Advice for a beginner!

kat2290

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I've recently started having riding lessons at a local RS, so far I've had three - tomorrow will be my fourth. I'm really enjoying them and as of next week I'll be having two lessons a week.

Im struggling a bit with rising trot, I managed to get the hang of it a bit better in the lesson but I find when I do it my legs and arms are all over the place! I don't have brilliant coordination so I'm finding when I'm focused on getting the up down up down right my steering goes out the window, and vise versa. Is this a normal beginners phase which I will pass through with a bit more practise?

Tips/advice/ideas all welcome :)
 

HaffiesRock

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You will get there. One lesson it will just click!

I have been riding for 25 years, and only last week perfected sitting trot on my pony! Could you ask the instructor if you could be put on the lunge? That way you can work on feeling the rise without worrying about steering? Once you cracked it then you can practice the steering.

Its perfectly normal and will come with practice. Good luck and welcome to the crazy world of horses! xx
 

kat2290

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I was on the lunge on the 2nd lesson and I got a much better feel for it then, by the end of the lesson I had improved a lot. So 3rd lesson we decided to combine trotting a steering, definitely a lot better than when I tried first time around but still struggling to get the pony going where I wanted it to and to also maintain the trot/kick her on, whilst still rising and sitting. I'm hoping I have something of an epiphany in tomorrow's lesson as the last one was only yesterday so it should all still be fresh in my mind...should be... :D
 

Taffieboy1

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I feel for you really I do, we have all been exactly where you are right now.
My partner is currently at the same place with it too.
It really just comes one day, dunno why or how, but believe me it will
honestly, you will be trying to do it & all of a sudden you be in rythm an balance,
keep it up, its worth it :)
 

daydreamer

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Hi,

Most beginners are all over the place for a bit. I would expect beginners to be holding the front of the saddle/neckstrap/mane to avoid interfering with the horse's mouth so if your arms are moving more than they should eventually it doesn't matter too much.

Try to think of an iron bar between your knees to hold them in place (but don't squeeze them together!) and you are pivoting up and over that bar. Some people find thinking of bringing the hips up and forwards helpful. Try and make sure your lower leg doesn't swing too far forward as this makes rising harder. I sometimes think rising takes more effort than beginners expect, once you are in balance and rhythm it suddenly becomes much easier! Some lunge lessons so you can just concentrate on yourself would definitely help.

Hope you keep enjoying the lessons :)
 

OscarandPenny

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Try and relax too, if you over think the movement it becomes harder to rise. A neck strap was my saviour when learning nearly 17 years ago and still is on occasion. Have fun and enjoy your lessons, it will just happen one day and when it does your grin won't budge for weeks :D
 

Tammytoo

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The more you do it the better you will get! Remember, it takes a while for your core strength to build up and the stronger it gets the more easily you will be able to balance and regain control of your arms and legs. Lunge lessons are a very good idea, but I would wait until your strength and balance are a bit better.

"Rome wasn't built in a day"

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

kat2290

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Just back from today's lesson, had a brill time!

Was riding a different horse this time and the difference was amazing, much more responsive and up for it. I actually felt like I was able to steer and that when I asked him to do things he was listening to me rather than just doing his own thing.

Got the rising trot nailed! Well, nailed in so much that I'm not forgetting how to do it between lessons :eek:

Can't wait for Tuesdays lessons now...god this is an addictive hobby!
:D
 

TrasaM

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Well done. It does help if the horse makes an effort and stays in trot. It will all fall into place at least it did with me. Ive been riding about two years now and I clearly remember my first attempths at rising trot:eek:
It's not easy but yes, addictive, and I'm loving it.
 

Littlelegs

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Really I think at this stage the instructor should be letting you concentrate on you, not what the horse is doing. And I think its mega important to ride one that will stay in the same steady rythym whilst you get the hang of it. It's hard to be specific without seeing you. But generally beginners try to rise up & down with their legs & shoulders. Think of it as being just your pelvis you are moving backwards & forwards with the horses stride. If you keep your posture upright & straight, then your shoulders will move in line with your hips, but your lower leg should remain stiller. Other exercise I like when learning to rise is letting upper arms hang straight down past the hips. Its harder for the rider to tip forwards/backwards. Easier to keep arms still. And most importantly teaches you to ride without relying on your hands (& the reins) for balance.
 

