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I'm never going to get the hang of this sport (vent)

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  • I'm never going to get the hang of this sport (vent)

    I am bawling my eyes out as I type this. I started riding almost one year ago, the first six and a half months I only rode once a week, but then increased it to twice a week and have been riding twice a week since then. A few months ago had reached the point where I could walk, trot, canter, and canter over small jumps. A few months ago, I was switched to another horse from the previous horse I had been learning on, and he turned out to be too difficult for me to handle. Things that I thought I had mastered became so much harder for me on him, as I started getting confused on getting on the right diagonal, I kept leaning to the inside while cantering, I couldn't sit the sit trot and was super bouncy while cantering, and a bunch of other stuff I thought I had gotten the hang of I kept messing up on. Yesterday, I struggled on him so much that at the end of my lesson my instructor said that we needed to take a break from jumping and get back to basics and do more flat work. She said that my position and balance still are not where they need to be, so I agreed to this. Well today, all I was permitted to do on a new horse that my trainer now has me on was to walk and trot. I'm beside myself that I have had to go all the way from being allowed to canter jumps to being forced to do the most boring, basic stuff once again, while I watch little kids get to do all the fun, fast stuff,

    I should also add that a major thing that's been contributing to my frustration is that during my lessons, there are often other horses and riders in the arena and onlookers watching us all ride as well. I have really bad performance anxiety, and hate having a bunch of people watching me. This is making me so nervous and in turn is causing me to mess up, and I hate having all these eyes on me as I make a jackass out of myself. I'm already planning on switching my lesson time on one of the days I ride to a less busy time where I won't have as much going on around me.

    I'm so humiliated and angry and am just crying so hard about this. I hate how everything has turned out for me. I wish that I could've been one of those riders who started when they were five years old, and then be amazing now at my current age (I'm 25 years old). But I didn't get that because my parents couldn't afford it consistently for me. Now here I am, a full grown woman, I finally have the money and time to afford what I've loved since I was a little girl, and I thought I was going to go so far with it but have forced to go back to basics because I can't get the hang of this sport.

    All of these problems started happening after I got switched from the one gelding that I had been learning on to the one afterwards that turned out to be too difficult for me. I had been doing fine on the first gelding I had been on (he's your stereotypical angel school horse), then got switched to a thoroughbred gelding who was a piece of work (not just said by me, he's hardly ridden by any other students at my barn because he proved to be so difficult) and honestly I think I just lost confidence on him because he was so hard to handle and I couldn't get the hang of him and then having an audience watching it all unfold has made me feel so crummy.

    What should I do? How much longer is it going to take for me to get good at this seemingly impossible sport? And how do I get my confidence back?

    ETA: Also if you could all please be kind with your advice, I’d really appreciate it. I’m in a really low place right now and am not in the mood for snarky comments. Please be nice.
    Last edited by Horselover21; Nov. 4, 2018, 06:01 PM. Reason: Added something at the end

  • #2
    Originally posted by Horselover21 View Post
    I am bawling my eyes out as I type this. I started riding almost one year ago, the first six and a half months I only rode once a week, but then increased it to twice a week and have been riding twice a week since then. A few months ago had reached the point where I could walk, trot, canter, and canter over small jumps. A few months ago, I was switched to another horse from the previous horse I had been learning on, and he turned out to be too difficult for me to handle. Things that I thought I had mastered became so much harder for me on him, as I started getting confused on getting on the right diagonal, I kept leaning to the inside while cantering, I couldn't sit the sit trot and was super bouncy while cantering, and a bunch of other stuff I thought I had gotten the hang of I kept messing up on. Yesterday, I struggled on him so much that at the end of my lesson my instructor said that we needed to take a break from jumping and get back to basics and do more flat work. She said that my position and balance still are not where they need to be, so I agreed to this. Well today, all I was permitted to do on a new horse that my trainer now has me on was to walk and trot. I'm beside myself that I have had to go all the way from being allowed to canter jumps to being forced to do the most boring, basic stuff once again, while I watch little kids get to do all the fun, fast stuff,

    I should also add that a major thing that's been contributing to my frustration is that during my lessons, there are often other horses and riders in the arena and onlookers watching us all ride as well. I have really bad performance anxiety, and hate having a bunch of people watching me. This is making me so nervous and in turn is causing me to mess up, and I hate having all these eyes on me as I make a jackass out of myself. I'm already planning on switching my lesson time on one of the days I ride to a less busy time where I won't have as much going on around me.

