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Is Going Back To Riding Really Worth It?

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    Original Poster

    #61
    Okay, everyone it was pretty AWESOME! Instructor is really nice and the school horse was really nice. She was really patient, did not push too hard, like " just walk around until you feel comfortable and get used to each other". Then we did some trotting (until I ran out of air which was after maybe 3/4 of a lap) and then gradually worked up to posting trot a lap, walk a lap and that was good. Did some figure 8's and serpentines at the posting trot and then some two point trot poles. Finished up there as my legs were like Jell-o after about 50 Minutes.

    I did not feel as weird as I thought, I felt stiff, weak and had a bit of knee pain. Posting trot was actually pretty good but I can no longer feel my diagonal (weird). Also changing diagonals by staying up to beats is no longer in my wheelhouse. Two point, which was my old go to is also also a little shaky. My leg is too far back and of course I am slouching forward with my hands a little low. Pretty funny since those are all the memorex tape that Instructor's have been trying to fix since my short stirrup days. So nothing new there just going into default mode.

    Funny part is we were doing trot poles in two point and I had to be reminded to do a long crest release. My automatic crest release has survived the drought and it felt weird making all that arm movement, but, I will prevail on that score.

    I did have a panic attack at the mounting block as my schoolie (who can guess) is grey. So here I am looking a flea bitten grey neck and all I can think is the last time you saw this sight it ended badly. It didn't , it ended great. She asked if I wanted to canter, I thought that since my legs were about to go into full cramp mode, we should end on a good note. I also rode through a small sideways spook instinct took over and and I was actually glad it happened.

    The schoolie is a QH and has a lot of western training in his past, so I instantly understood some of his cool old western riding buttons. He was really responsive and before the lesson she told me to get a stick, which I forgot in panic mode, but did not miss at all. I swear I almost thought making a generous purchase offer, throwing my Western Saddle on him and high tailing it for the hills. That how much fun he is and I might not be in most sane/rational mind in my current state .

    I have another lesson in 2 weeks as she is away at shows next week... Can not wait!

    Comment


      #62
      Way to go!! Yippee!! and well done You. I'm so pleased to read your positive update.

      Comment


        #63
        Originally posted by four2farm@gmail.com View Post
        Okay, everyone it was pretty AWESOME! Instructor is really nice and the school horse was really nice. She was really patient, did not push too hard, like " just walk around until you feel comfortable and get used to each other". Then we did some trotting (until I ran out of air which was after maybe 3/4 of a lap) and then gradually worked up to posting trot a lap, walk a lap and that was good. Did some figure 8's and serpentines at the posting trot and then some two point trot poles. Finished up there as my legs were like Jell-o after about 50 Minutes.

        I did not feel as weird as I thought, I felt stiff, weak and had a bit of knee pain. Posting trot was actually pretty good but I can no longer feel my diagonal (weird). Also changing diagonals by staying up to beats is no longer in my wheelhouse. Two point, which was my old go to is also also a little shaky. My leg is too far back and of course I am slouching forward with my hands a little low. Pretty funny since those are all the memorex tape that Instructor's have been trying to fix since my short stirrup days. So nothing new there just going into default mode.

        Funny part is we were doing trot poles in two point and I had to be reminded to do a long crest release. My automatic crest release has survived the drought and it felt weird making all that arm movement, but, I will prevail on that score.

        I did have a panic attack at the mounting block as my schoolie (who can guess) is grey. So here I am looking a flea bitten grey neck and all I can think is the last time you saw this sight it ended badly. It didn't , it ended great. She asked if I wanted to canter, I thought that since my legs were about to go into full cramp mode, we should end on a good note. I also rode through a small sideways spook instinct took over and and I was actually glad it happened.

        The schoolie is a QH and has a lot of western training in his past, so I instantly understood some of his cool old western riding buttons. He was really responsive and before the lesson she told me to get a stick, which I forgot in panic mode, but did not miss at all. I swear I almost thought making a generous purchase offer, throwing my Western Saddle on him and high tailing it for the hills. That how much fun he is and I might not be in most sane/rational mind in my current state .

