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What should my riding plan be?

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  • What should my riding plan be?

    I am a re-rider after 17 yrs of no real riding (currently taking lessons 1x/week on various lesson horses) for the past 3 months. My trainer now has me pretty consistently riding a jumper whose owner is really busy during the fall/winter.

    I am trying to figure out my goal. I would really like to ride in some schooling shows this spring, maybe rated shows later. Not sure on which horse or whether I will do hunters or jumpers (always did hunters before so the jumper world would be brand new). I also am not sure what I will be able to afford.

    I am debating: half-lease this spring and do some showing? OR just increase to 2 lessons/wk maybe starting in March and do a few schooling shows on whatever horse is available?

    I work full time and am limited somewhat financially. I really don't even know the price of a 1/2 lease as it probably depends on the horse and what it all entails.

    I guess I am feeling like taking 1 lesson per month for the rest of my life with no real goal in mind is maybe throwing money away. OR maybe I should just look at it as a hobby and be happy that I am doing something non-mom, non-wife, and non-work related? However, it is hard to do this when I used to own my own horse in the past and did it whole hog! I keep fantasizing that someone will want me to ride their horse a few days a week for free

    Thanks for listening!!

  • #2
    I would talk with your trainer about your options for leasing and showing and have him/her give you an idea of what each will cost. Then it's up to you to decide which is most important: getting to the show ring or maximizing your number of rides. Half leases can range from very reasonable to quite expensive depending on the barn; the same goes for horse shows. Once you talk to your trainer and have a clear picture of everything involved, you'll be ready to make a decision. Good luck!


    • #3
      There's no reason you can't have goals even if you only ride in one lesson a week.

      If time and finances are both limited, taking two lessons a week and getting your feet wet doing some schooling shows on different horses may be ticket right now.

      Have fun!


      • Original Poster

        Thanks. I have a total type-A personality and it is hard for me to just have fun. Maybe that is the biggest challenge? I know that I need to be patient and just let things unfold, but my impatience keeps getting in the way!


        • #5
          I hear you, sistah! I have been a rerider for about 4 years now - with a break of about 25 years, while I raised kids, etc. I got back into riding after I got divorced, which is wonderful, but I have limited finances to spend on luxuries like horses. I have done a few half leases, which can be reasonable and allow you to ride more often. I've also taken lessons and gotten a few free ride options for months at a time. While I feel fortunate to have gotten back into riding, it is difficult not to have your own horse to do things with. Ideally, I would like to show a bit locally and fox hunt/trail ride, but haven't been able to find a situation that suits my goals. I'll keep at it, though, and hope I win the lottery someday Good luck to you... just wanted you to know there are more of us out there who can relate!


          • #6
            If you are looking at something to work on goal-wise while taking limited lessons, have you seen the OEF program? You can print it off and keep track of the things you are learning and how you are progressing.


            Also, think about keeping a diary as an active way of tracking what you are learning and doing.

            As someone who was in your shoes 15 years ago (after not so quite as long an absence), with two young children and getting back into horses, I started taking weekly lessons, then showing a bit, then part-boarding and now am a coach, judge and own two. It's funny how life turns out.


            • #7
              From experience, the jumper classes are much cheaper than hunter classes until you have to pay the nomination fee (level 4 and up, I believe). I recently switched to jumpers and it has been waaaay cheaper. My mom was very confused after our first show bill doing jumpers (in a good way, of course)! Then again, if you would rather do hunters, don't let the price stop you. Just manage how much time you spend at the show, learn to braid yourself, etc.
              "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
              ~George Morris


              • #8
                I'm a rerider too...back at it for about 15 months after 30 years off! I'll be 50 soon and, with that, comes some perspective . I've been half leasing a horse for a year..."free" lease in that I pay nothing for the use of the horse, but pay half his board/vet/farrier. He's an interesting horse, not a packer at all and he has some issues, but underneath it all is a good horse. I've been learning a lot on him. Physically, I'm certainly not the rider I was at 18, when I was doing 3'6" eq and hunters, but, intellectually, I'm probably a better rider now, from working with a horse who is not "made". I'm getting a lot of satisfaction out of this situation...no instant gratification or glory, that's for sure.

                My goal is to some day (and some day is undefined!) get around a 2'6" course on THIS horse. That will be a big accomplishment. I could probably get around one right now on a made horse, but that would be cheating . If we ever get to do an adult low hunters class at a show, that would be gravy .


                • #9
                  Originally posted by elizabuggy View Post
                  I guess I am feeling like taking 1 lesson per month for the rest of my life with no real goal in mind is maybe throwing money away. OR maybe I should just look at it as a hobby and be happy that I am doing something non-mom, non-wife, and non-work related?
                  Well, other than the month of Feb., where I took 2 lessons a week, I've pretty much been doing 1 lesson a week for 11 months now. The progress is slow - very slow - but there *is* progress. And I'm trying to focus on that rather than the 'what ifs.' I also look back and remember how BAD I was my first lesson 11 months ago, and I don't regret taking just 1 lesson a week at all. My goals involve showing at the local/schooling level. And maybe even doing some rated shows. But I'm giving myself enough time to get there so I don't beat myself up over lack of saddle time, money, etc.

                  That being said, I'm where you're at now. And while I'd love to be able to half lease, I think I'm going to do 2 lessons a week for 3-4 months and then see how I feel. (With a couple of schooling shows throw in.) After that, if I think I can really gain improvement with a half lease, then I'll pursue that option.

                  Oh, and I don't know about your barn, or even what horse you're thinking about leasing, but I know in our area, half leasing a schoolie is usually 1/2 the board. Private leases are usually a good chunk more - lease fee, 1/2 board, 1/2 fees, etc. Depending on the agreement.
                  The dude abides ...