    I'm so humiliated and angry and am just crying so hard about this. I hate how everything has turned out for me. I wish that I could've been one of those riders who started when they were five years old, and then be amazing now at my current age (I'm 25 years old). But I didn't get that because my parents couldn't afford it consistently for me. Now here I am, a full grown woman, I finally have the money and time to afford what I've loved since I was a little girl, and I thought I was going to go so far with it but have forced to go back to basics because I can't get the hang of this sport.

    All of these problems started happening after I got switched from the one gelding that I had been learning on to the one afterwards that turned out to be too difficult for me. I had been doing fine on the first gelding I had been on (he's your stereotypical angel school horse), then got switched to a thoroughbred gelding who was a piece of work (not just said by me, he's hardly ridden by any other students at my barn because he proved to be so difficult) and honestly I think I just lost confidence on him because he was so hard to handle and I couldn't get the hang of him and then having an audience watching it all unfold has made me feel so crummy.

    What should I do? How much longer is it going to take for me to get good at this seemingly impossible sport? And how do I get my confidence back?
    Sounds like you may need a different instructor, maybe barn?

    I taught for many years and would not have let a student backtrack like that, not at all!

    Challenging one, yes, but not to the point of frustrating them like that!

    Riding should be fun and full of questions and fun things to do, not be put on the spot like you seem to be there.

    Your idea of a different time to ride is a good start, but be sure your instructor knows that you are having serious problems and needs to see about the whole of why that is happening.

    I do question about jumping, if those lessons are really jumping lessons, not just crossrails and little gymnastics.
    Those should be for the more advanced students, if nothing else for the sake of the school horses, that have to suffer unbalanced beginners trying to jump real jumps.

    Kind of hard to see what all is going on there, but definitively should be some changes there, at least until you feel more confident, not such frustration.
    That is never good when learning something new.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Bluey View Post

      I do question about jumping, if those lessons are really jumping lessons, not just crossrails and little gymnastics.
      Those should be for the more advanced students, if nothing else for the sake of the school horses, that have to suffer unbalanced beginners trying to jump real jumps.
      I guess I should’ve clarified, I wasn’t doing whole courses of jumps, I was simply going over one small cross rail in the arena. Nothing more.

      Comment


      • #4
        A few things: If you started riding only a year ago, you've already made tremendous progress if you're cantering and jumping securely. It was multiple years before I cantered - I think at least 2? Maybe 3? So, you're already ahead of the game.

        It sounds like you shouldn't have been put on that gelding. Especially being a new rider. What did your trainer say when you were having trouble with him? There are benefits to learning to work with difficult horses, but you need to have the riding skills to do that before the situation will be beneficial to you. It sounds like this was a negative situation, and your trainer shouldn't have let that happen.

        I think you have a few options here. One, ask your trainer if you can schedule your lessons for times when the barn is quieter. If the barn has a policy of allowing riding during lessons, you probably won't be able to have the arena to yourself, but scheduling for quieter times should help to minimize that.

        Or, you may want to look for a new trainer/barn. The situation with the gelding could have become dangerous, depending on what his behavior was, and either way, it's negatively impacted you when you're still just starting out. A good trainer wouldn't put you in that position until you had the skills needed to work with that horse.

        All of that said, don't feel bad about taking a step back, either. Riding different horses can quickly reveal weaknesses that we didn't know we had. Riding is all about taking steps back, perfecting things, and then progressing again - both in terms of the rider and the horse. Your skills are still there; you haven't regressed. You're just polishing and filling in some holes.
        Dapplebay - home of original equestrian clothing and accessories.

