Brief Lesson Report

SaddlePsych'D

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In that the report is brief...not the lesson (although 30 mins did feel a long time - I am not fit at all after so many weeks with my usual exercise classes off).

I posted in the goals thread but wanted to share a bit more as I just feel so pleased by how it went. I'm really glad of posting on HHO about my previous attempt to return to riding because after my second lesson I felt so deflated - my confidence just was not there. Posters on here helped me realise that the situation/environment might not have been right for me and this persuaded me not to give up but to 'shop around' the riding schools - then Covid came!!

I was pleased to hear similar things from this instructor in terms of my being a quiet rider who sits well/good position. We built things up bit by bit, with her helping me refresh some of my horsey vocabulary! I liked that the horse I rode was not too big (I usually don't mind but in the previous RS they put me on a very tall, narrow horse and it was a bit of a shock to the system after such a long time with no riding!), and he gave more when I asked but was otherwise very chill (maybe too chill - I can work on that when I am feeling a bit braver and get to know him a bit more). I was very pleased to have a go at some canter work which I wasn't expecting to do today but was feeling good about things so when the instructor asked if I wanted to try I thought 'why not?'

No pics today but if there were it would be me, on a small piebald horse - grinning :D
 

smolmaus

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Sounds fabulous!! Amazing what a simple observation can do for your confidence after a long time off, isn't it? A new instructor said I had nice soft hands the other week and I was beaming!

I'm still looking for my perfect fit but sounds like you've found a great one!
 

Reacher

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[QUOTE="SaddlePsych'D, post: 14323637, member: 142409"

No pics today but if there were it would be me, on a small piebald horse - grinning :D[/QUOTE]

And that's why we do it!😀
 

SaddlePsych'D

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[QUOTE="SaddlePsych'D, post: 14323637, member: 142409"

No pics today but if there were it would be me, on a small piebald horse - grinning :D
And that's why we do it!😀[/QUOTE]

Yes! After my previous attempt I just felt a bit rubbish because I was hoping I'd get hooked again. Yesterday I left the yard thinking I'd have a lesson once a fortnight and by the time I got home I was feeling so good I thought 'screw it, I'm going every week!' - will get my confidence and fitness up a bit quicker, and hopefully help my mental health getting out more often.

It's so great being able to share these things on this forum, I don't really know any horsey people (hopefully that will change as it becomes possible to do more activities).

It was a little bit sad yesterday too, as it was my dad (passed away suddenly nearly 3 months ago) who I most wanted to tell about my lesson - he was the one sitting out in all weathers when I was too young to drive myself to lessons, and taking me to watch shows/events.
 

Rumtytum

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This is lovely news, I do like a happy thread 😂.
Sorry about your dad, he’d be very, very proud of you.
I’ve been stuck/stranded in Greece since February and whilst it is wonderful here I miss everything about horses, and more especially ‘my’ riding school horse SO much. I am jealous of you! So go for the weekly lessons and enjoy yourself as much as you can!
 

Reacher

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So pleased that you have found the "right" RS, there are some pretty dire ones around I'm afraid. Weekly is definitely the way to go!
Yes I’m glad you managed to find somewhere good. I had a few years without a riding horse and it was very hard finding anywhere good ( though I do live in the back of beyond with few to choose from)
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Second lesson today, thought I'd add to this thread to share progress :)

Another goal already ticked off my list (work without stirrups - walk and trot) so I need to think of some more because I wasn't expecting to pick things back up so quickly! It was a little tricky as I am possibly a bit tall for the horse (pony? I think he's 14.2. I'm 5'7") and also I've really noticed my hips get tight from last weeks' lesson. That said I stayed on and made some improvements to my leg position/use.

Also did a couple of figure eights in canter which I don't think I have ever done before. I was really pleased with the change of lead in the middle on my second attempt. Not sure if the horse was being very forgiving and just cracking on with it thus making life easy for me (although he had taken a bit of firm telling to get going at points!) or maybe it felt easy because my riding is actually not bad, I'm not sure how to tell.

Next week I think we're going to switch to a different horse. I very like this one (he seems sensible and generally does as I ask!) so I'm a bit nervous of the change, but I know it's good to get used to more than just one horse and in the long run that will probably help my confidence.
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Further lesson report (I just quite like sharing what I've been up to - I know it's not the most exciting in the grand scheme of Things with Horses, but still).

