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Is it wrong to not want to be a better rider?

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  • #41
    Your horse doesn't give a rat's patoot about potential. You & he sound as though you both enjoy what you're doing - trails, hunter paces, kicking back. Why not? The entire world seems on one HUGE competition kick - and to what avail? Has it made anyone a better person?

    Does anyone REALLY think the HORSE prefers being in a stall most of the time (if not ALL of the time), being taken out to go round and round, sometimes with bumps, bounced down the road to go stand in another stall, have his hair pulled, wondering why the relaxed fun person at home changed into a bundle of nerves at this noisy, bustling place?

    Ever since Bambi, we've become masters of anthropomorphism. There are about 1000 horses in FL (and a bunch more in AZ) right now who'd give their left hoof to trade places with yours.

    Carol
    www.ayliprod.com
    Equine Photography in the Northeast

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    • #42
      Certainly lessons are not required to have fun with a horse. But for myself, I have found another pair of eyes from time to time to be enormously helpful. I am a trail rider at this point, but last fall I had help doing ground work on one of my guys and wow! It was really enlightening to learn some new strategies, then apply them from the saddle. totally transformed my relationship with my horse. Absolutely we can all get lazy, pick up bad habits and working with some one else, either regularly or as needed, is great to stay on top of that (for me anyway). I watched one of my favorite cowboys working with a young horse and asked him how he learned what he was doing. He told me a) he'd done it a bunch, but b) that he "just gotten back from a great clinic..." i.e, still keeping up on his skills. I love a relaxing, down the road trail ride. But for me, it is more relaxing if I have been working with my horses,sometimes with help!! When I do not, and there are times for sure I just can't, I sure know it!

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      • #43
        I have never had a lesson. I don't want to ever take a lesson. Lessons don't always make one a better rider. I have always raised/trained my own riding horses and they are safe , sane and fun to work with. I showed many years ago and have no desire to do that again( i did well too). I ride for enjoyment, relaxation and just like being with my horses. That is enough. So many people need to be focused on something, or a goal to work for to make riding fun or worthwhile, but I never have. I say to each his own. We all ride or have horses for different reasons.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by cnvh View Post
          Actually, I think my guilt isn't so much for ME, but I feel like I'm sometimes doing my horse a disservice... I feel like he'd have enormous potential with a rider who actually gave a crap, lol... Mostly because he's so brave, there are days when I feel like I don't deserve him. And I wonder where he'd be if he had a rider who actually TRIED...

          Case in point... Today, at the end of our ride, I pointed him at a ditch to jump. Wasn't a huge ditch, but a ditch nonetheless, and he hasn't been asked to jump a ditch in at least 4 years... Heck, he's only schooled ditches once before anyway. And he just hopped over it like he couldn't have cared less.

          All this wasted potential!! I feel like I'm constantly apologizing for him and to him... But them again, his idea of a perfect day is probably one where he gets to hang out in the pasture all day and never has to even SEE a saddle, lol...
          Your horse doesn't care. Feed him, love him and ride him. He's happy just being a horse. He has no idea of his potentil and you have no reason to feel guilty.
          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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          • #45
            Downhill slide to 40?! Egads!!! It's all lost now. Nope. No reason to try to improve or develop a skill set that you might not have had if you are that stinkin old.

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            • #46
              I am in my sixth decade, riding for more than 50 years. I still learn something new every ride, but it is my horse teaching me and/or my trying to refine my cues (which come from improving my position and seat) that help me learn the most. I know some good instructors, if I felt the need to have a lesson, but so far have not felt the need. Luckily I had excellent instruction growing up and in my twenties, so at least know what it is that I am supposed to do.

              OTOH, the last time I had an actual 'lesson' with someone - in Kansas by the way - who had been recommended as being good, I was appalled to discover I was at least 3 times more knowledgeable than she and that it was a waste of my time and money.
              Last edited by sdlbredfan; Jan. 29, 2013, 11:47 PM. Reason: typo
              Jeanie
              RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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              • #47
                Originally posted by cnvh View Post
                I have countless friends who, for whatever reason, don't ever set foot outside an arena... And very few of the arena riders seem to enjoy riding. Either the footing is NQR, or their horse spooks at a blowing leaf, etc., etc. Meanwhile, we head out to the woods, and some of them look at me like I have two heads: "It's muddy! It's windy! Aren't you worried about X-Y-Z??"