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        • #5
          Life is all about the highs and the lows. Resilience is the key to happiness. I fell off a school horse in my first lesson as a kid and quit riding; as a teen I learned how to stay on by riding a pony who tried her best to get me off, and then I attained many of my childhood dreams in my late 30s on a giveaway Arab who won me more awards and trophies than I could have ever dreamed of in Eventing. There were tons of bruises, tears and joy along the way.

          If the highs aren't worth dealing with the lows, you could try dialing down your expectations. Otherwise, I would suggest you pick yourself up, lick your wounds and figure out how to set yourself up for success in the future. All your troubles didn't start with losing the ride on the one horse, we can't ride the same horse forever. And starting riding late in life is a non-issue IMO, I didn't get my first real lesson until my 20s and didn't have any real success until my 30s. Study what's going on with your riding, be honest with yourself, and seek out the help you need to get to where you want to be.

          Best wishes!
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          Comment


          • #6
            There is nothing shameful about going back to basics, especially on a new-to-you horse. In fact, it's what most experienced riders would do on a new-to-them horse, too. I know I would.

            I think "learning to ride" is kind of a dumb phrase. None of us who actually want to study and progress in this sport ever "learns to ride", reaches some peak of perfection and then just continues on riding, we continue to learn through our riding lives.

            It's 52 years since I first planted my behind in a saddle, and I've just spent the weekend enhancing my basics, one more time, with a very good clinician, in front of an audience of my peers who I ride with and show against. We all watched and learned from each other's rigorous lessons without judgement and with kindness and humor.

            The best thing you can do is to take advantage of the fact that you aren't a kid, that you have the maturity to be a thinking rider, and to master those basics without holes. The fast, fun stuff is going to come much later, but you'll do it better, safer and more comfortably for you and the horse if you have really solid basics.

            My suggestion to you if you are only riding once a week or so, would be to go find yourself a dressage trainer who will put you on the lunge line and give you a solid seat at a walk, trot and canter and not even think about jumping until you can do that. It will cost you money, but I'll bet you can find someone who will give you private lessons in peace and quiet and help you focus on what's important.

            I'm sure there are many of us on this board who started riding as kids who have had to go back and fill in some big holes in our education, which we wish we had filled in at the time, as it would have made our progression later so much easier.

            This is not an easy sport. Even the same horse can be different every time you get on it and can require a different approach or mindset to work well with you that day. But that's what makes it so absorbing.

            One year is kind of a drop in the bucket, the great thing about riding is that we can keep doing it, keep chipping away at it throughout our lives.

            Focusing on the basics when you start your riding career is going to make it so much more pleasurable in the future.

            Comment


            • #7
              I started riding as a kid, I'm now 35, and I am anything but amazing. This sport is bloody hard. You have to learn how to control, coordinate, and balance your body in the subtlest of ways while sitting on top of an animal that's throwing you around and sometimes has a mind of its own. Often it feels like you are being asked to do things which seem like polar opposites, like moving softly with the horse, but at the same time maintaining your strong position. Yeah, it's hard and it can take years to master the basics and God knows even more years to rise up the levels in any given discipline. Or not. Lots of us spend our lives putzing around at the lower levels or as happy hackers. Then add a more challenging or bigger-moving horse to the mix, it gets harder.

              I bet the vast majority of people on this forum have all gone through times where they thought they were doing wonderfully, making fantastic progress, then they got on a different horse or acquired a different trainer, and found themselves knocked straight back to square one, realizing how little they know. That's horses and horsemanship. Everyone has been where you are. Even those of us who learned as kids and have our own horses could not count the amount of times we discovered that we had some gaping hole in our fundamental riding skills and had to go back to basics. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
              Help me keep my horse in peppermints and enjoy a great read! My New York City crime novel, available on Amazon.

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              • #8
                You're putting WAY too much pressure on yourself. I've been riding since before I could walk, and it's never been a straightforward progression, it's always been one step forward and two steps back-- for me, and for everyone I know. If it were that easy we would all be going to the Olympics.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I took my first riding lesson at 33 and I am 49 now. And I have horses at home, my own arena, and I'm still not very good. Mostly because I don't ride often anymore, but yes - riding is hard!

