like that- he was not built for that. I watched the clinician fight with my horse-- and I watched my horse fight back. The clinician wanted to turn it into a bloody rodeo. I don't know what I did, I was probably too young and intimidated to do what I would do today, which is politely ask for my horse back, and leave. This was not a horse you got anywhere if you fought or forced him. He came to me with a bad reputation as a dangerous horse. Well, he wasn't. But he did expect that you would be fair and respect him. He was probably the safest horse I ever had. The clinician's hideous large ego was now butt hurt, and he wanted to take it out on the horse. I cringe every time I see his name, which is fairly often, as he is still in circulation out there. Point being, not everyone who holds themselves out as a trainer or clinician is worthy of the name.
                                A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli


                                • NYC- welcome, welcome! Looking forward to getting to know you.

                                  Sun- I forgot you were a teacher- my Mom teaches 8th grade, so I love teachers/educators. Jingles for you to find just the right mix of horsekeeping and riding/lessons that will be ideal for you and PH. Since riding with Fab I've learned the value of a good warmup. Most of our Arabs require a good bit of working down before they are in the proper frame of mind to actively work well and produce the desired results. Pony used to get an hour lesson plus at least 30=45 minutes- as the first hour was her getting into work mode. Her half-brother Buddy was the same way. Now, due to age and fitness (mine included), longer warmup is still the best thing for us. Proud of you for being a voice for PH and ensuring he is getting what he needs to be successful.

                                  No riding for me today- Fab called it on account of weather. It would have been a cold and dreary day- alas next weekend is looking to be more of the same. Here's to sun/warmth.

                                  At least I got in some relaxing tack cleaning. The big consignment sale that is running concurrent with a horse show at Our Favorite Arena is next weekend. $10 to participate in the sale, 90% commission with the sponsoring club only keeping 10% no matter the amount of the item. Hoping to finally sell the McClellan replica, gaited tack and field boots/lined winter boots. I have way too much stuff to not even have a horse to put it on


                                  • Lucky- Haha we call them hoods but I can see the difference! The ones we use just cover the neck not face. Yes, PEI & PE are the same. We are the home of Anne of Green Gables

                                    NYC - Nice to meet you. Can't wait to hear all about riding in France.

                                    Sun- Thank you. Things are looking up for sure I hope you find the right situation for you and PH. I love hearing about your rides and exercises as they are similar to what I do.

                                    I haven't been getting too many rides in due to weather and work. I can't wait to get back to more regular riding.


                                    • Lucky I love decluttering and cleaning tack for sale. Good luck at the consignment, hoping it works out well! Hoping you get back to the barn soon, I'm sure it's calling to you.

                                      Sun I feel you when you are conflicted between care and goals. I think no matter what, riding different horses is hugely beneficial for anyone's development as a rider. So if you can get off site for a lease with lessons, that might be ideal. If not, can you think about trailering offsite to take lessons? I just have to think the connection and what you know about your horse is more valuable really than some trainer's set routine. All of my trainers are former Grand Prix riders almost all of whom have been to world cup finals and one at the show was like what do YOU need since you know your horse best? I just think all that progress you've made with your horse means you've earned the right to warm him up the way that you want.

                                      NYC Welcome! I'm from France originally, I'm so jealous you are there. The horse scene is terrific and so much more affordable. Welcome!

                                      VJ Really sorry to learn of DH's challenges. I've definitely been in an out of depression and I struggled so hard with how to relate to people who wanted to help me through it. It sounds like he's made progress but is still not out of the woods. Sending you big time hugs, it's a lot of pressure for the spouse.

                                      Suzie I don't know about you, but the idea of being too quick to praise seems ridiculous to me. These animals learn so much more quickly through praise than punishment and the better your timing, the easier it is to make the connections. Good for you for listening to your gut!

                                      Cupid oh man, my heart is so full looking at the picture of you and your baby. So darn cute. Charlie comes with me sometimes to do carrot stretches in the early evening. I babywear him in an ergo. He just kind hangs out and thinks it's normal, he really likes to the tiny mini they have, he likes to pet her tiny nose. What was your baby's reaction to being at the barn?

                                      PF Hoping you are recharging and warming up nicely in Florida, ready to get those freeloaders back in shape! When do you get back?

                                      We had a really good show. We started in the 1.15m. The warm up was harrowing, people kept walking on the backside of the jump near us when we were landing, I had one assistant out there trying to get us more room. But he was super in the ring, we felt ready for 1.20.

                                      The next day, I misunderstood what my trainer meant for our approach to 1. He spooked hard on the short approach and I just rode backwards the rest of the trip. I was really annoyed with myself.

                                      I had planned to do a jumper eq class the last day, which should have been over normal jumper jumps and a liverpool. Well, there was a ton of fill and flowers and a big astroturf wall with short standards, just a lot going on. So we scratched for the 1.20 AO's.

                                      The first round felt like a dream, what a blast. He hesitated in a couple places, but I kicked and it was no problem. Then my jumpoff, I thought I was going so fast to jump 1 and saw the more open distance and didn't think I could make it. So I pulled to fit one more in and he stopped. I think he was like what the hell are you doing up there? Then the rest of the jump off was totally fine and super fun.

                                      We actually got 5th out of 30. The wind was bonkers, jumps were blowing over. My spooky horse is apparently fine with wind, go figure. My trainer was like you won the USET in round 1 and saw a mirage in round 2 . He was also saying I practically look ready for 1.30m, but I think we'll take it slower. I'm feeling more confident. I sent my videos to Cynthia and she's like you're still going too slow! I think I'm going to be hearing that a lot in Wellington. This was round 1 from day 3.



                                      • Sun - A good warm-up is so important! Don't let anyone rush you. That time is valuable and can set the pace for your whole ride. In terms of work, are you able to hire a student to help you with some of the writing and/or research? I worked as a research assistant during law school and helped draft a casebook on environmental law, which I previously knew nothing about. It was actually pretty interesting. Or if you just need a few hours a week, I am always looking for side hustles to build up my new horse fund . . . haha.

                                        Suzie - That horse looks like it's about to lead a white supremacist rally and I can't stop laughing.

                                        NYC - Welcome! My current trainer, who does mostly dressage, gets after me for riding in a "pitched forward" position all the time. But I rode in H/J barns for so long that position feels so normal now! I feel your pain. As for horses going on the bit of you do lots of lateral work - my horse would like to have a conversation with you about that .

                                        Greys - Have loved seeing your horse show snippets on social media!


                                        • Greys - I'm sorry to hear you have struggled with depression as well. Watching someone go through it was so incredibly hard and it makes me so sad that so many people have that and other mental health issues. Sending lots of love your way. Your show recap was so exciting to read and the video was lovely. What a nice smooth round and I loved how you gave him a big pat

                                          MT- I thought the same thing when I saw that horse with the full hood LOL I laughed so hard!