        I have another lesson in 2 weeks as she is away at shows next week... Can not wait!
        Such a nice report, sounds like you found an excellent teacher and riding center.

        Maybe it will encourage others that are wishing they would start riding again, thank you.

        Comment


          #64
          Yay!!!
          "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

          Comment


            #65
            Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
            Yay!!!


            Welcome Back, four2farm@gmail.com
            The Seed has been planted ​​​​​​​
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

            Comment


              #66
              Wheeee!

              Comment


                #67
                Originally posted by four2farm@gmail.com View Post
                I did not feel as weird as I thought, I felt stiff, weak and had a bit of knee pain. Posting trot was actually pretty good but I can no longer feel my diagonal (weird). Also changing diagonals by staying up to beats is no longer in my wheelhouse. Two point, which was my old go to is also also a little shaky. My leg is too far back and of course I am slouching forward with my hands a little low. Pretty funny since those are all the memorex tape that Instructor's have been trying to fix since my short stirrup days. So nothing new there just going into default mode.
                I am so glad your lesson went well. Welcome back to riding!!!

                My riding teacher had gotten after me for years about my leg being too far back all the time but definitely in two point. I hit my books yet again and I actually found a solution that WORKS. It was in Chamberlin's book, "Riding and Schooling Horses" page 31, "Knees:...must not be entirely limp, or lower legs slip to the rear, and heels come up."

                So I read about what he said about knee tension, and he was NOT talking here about gripping with the knees (which causes the lower leg to go back too.) I finally decided he was talking about keeping some minimal tension in the rectus femoris muscle that goes down the front of the thigh.

                The minute that I started keeping some tension in my rectus femoris muscles my riding teacher stopped complaining about my lower leg going back (remember, this had been going on for years.) Whenever she mentions that my lower leg drifting back I tense the muscle and my riding teacher is completely happy with my lower leg.

                I say minimal tension in the muscle because whenever I use a lot of tension in this muscle my lower leg gets too far forward and my seat ends up flopping down in the saddle. It is a balance between too little and too much.

                Happy riding!

                Comment


                  #68
                  Really good to hear you had fun!

                  The muscle memory will come back with some saddle time to build up those muscles you never use except on a horse. You might try some exercises at home, but honestly I've found that just riding builds up riding muscles and balance. Also the body core can be part of tipping forward and leg going back. It's always interesting biomechanically because very often a position issue that looks like it is say leg or heel or even hand is driven by something going on with abs or hips or pelvis.

                  Comment


                    #69
                    I’m so glad you had a good time. Sounds like you found just the right instructor and school horse.

                    Comment


                      #70
                      That's a great start! I'm glad you had a good time!

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #71
                        Originally posted by Jackie Cochran View Post

                        I am so glad your lesson went well. Welcome back to riding!!!

                        My riding teacher had gotten after me for years about my leg being too far back all the time but definitely in two point. I hit my books yet again and I actually found a solution that WORKS. It was in Chamberlin's book, "Riding and Schooling Horses" page 31, "Knees:...must not be entirely limp, or lower legs slip to the rear, and heels come up."

                        So I read about what he said about knee tension, and he was NOT talking here about gripping with the knees (which causes the lower leg to go back too.) I finally decided he was talking about keeping some minimal tension in the rectus femoris muscle that goes down the front of the thigh.

                        The minute that I started keeping some tension in my rectus femoris muscles my riding teacher stopped complaining about my lower leg going back (remember, this had been going on for years.) Whenever she mentions that my lower leg drifting back I tense the muscle and my riding teacher is completely happy with my lower leg.

                        I say minimal tension in the muscle because whenever I use a lot of tension in this muscle my lower leg gets too far forward and my seat ends up flopping down in the saddle. It is a balance between too little and too much.

                        Happy riding!
                        Makes sense! The problem gets worse as I tire out, so next time I will try out your tip!

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #72
                          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                          Really good to hear you had fun!