                  I do think that it might be worth looking for a different barn/trainer. I rode with a few different trainers and it wasn't until the last one I worked with that I felt they were *teaching* me and I was *learning.* Of course just being ON a horse will make you better - but a lot of trainers do the same type of lesson with all the beginner riders - starting at age 6. And a lot of those kids aren't ready to listen and correct themselves....so straight repetition and time...YEARS....is what make them better. (basically the trainers spend most of their time yelling out "check your diagonal, "heels DOWN!", sit up!")

                  But as an adult, I wanted to learn. I wanted to understand, and I wanted feedback. And not all instructors are good at that part. And not all barns have suitable horses. I wish I had kept looking for better instruction at periods of my life. It would have made me a much better rider.

                  That said, don't underestimate time and experience. It matters. One of my triathlon teammates was complaining that she didn't improve her run times much this season, and was disappointed I was so much faster than her. So I asked her how long she had been running before this year. Never, she said. I tried to explain that even something so "natural" as running takes practice and correction over time - changing your stride, your footfall, your posture, etc. I've been running competitively for 20 years. I've learned a lot in the last 2 decades!

                  So, take a deep breath and don't give up. Riding is a sport you can compete in for your entire life - be patient, find good instruction, and enjoy it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd have a conversation with the trainer about going back to riding the original horse. Is that a possibility? It sounded like you made a lot of progress on the original horse, but for whatever reason things aren't going well with this other horse. It is good to ride difficult or challenging horses, but not necessarily at the expense of being unhappy for a long period of time.

                    If this were a dressage schoolmaster that you got put on, I'd say stick it out for a time, it will get better. However, if this is a barn teaching beginners on regular school horses, then I'd say look for alternatives.

                    If you can go back to the other horse and things are better right away, then you know that there is something about the match with the other horse that just isn't working.

                    If what you said is true, that a lot of people think the new horse is difficult, then definitely time to discuss with the trainer. There is a time to learn how to ride a difficult or hot horse and times when you need to be on a steady schoolmaster. Perhaps the trainer realizes this and is in a bind because a lot of people want to ride the angel schoolmaster and not many want to ride the other. There are only so many lessons that the schoolmaster can do, so maybe the trainer is trying to find someone willing to put up with the other horse.









                    Comment


                    • #11
                      While you feel you are struggling after a whole year of riding, remember that the first six months of weekly lessons was 26 rides. You doubled that in the second six months, so you now have 78 rides under your belt.

                      If your lessons had been five days a week, after 78 lessons you would have been riding for only about three and a half months.

                      Assuming that you don't have access to a horse to practice on between lessons, you have accomplished a lot in a relatively short amount of saddle time.

                      It's a tough sport to learn, and every single serious rider works on the basics in every single ride.

                      A lovely book you might enjoy is "Taking Up the Reins" by Priscilla Endicott. Her struggles in learning dressage in Europe as as an adult will sound familiar to you, I'll bet. And, Mrs. Endicott was already a competitive dressage rider when she went to Germsny!
                      Last edited by Hej; Nov. 4, 2018, 09:22 PM. Reason: Fumble finger spelllingg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wonder about the quality of the schooling horse, ours would basically shift gears up/down to the ability of the rider. As the rider progressed our horses would challenge them more.

                        Young inexperienced riders were met with compassion, the horses would softly move about, side stepping in needed to keep their charge centered in the saddle. But same horse could charge through an event course with determination

                        OP might want to break her goal down into obtainable small steps rather than focus on the ultimate prize. Even our horses when they were in training we never worked them to death, if they did what we wanted correctly that was the end of that session... if it took five minutes or twenty minutes

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here, I'll reframe this for you. Note: I mean this in a kind way.

                          Originally posted by Horselover21 View Post
                          I am excitied as I type this. I was lucky enough to take up a new passion - riding - almost one year ago, the first six and a half months I only rode once a week, but now I'm privileged to have the health, ability, spare time and money to have increased it to twice a week and have been riding twice a week since then. A few months ago had reached the point where I could walk, trot, canter, and canter over small jumps: great progress for a learner.