                Um, no???

                Honestly, I think there need to be more TRAIL instructors, lol... Some days I wish I could bottle and sell the simple pleasure of just heading out for a ride without an agenda. Seriously, I don't understand why people don't do it more often.... It's like the guilt of eating cake for 3 meals a day, lol...
                well, I don't like cake that much....but bacon? hmmmmmmmmmm

                Alas.
                'Nur der Himmel, Geliebte, ist gross genug, Dein Zelt zu sein, wenn du reitest'

                Only the sky, my Dear, is big enough to be your tent when you ride.
                Rudolf G. Binding.

                The horse does not give a hoot if you win a ribbon.
                You as rider deserve a good horse under the saddle.

                It's like a character in an anime series said it (albeit about the online video game the show was about): play - ride the way you enjoy it.
                I never enjoyed riding in the arena much. I am much to curious to see what lies around the next bend. I enjoy too much the vistas you can't gt from ground level.
                After 5 years, you and your horse are about like an old married couple: You know what the other thinks before he says it. Sure, things sneak up, but unless things go gravely astray, why take a lesson?
                Sometimes good is good enough.
                No guilt. It's not like passing carrot cake off as vegetable!

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                • #48
                  "Is it wrong to not want to be a better rider" -- re-reading your title I'd say it IS wrong not to want to get better communication with your horse, but it in no way includes taking more lessons which are, after all, mainly about winning the next ribbon, or making the next sale.

                  You said yourself that after five years you now know his zigs and his zags,
                  meaning you and he have got a better relationship going, and that as time goes on I'm sure you will get more and more fine-tuned together, using less and less in the form of aids, making your horse better and better to ride - THAT is getting to be a better rider. Every different horse we ride makes teaches us something. I work really hard when out on the trails to have my horse listening well and using the smallest seat aids to achieve the tasks I set up for her.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                    "Is it wrong to not want to be a better rider" -- re-reading your title I'd say it IS wrong not to want to get better communication with your horse, but it in no way includes taking more lessons which are, after all, mainly about winning the next ribbon, or making the next sale.

                    You said yourself that after five years you now know his zigs and his zags,
                    meaning you and he have got a better relationship going, and that as time goes on I'm sure you will get more and more fine-tuned together, using less and less in the form of aids, making your horse better and better to ride - THAT is getting to be a better rider. Every different horse we ride makes teaches us something. I work really hard when out on the trails to have my horse listening well and using the smallest seat aids to achieve the tasks I set up for her.
                    Good point, you're exactly right. Trying new things and expanding our horizons means "getting better" for both of us, which is a lot of fun. (Speaking of which, I can't wait until I have a trailer-- I'm gonna haul him to my parents' farm so we can work cows. Yeehaw!)
                    *friend of bar.ka

                    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                      "Is it wrong to not want to be a better rider" -- re-reading your title I'd say it IS wrong not to want to get better communication with your horse, but it in no way includes taking more lessons which are, after all, mainly about winning the next ribbon, or making the next sale.
                      See, to me, lessons are not about that at all. I just want to become a better rider and a better horse person for my horse's sake and for my own education as a horseman. I may do a few schooling shows every year, but also do a lot of trail riding.
                      I take lessons to get feedback, get new ideas, and yes, new motivation to be "a better rider."
                      Not saying that there is anything wrong with never taking lessons, but as someone that rides by myself 90% of the times, having a set of educated eyes on the ground is invaluable.
                      For example, years and years ago, I worked at a dude ranch as a wrangler. I would say that I was one of the best riders there, having ridden since I was a child (while others were beginners/intermediates.) Yet unbeknownst to me over the course of the summer I developed a horrible chair seat. I was not aware of it because it felt just fine when I rode, but pictures showed otherwise. Muscle memory is a funny thing and I am now careful not to go too long without checking in with a trusted professional (or very knowledgeable friend.)
                      "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

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