                          The muscle memory will come back with some saddle time to build up those muscles you never use except on a horse. You might try some exercises at home, but honestly I've found that just riding builds up riding muscles and balance. Also the body core can be part of tipping forward and leg going back. It's always interesting biomechanically because very often a position issue that looks like it is say leg or heel or even hand is driven by something going on with abs or hips or pelvis.
                          I agree! Yoga has been helpful as I am very stiff. My work is REALLY physical. Strength training is not needed since I lift 80 or more pounds dozens of times a day. I get my walking in since my normal day is over 15,000 steps. I do need to do more abdominal work since my Chiro has gotten my back in order. I think I just need to ride more....so you are right, Yes! That's it, I NEED to ride more.

                          I am considering moving over to one of my saddles with a little knee roll, rode yesterday in Courbette Futura close contact ( I know old school, not cool) but it is like my comfy old slippers. I have a Courbette Stylist with a light knee roll and I used that more for jumpers, so the leather stays deeper in the flap. I hate to see what Courbette has become in the since the sellout. Mine were all made in the late 80's early 90"s. Also, I could go all in to old age and use my Wychanger Barton, which is like sitting on a sofa. It is the only one of my saddles that has any padding in the seat, The WY was great for long trail rides and hunter paces but not so much for position as it sets you back in more defensive position. That is proof I come from a different era, I like my saddles with a super narrow twist, all the extra padding and blocks feel weird and make my leg do worse things than just slip back. I am also thinking about adding my jointed stirrups ( clunky but help the knee pain) and ordering the Millbrook wide stirrup leathers from Gary Mundy. I am thinking that they may stabilize my leg enough to build muscle correctly.

                          So in between ogling horse ads, (really nice 16.2 Paint listed today) and being pleasantly surprised about my lack of muscle soreness today, I am trying to make a plan to get the knee pain under control. That is the real worry, the knee pain woke me up about 3 am and has been aggravating all day.

                          So I can say as of 24 hours post lesson, I am hooked again. I did go out to let the boys out after feeding and informed them that if " sprinkles are for winners, then cookies are for riding horses" .Needless to say the girls got cookies, they are girls and they are old, so old girls deserve horse cookies. Boys not so much....

                          Comment


                            #73
                            Happy to hear that it went well. I grew up riding in a Crosby Equilibrium with no knee roll and just a small banana knee block so I know what you mean about saddles with all the padding. The Crosby was fairly flat, very close contact, and other than that tiny block had basically no padding, and had a pretty narrow twist. There are more modern saddles that have the narrow twist and the same feel as those old saddles and are usually more supportive and more comfortable for both horse and rider than the old ones, but they are the higher end ones. Or at least that's what I've found. You won't get the same feel in an HDR or a Collegiate. I had a Bates jump that had a pretty narrow twist and a close feel. It had removable blocks, so I never used them, but it did have a knee roll. It was an older Bates, so it was already kinda broken in when I got it. I tried a new one a couple years ago and did not love the leather. Now I have a totally different saddle for a wide horse with a wide tree and I do not love the twist. Hip pain. I also tried a Stubben Edelweiss NT that I really liked, but horse liked a different tree more...

                            Comment


                              #74
                              I am another who rides in old saddles. I never thought about it until my instructor said something.

                              I considered it then thought about all the riders who rode to Grand Prix decades ago, so no new saddle is necessary to me.
                              It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #75
                                I am always open to another saddle, more comfort or more stability is not a bad thing. I actually did some saddle shopping today and I can say I found a couple that were okay, did find a Bates that was nice, cwd that was okay. I did sit in a Childeric that felt really nice. Of course none of them fit, either had to ordered with a longer flap, bigger seat, etc. The problem is that none of them were felt like I had the contact that I have with my old tried and true friends.

                                I did pick up some new stuff, girth, pad, saddle carrier that does look like it been through the wars and a helmet carrier to match.