                          As a result, a few months ago, my trainer decided I was ready for the next step, and I was switched to another horse from the previous horse I had been learning on, and he turned out to be a great challenge I wasn't expecting. Things that I thought I had mastered became so much harder for me on him, as I started getting confused on getting on the right diagonal, I kept leaning to the inside while cantering, I couldn't sit the sit trot - just the same as people who've been doing this sport for decades, often - and the horse's gaits were very new - he was super bouncy while cantering, and a bunch of other stuff I wasn't used to - yet.

                          Yesterday, I struggled on him so much that at the end of my lesson my instructor wisely said that she had moved me along too fast and we needed to take a break from jumping and get back to basics and do more flat work, which is a great opportunity for me to improve more quickly than trying to master new gaits and a new horse [personality AND learn new jumping skills at the same time. Good news!

                          She said that my position and balance still are not where they need to be, which is so common with beginners of course! So I agreed to this. Well today, all I was permitted to do on a new horse that my trainer now has me on was to walk and trot - exactly what you'd expect a beginner getting used to a new horse to do. I'm excited that I have been entrusted with learning a new horse, and doing it the right way: gradually. I'm committed to learning to walk before I can run, er, canter!

                          I should also add that a major thing that's been contributing to my challenges is that during my lessons, there are often other horses and riders in the arena and onlookers watching us all ride as well. I have really bad performance anxiety, and hate having a bunch of people watching me. However, one day I'll be in a show ring, so this is something I'll need to get used to. I'm glad I can do it at "home" where there's less pressure, and my friends who want the best for me are there to encourage me. It will help me in other areas of life too - I just have to remember to keep laughing at myself when things go wrong, instead of being upset. I'll build resilience soon..
                          Originally posted by Horselover21 View Post
                          I'm so humiliated and angry and am just crying so hard about this. I hate how everything has turned out for me. .
                          Quit your crying, grown woman If this is a thing that has you crushed to tears, the world is going to be a tough place for you, because in the grand scheme of things this is nothing. Build resilience by being analytical, and not emotional. You went from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence - that's a big step. FORWARDS. You merrily rode the sainted schoolie thinking you were a great rider. A new horse came along and you found out you have mroe to learn. Well OK! Good thing you have a trainer if this sport was easy...


                          Originally posted by Horselover21 View Post
                          What should I do? How much longer is it going to take for me to get good at this seemingly impossible sport? And how do I get my confidence back?.
                          a) Dry your eyes and take more lessons.
                          b) The rest of your life
                          c) Be kind to yourself: turn your frustration into excitement! Use that power to focus on what you need to become a better rider.

                          Originally posted by Horselover21 View Post
                          ETA: Also if you could all please be kind with your advice, I’d really appreciate it. I’m in a really low place right now and am not in the mood for snarky comments. Please be nice.
                          You'll be fine. Have a glass of wine. It's just ponies

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                          • #14
                            How much longer it's going to take to "get good"?
                            A couple decades, at least. Riding is challenging, and one year isn't gonna do it.
                            I'll lay some blame with your trainer - she progressed you much faster than she should have, obviously, and it's hurt your pride having to back track. My favorite jump trainer when I was starting out didn't let anyone jump until they could walk/trot/canter without stirrups on a variety of horses. If you are losing your balance at the canter on a new horse, you shouldn't have been jumping in the first place. This is also why lesson programs that put students on a different horse every week are the absolute best, IMO. But you have to work with what you've got, the idea of programs having many school horses is swiftly dwindling.

                            Now, do all the things xanthoria said. Everyone back-tracks for one reason or another at one time or another, it really isn't a big deal.
                            "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

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                            • #15
                              I am a fairly decent rider and I would be unlikely to jump or even canter a horse the first day I rode it. Walk trot on a new horse is exactly right. I just finished doing a run of ten lessons with my coach on one of her schoolmasters while my mare is out at pasture vacation. Walk and bit of trot and *drilled* me on position and aids.