smokey

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Really I think at this stage the instructor should be letting you concentrate on you, not what the horse is doing. And I think its mega important to ride one that will stay in the same steady rythym whilst you get the hang of it. It's hard to be specific without seeing you. But generally beginners try to rise up & down with their legs & shoulders. Think of it as being just your pelvis you are moving backwards & forwards with the horses stride. If you keep your posture upright & straight, then your shoulders will move in line with your hips, but your lower leg should remain stiller. Other exercise I like when learning to rise is letting upper arms hang straight down past the hips. Its harder for the rider to tip forwards/backwards. Easier to keep arms still. And most importantly teaches you to ride without relying on your hands (& the reins) for balance.
Littlelegs, can you come and give me lessons? :D I still struggle to rise and steer in the school. I do have a very lazy horse though, and spend all my energy trying to keep her going forwards! OP, glad you are enjoying your new passion so much, horses are much more than a hobby!:)
 

kat2290

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Thanks everyone!

Littlelegs, I totally agree about the horses but I'm hoping I'll be able to keep using the one I was on yesterday from now on. He was much better and I felt like I was rising with my pelvis, rather than my legs (which I was definitely doing in previous lessons.)

He did still need a bit of encouraging to maintain trot though and I don't seem to be able to squeeze/nudge with the legs whilst still maintaining a rising trot, my rhythm just goes completely and I end up bouncing for a couple of strides. Tips greatfully received :D
 

TrasaM

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Kat. It's worth keeping a diary of your progress after each lesson. It will make it easier to keep track of your improvements. It might be worth doing some strengthening exercises or your lower leg. This will help with your being able to keep the horse going forward without loosing your rhythm or balance.
 

Littlelegs

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Op- instead of a biggish nudge or squeeze every few strides, once you are trotting use a tiny squeeze every stride to maintain the trot, rather than waiting till the horse slows. Much easier to keep your position with, & hopefully will keep horse in a steadier rythym too. And although its not really correct or something I think you should do permanently, using your voice in an upbeat tone & saying 'trot on' in a constant rythym will help. So eg you rise on the 'trot' sit on the 'on' or vice versa.
Smokey, you wouldn't like me really, I take away stirrups far too often for anyone over 16 to like me!
 

kat2290

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Thanks littlelegs I will try that on tues :)

TrasaM - great suggestion, I think I'll do that even if its just a quick jot down of what we did in each lesson.
 

Littlelegs

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Meant to add, try & get someone to film you, even if its just for 5 mins. When you watch it back, it often helps to bring home anything you are doing wrong, & makes sense of anything an instructor might be saying.
 

smokey

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Op- instead of a biggish nudge or squeeze every few strides, once you are trotting use a tiny squeeze every stride to maintain the trot, rather than waiting till the horse slows. Much easier to keep your position with, & hopefully will keep horse in a steadier rythym too. And although its not really correct or something I think you should do permanently, using your voice in an upbeat tone & saying 'trot on' in a constant rythym will help. So eg you rise on the 'trot' sit on the 'on' or vice versa.
Smokey, you wouldn't like me really, I take away stirrups far too often for anyone over 16 to like me!
Ok, I'll pass! Will try out your advise to OP though! :D
 

Tabula Rasa

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Totally normal for beginners!
I remember learning to ride and the exact same thing happening. Your thinking 'up,down,up,down' then you forget to steer and veer off. Then your heels go up and your arms fly all over the place and hands seem to appear almost in your face!!
Hahahaha! Good times! :)

But seriously do NOT worry at all. For starters you will get used to it. You will begin to feel the trot and rather than rise you move up with the horses trot and its rises you. If you get me?
For second it takes a while for your strength and muscles to build up. 2 lessons a week will definitely make a difference, you'll see it becoming more natural quicker.

But don't over think everything, you will get there eventually! Remember you are a beginner, smile and laugh at yourself and have fun!
Let us know how you get on! :D

Tabula Rasa x
 

kat2290

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Haha you summed it up exactly!!

Don't worry I do a lot of laughing at myself! Infact that is part of the problem as I start laughing and then it all goes to pot! Need to get serious :rolleyes:
 
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I learned on the lunge so I got the bottom half sorted first, holding on to the martingale, then got balance by doing rising trot without holding on to anything then learned how to put it all together! As people have said, it will just click and all of a sudden you'll be able to do it! Xx
 

Tabula Rasa

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No no no!
Not serious, professional.
During your attempts at trotting or learning in general be profession and concentrate on what you want to achieve.
But after you do something / walking around / after your lesson just laugh! :)
It keeps you sane and you will love it much more!

It's one of the most addictive, rewarding and fun sports! So make it your own

Tabula Rasa x
 
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