                                Driving back with the purchases I had another thought, those saddles were bought new and broken in by a me at the top of my game, when I actually could ride. So why on earth would I want to break in a new saddle in my current crappy riding state or ride in a saddle that is broken in by someone who is not built like me or had bad habits. Back in the show days, we used to make $$ riding in the new saddles clients bought and hated. Get 20 or so rides on them at $5 per and we had fun money for nothing more than a few callouses for our callouses. They rode in correctly broken in saddles that did not blister the amateur hindparts. Everyone was happy. So I think I will just rattle along with my old cowhides.

                                Comment


                                  #76
                                  Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                                  Happy to hear that it went well. I grew up riding in a Crosby Equilibrium with no knee roll and just a small banana knee block so I know what you mean about saddles with all the padding. The Crosby was fairly flat, very close contact, and other than that tiny block had basically no padding, and had a pretty narrow twist. There are more modern saddles that have the narrow twist and the same feel as those old saddles and are usually more supportive and more comfortable for both horse and rider than the old ones, but they are the higher end ones. Or at least that's what I've found. You won't get the same feel in an HDR or a Collegiate. I had a Bates jump that had a pretty narrow twist and a close feel. It had removable blocks, so I never used them, but it did have a knee roll. It was an older Bates, so it was already kinda broken in when I got it. I tried a new one a couple years ago and did not love the leather. Now I have a totally different saddle for a wide horse with a wide tree and I do not love the twist. Hip pain. I also tried a Stubben Edelweiss NT that I really liked, but horse liked a different tree more...
                                  I am using an old Stubben Roxane that seems to fit most horses I ride now with older backs.
                                  It also fits me very well and it helps horses when the rider is not fighting a badly fitting saddle.

                                  Some older saddles were like they were because they fit well, having been tried for decades.

                                  Such old saddles would still be good for re-riders, as long as they fit horse and rider.

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #77
                                    Well second lesson under my belt and all went pretty well. I went on an impromptu trail ride with the little girl whose lesson was ending as mine started. Leaving the arena was panic inducing but even though we met a little herd of deer, I survived. I actually got to do more trotting this time. Tried the canter, had some knee pain so did not do much on that, but still doing pretty good! A little saddle tite on my newly dyed saddle and time will tell.

                                    So now I am horse shopping. I looked at one that was a good and not good so I decided to pass. I have feelers out on another, a hunter bred red appendix mare, who is moving cattle in a feed lot currently. She will require a trip to try but I have family near where she is. Thanks for all the support everyone it means a lot!

                                    Comment


                                      #78
                                      These are such happy updates. Thank you for sharing your joy !

                                      Comment


                                        #79
                                        You are all my people!

                                        Add me to the Middle-Aged Tentative Re-Riders club (aka MATRR — as in “What’s the matter?” “Oh, I had a riding lesson three days ago and still can’t move without hurting.”)

                                        Some days, I feel like I’m 17 again and happy to agree with whatever foolishness the trainer suggests. And other days, I’m old, nonbouncy, and acutely aware of how far away the ground is.

                                        But it is so. much. fun. being back in the saddle, even if I’ve been out of the horse world so long I feel like Rip van Winkle. Having a happy place, especially these days, just feels so good. I’m glad I finally got myself back here, and I’m glad so many of you are too!

                                        Comment

                                          Original Poster

                                          #80
                                          Originally posted by AllTheCarrots View Post
                                          You are all my people!

                                          Add me to the Middle-Aged Tentative Re-Riders club (aka MATRR — as in “What’s the matter?” “Oh, I had a riding lesson three days ago and still can’t move without hurting.”)

                                          Some days, I feel like I’m 17 again and happy to agree with whatever foolishness the trainer suggests. And other days, I’m old, nonbouncy, and acutely aware of how far away the ground is.

                                          But it is so. much. fun. being back in the saddle, even if I’ve been out of the horse world so long I feel like Rip van Winkle. Having a happy place, especially these days, just feels so good. I’m glad I finally got myself back here, and I’m glad so many of you are too!
                                          Yep, day three post lesson means you don't sit around too long or you stiffen up, lol. I was getting ready to trot and thought " this is going to hurt" lol but it is worth it....

                                          Comment

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