                              When I was a kid with a horse and watching my friends get horses it seemed to me that it took about month that is 30 days for a 14 year old girl to "get her balance" which meant being able to walk trot canter without holding onto saddle horn, mane or mouth. That was 30 days in a row of riding multiple hours per day all over the place. So at least 60 hours to just have the balance to stay safely on horse. We were feral kids, no lessons, it might have gone faster with lessons. Or slower.

                              I honestly dont know how anyone learns to ride on one or two lessons a week. There is so much muscle memory involved.

                              I do know that like every other sport you cannot give a rat's ass what anyone thinks about you except for your coach and the judge. You can't be a diver or a marathon runner or a gymnast or a rider if you can't block out the outside world and focus on getting the job done.

                              Yes girls are socialized to be hyper sensitive to the opinion of random strangers and to worry about it even when it doesn't exist. Believe me no one is paying any attention to you or giving you any thought as a once or twice a week adult beginner lesson person. They are all thinking about themselves.

                              This hypersensitivity is one of the big controls our culture puts on the achievements of women because it effectively hamstrings them.

                              If you persevere with horses you will find they teach you to be tough and focused in good ways, how to get outside of yourself, and that they will always keep you humble.

                              Also that you are never done learning.

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                              • #16
                                I've been riding for 25 years, ridden over 100 different horses, and still encounter things that shatter my confidence and make me go back to basics. Building your skills will not be something that happens in a straight line of immediate progress, but rather will happen in fits and starts and there will be steps back. Also, not every horse will be a good match for you. Some you will never be any good on and some will just take time for you to get in sync with them.

                                About 5-6 years ago, I went through a phase where a bad horse match really took my confidence away to the point where cantering and jumping was terrifying, even though I had been doing both for a long time and jumping 2'6" courses. I ended up riding large ponies for a year and taking my jumping back down to crossrails and working my way back up. It took an entire year to get back to where I had been, but I did it.

                                The horse I am currently riding the most, I got off to a terrible start with. To the point that I was almost ready to quit. I fell off of him in every single lesson for weeks. Once, three times in a single lesson. But I kept with it and I figured out the issues (and they were mine, not his - my body language was telling him to stop) and now he's one of my favorites to ride.

                                Most take me at least 2-3 lessons to truly figure out their buttons and be able to ride them somewhat well.

                                It sounds like your instructor gave you some time to get used to the second horse, figured out that it's not going to work (at least at this time in your riding career) and is giving you a new horse to try. Don't be discouraged by going back to basics while you get to know the new horse.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Horselover21 View Post
                                  What should I do? How much longer is it going to take for me to get good at this seemingly impossible sport? And how do I get my confidence back?

                                  How long does it take for someone to get good at this sport? Oh honey, the answer will seem impossibly discouraging, but it's years. It will take years to get good at this sport, likely even a decade or two, and even then depending on what exactly you're using as your measuring Stick of Success you may not reach it. I mean if you're thinking along the lines of competing and winning at high levels as your Stick of Success, you may fail purely based upon sheer luck despite developing the ability to ride at those levels.


                                  Riding so much more difficult than other sports. The physicality alone, to develop the necessary core strength, muscle memory, and flexibility takes years. And then there's the education required - you have to learn about the horse, and I don't just mean how to care for them but even even that is a lifetime of learning, but I mean learning the mechanics of a horse's movement, learning how to preform lateral movements but also the theories and reasonings behind why we do them. There are hundreds if not thousands of books on dressage, show jumping, cross country, any horse sport you can imagine that simply contain exercises and theories.


                                  And let's not forget the actual horses themselves, they don't always make our sport any easier. Other sports don't usually have to contend with their equipment malfunctioning on purpose. I mean, have you ever seen a basketball refuse to bounce because it's too distracted by what it's pasture-mates are doing? Have you ever seen a hockey stick haul off and kick it's owner of it's own accord? Has a football team ever spooked at decorations in the stadium and ran away? Our horses do not always cooperate with our goals, daily or long-term. And the way you ride one horse may work beautifully but riding a different horse the exact same way may turn into a complete and utter disaster. Different horses will highlight different flaws in your riding.


