Equestrian Blogs > Skyheart02's blogs > Learning horse riding

Learning horse riding

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I have started to learn to ride a horse last year and there isn't much progress and I was rather disappointed. It is an uphill task to do that. Do you have any tips/advice? Post your tips/advice here. Thanks.
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Hi Horsey Pals, Time really flies since I started on my riding learning journal in 2006. Taking quite regular lessons now since 2010 coz of the new riding facilities built for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. Horseriding is getting popular here. I rejoice but it also means I will have longer wait to my next lesson. My riding skill has improved slightly and am a bit more confident after 2 falls in the past two sessions. Reading thru the blog again reminded me of enjoying every moment with the horse and relax and keep on correcting the mistakes by practicing again and again to "I got it". Thanks for your encouragement and tips/advice. Cheers!
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Sounds as if your trainer might not be the right one for you or perhaps you need a different system. With the right system, most beginner riders after 15 to 20 lessons can be walking, trotting, cantering and jumping 2 1/2 feet in and outside of a ring (on a schooled horse).

I suggest looking for a trainer who understands Forward Riding - NOT Forward Seat or Hunt Seat - BIG difference. Try contacting the Affiliated National Riding Commission to see if there are any ANRC rated instructors in your area.
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Hi, It sounds like you are squeezing the horse with your knees and leaning to far forward. Try relaxing your leg from hip to knee and try not to push your feet in the stirrups, that is what causes your feet to slip. Also, try lengthening your stirrups one hole down (The iron should rest against your ankle when your foot is out of the stirrups. This will make you stretch your leg a little and relax it too. Don't give up, keep trying. It is not an easy sport to learn. :0)
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Hi ve, I agreed. I am so much comfortable without the stirup. Once the stirups are put on, I have a hard time keeping them in tact as they tend to slip out of my front foot, resulting to heels up instead of down :(
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the best advice i had when i was younger to get used to sitting trot etc take ur feet out of the stirrups and u will find that u use ur legs more and point ur heels hang stirrups over saddle so not bashing on horses side
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Hi horse lovers/experts,

I have made slight progress esp. on feeling the leg movement of the horses. I have problem getting my heels down on sitting trot and cantering. Do you have any advices for keeping heel down all the times?
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Hi sounds like your trainer has kind of over matched you with that horse. You should get a calmer horse and learn to ride and enjoy it before you have to worry about controlling the horse. Lots of good ones around...most trainers keep that kind of horse around for studends just starting...if you lose your confidence you'll never enjoy riding or stay relaxed enough to progress.
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It is hard work, but hopefully it?s all worth it for you. One of the things my instructor use to tell me was to think like a rubber band not a paper clip. If you just sit on your horse and make like a paper clip you?re going to bend and move like one, which isn?t much. When the horse goes left suddenly you?re going to stay right where you were and end up falling off. However, if you wrap around your horse deep and long and make like a rubber band your going to move with your horse when they make a sudden turn. I know it sounds funny, but it helped me be more loose and relaxed and follow the horse?s movements better.
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Hi Angel,

Thanks for your advice. I did get on the horse again and was praying that he won't throw me out the second time. He didn't. It is great to know helpful people like you. Learning riding is really hard work and sheer determination ;p
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Skyheart02,

DID YOU GET BACK ON?? I can?t stress enough how important it is to just get back on after a spill; even if it is just getting on, walking in a circle and dismounting.

Just because the horse is an ex-champion doesn?t mean he can?t get hurt or have a moody moment. It sounds like something was bothering him (i.e. the saddle could be pinching, or there may have been something scary at that spot in the ring). I agree with what everyone said about riding bareback, but you should never actually ride bareback; always use a pad. Our seat bones are very pointy and hard and often cause painful spots on the horses unprotected back. I highly, highly recommend that you read Sally Swift?s Centered Riding. She is amazing on making things very clear (she writes like you would imagine she talks) and she makes perfect sense (I think you will find yourself nodding while you read).

Also, the replies you got are all good ones, but please be careful? I have read some very terrible suggestions on other Blogs and all we need is for someone else to get bad information. Keep up the Riding!!
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In my last riding lesson, some unusual incidents happened which I was extremely surprised. The horse, which was an ex-champion, flinged and throwed the learner (which was me) off his back at 9.30am+ and did that to another small girl at 11:20am+. Then the horse cantered and also jumped for a few rounds. The trainer observed and commented that it happened at the same spot. Anyone can explain why? Btw, this was my first fall and was rather frightened by the horse's vigorously action in the second round. Thank God that both of us were unhurt. Why did he do that?
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Hi Skyheart02, if you have instruction, see if your instructor will teach you in the round yard, you really could do with some work on the lunge without stirrups in walk and trot using exercises without holding onto the reins, this will help you with your balance issues, once you start to develop a deeper seat and become more supple through the hips and lower back you will find it all starts to fit into place, patience is needed and also lots of hours in the saddle or on the horses back. Good luck
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I still ride bareback, its nice to not have to fool with a saddle sometimes, but unfortunatly my horses are tall and I'm only 5'2" so I got to have a boost or a truck, hill, table whatever I can find. :) cowgirl up!!!!
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Hi gyddieupquirt,
Like your cowboy look. Very sporting. You are tough lady to ride bareback when you were so young!!!

Hi Riders,
I have problem keeping my heel down on rising and sitting trot and sitting deep in the saddle. Any tips to share??? Can't figure out how to.
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We I was a kid I was put on a horse bareback to learn balance no reins no nothing you learn to feel horse and move with him, trotting was the worst, loping was actually easy. i'm not going to say I didn't fall off the first few times(work in the sand)you just get back on and try again, you'll get it. You must learn to balance without stirrups,balance is what makes you a strong and confident rider. Good Luck!
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Hi pdfma,

Thanks. That's what I intend to do - riding bareback. Riding should be enjoyable and not stressful. I am too eager to achieve the result and have, thus, unrealistic goal. Your advice is a great comfort for me. Thanks : )
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Hello Sky, First and foremost just ENJOY, don't be in a big hurry to learn or you'll lose the joy of riding all together. Learning to ride bareback will greatly enhance your balance. If you can have someone lunge you in an enclosed area it will free your mind to allow your body to "feel" the horses movements. YOur support comes from your legs and your seat. Push your heels down. Get comfortable at each gate before progressing to the next. And KEEP SMILING it will come.
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I read that to learn balancing, the new rider will learn to sit deep(without the saddle) on horseback and let the legs danggle. My question is where is the support without the stirups. Is it used only for walking and not trotting? I am curious to know. Thanks.
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I'm not sure if you own your own horse,but if you are lucky enough to ride a well trained horse consecutively for a few lessons, you may improve both in catching your sense of balance and also have a boosts in confidence; I was riding in Argentina when I lived there last year, (after not having had a horse for more than 15 years), but once i found a horse that fit me, I was jumping within three months; (only rode English but never jumped before that). I hope you will continue to love riding. When you have time, maybe consider riding more than once a week for a few consecutive weeks. Best of luck, Victoria