                                  So take a deep breath. Riding isn't easy for anyone - even those little kids zipping around fearlessly on their ponies right now will go through the exact same thing if they stick with riding long enough and get serious enough about it. I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt because I was one of those kids. But the fun in riding, at least I think, comes from the journey and how long it takes to really get good. It's a sport that will last you a lifetime.


                                  As for getting your confidence back, I hate to tell you this but there's no magic cure for a dent in your confidence. You have to build that back up the hard way by getting back on and keeping at it, and learning.

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                                  • #18
                                    I started riding at 25 too. At 38, I just rode my first 3rd level dressage test. I still ride horses that I can't seem to get the hang of, that make me feel like I can't ride at all! Every horse is different. Sometimes it will be easy, sometimes it will be so hard you'll be convinced you'll never get it. As far as feeling like you're going backward? LOL. On my horse, we work flying changes and canter pirouettes. On my trainer's grand prix horse? I'm lucky if she lets me trot. This is how you learn. Just because you've mastered something on one horse doesn't mean you'll be able to do it on all horses!

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Xanthoria View Post
                                      Here, I'll reframe this for you. Note: I mean this in a kind way.





                                      Quit your crying, grown woman If this is a thing that has you crushed to tears, the world is going to be a tough place for you, because in the grand scheme of things this is nothing. Build resilience by being analytical, and not emotional. You went from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence - that's a big step. FORWARDS. You merrily rode the sainted schoolie thinking you were a great rider. A new horse came along and you found out you have mroe to learn. Well OK! Good thing you have a trainer if this sport was easy...



                                      a) Dry your eyes and take more lessons.
                                      b) The rest of your life
                                      c) Be kind to yourself: turn your frustration into excitement! Use that power to focus on what you need to become a better rider.



                                      You'll be fine. Have a glass of wine. It's just ponies
                                      This has to be the best response I’ve ever gotten to a thread of mine since joining these forums. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times! I wish I could find you and give you a big hug.

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                                      • #20
                                        I'm sorry you're having a rough go of it. Trust me, we have all been there! The highs are exhilarating and the lows can be crushing, but that's the way it goes with horses and you might as well get used to it!

                                        I'm one of those who started riding as a kid, but not young enough as I would have liked (I think I was 8?)! I am STILL working on the basics. No one EVER stops working on the basics, you just work on more refinement as you progress. But everyone works on walk, trot, canter when they ride. Heck, there were times when I've only worked on walking....as an adult. An injury for horse or person, something that shakes your confidence, rehabbing, changing focus, trying something new, a green horse....anything at any time can set you back.

                                        Horses are not machines (as you know). They are not all the same. Some are flat and easy to ride. Some have more suspension and are bouncy and harder to ride. Some are pokey and lazy, some are fast and hot. Some are dreams to trot but horrible to canter. Some have jackhammer trots but nice canters. Some jump flat, some jump round. Some rush to the fences, some stop. Some favor the right lead, some favor the left lead. You get my drift.

                                        This is a process. No one is ever done learning to ride. It is a constant struggle of one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, ten steps back. You progress and you learn and you learn some more and you make progress and you slide back. You learn a lot about yourself, how to pick yourself up, how to be accountable, how to win with humility, how to fail with grace. How to put another's needs before your own, how to tend to injuries, how to accept responsibility, when to push, when to step back.

                                        Congratulations, you started riding! Lucky you, you get to take lessons! Blessed are we who love the horses, for they teach us more than we could ever learn on our own.

                                        Yes, there are railbirds - learn how to tune them out. Yes, there are naughty horses - you can learn a lot from them when the time is right and you have enough skill to take on a challenge (which sounds like is not at this point). Yes, you will be frustrated, sad, mad at yourself, and wish for a do-over. Keep with it, try your best, be a good student (evaluate if you need a new lesson program, though), read, watch others ride, watch videos, go to clinics, absorb as much as you can.

                                        Chin up, sister, you'll be fine.
                                        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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