A new and bigger horse today (16.1), at first a bit scary being higher up but actually kind of preferred when I got used to it. I definitely feel I got more of a work out than the horse today (last week the other horse seemed to making life easy for me, this one less so!). My hips were much less tight today, possibly from stretching in the week but also I think those muscles getting used to working.

We did some trot poles but mostly working out where the horse's buttons were aka how firm I needed to be. He's an older horse and a bit grumpy so it took a bit for me to get past his initial face pulling. We did get some better bits of trot and his canter was quite nice (if incredibly hard work to get going, hopefully next time I'll be less tentative from the start and we could get the transition a bit smoother).

Still no pics but my partner will hopefully be coming to watch in a couple of lessons so will get some then (is it okay to share pics of RS horses on here?)
 

Rumtytum

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Great report! I’m really enjoying your updates, I can’t get to my RS and have been lesson-deprived for 5 months ☹️. I asked permission from the owner of the RS to post pics of ‘my’ horse and she was fine (that’s him in my avatar)
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Great report! I’m really enjoying your updates as I can’t get to my RS and have been lesson-deprived for 5 months ☹️. I asked permission of the owner of the RS to post pics of ‘my’ horse and she was fine.
Oh no! Is there any sign of lessons any time soon? I'm only 3 lessons back in and already would feel really deprived if I wasn't able to go!
 

Rumtytum

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We came to our house on a Greek island Feb 8 for three weeks .... then Coronavirus.... so we are still here 😳. I am really happy for and very jealous of you!
 

SaddlePsych'D

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We came to our house on a Greek island Feb 8 for three weeks .... then Coronavirus.... so we are still here 😳. I am really happy for and very jealous of you!
Oh wow, any sign of a return home or are you staying there for a while?

Happy to report another good lesson today :) Sticking with the bigger horse this time and really learning how to ride assertively (which is code for...'I am really knackered!')

We talked about me being a quiet rider which is great when the horse gets going but it's maybe not helping me get it going in the first place. I feel like a real mess when trying to get trot-canter transition but have been reassured I don't look messy - need to get some video so I can see what I'm actually doing! We did some walk to canter, which was a bit easier than the quick trot/half-trot half-canter we sometimes get. When we did get it we had a really lovely long canter right around the school - I wished it could just go on and on.

We did some Prelim test moves today, got some of the moves quite well and the paces did pick up towards the end but of course by that time I was pretty tired from getting them going! Nice to be working towards my goal of doing an online test.

Had a chat with my instructor about looking for a share later in the year and was pleasantly surprised she thought I'd be about ready for this - it's usual of me to talk down my abilities! Had a chat about the sort of share set up that I might want to think about, and other bits I could do over the next couple of months to feel more ready. I'm keeping an eye on what comes up on Facebook but I think will start looking properly in September.

Next lesson my partner is coming to watch so maybe I can treat everyone to some video of my progress so far :D:cool:
 
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SaddlePsych'D

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This is brilliant, well done. Makes such a difference when you find the right place.
It really does feel like it's all clicking back into place and then some. Not sure what I was expecting before getting back into it but certainly am beating my own expectations so far and very excited for the opportunities on offer outside of just lessons. I say 'just' lessons, I love my lessons :D
 

Cloball

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Lovely thread! I will be off in search of a new place when we're allowed as the place i was enjoying shut before Covid kicked off 😒 I fancy trying a lovely place out on the coast but it's a bit of a trek and the OH thinks I am mad! It's so important to find the right place!
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Lovely thread! I will be off in search of a new place when we're allowed as the place i was enjoying shut before Covid kicked off 😒 I fancy trying a lovely place out on the coast but it's a bit of a trek and the OH thinks I am mad! It's so important to find the right place!
It's a tricky one isn't it, balancing distance with getting the right place. I moved to Surrey while I'm doing my doctorate so feeling quite spoiled for choice but don't think it will be like that when I move back home to Bristol!
 

Rumtytum

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Oh wow, any sign of a return home or are you staying there for a while?

Happy to report another good lesson today :) Sticking with the bigger horse this time and really learning how to ride assertively (which is code for...'I am really knackered!')

We talked about me being a quiet rider which is great when the horse gets going but it's maybe not helping me get it going in the first place. I feel like a real mess when trying to get trot-canter transition but have been reassured I don't look messy - need to get some video so I can see what I'm actually doing! We did some walk to canter, which was a bit easier than the quick trot/half-trot half-canter we sometimes get. When we did get it we had a really lovely long canter right around the school - I wished it could just go on and on.

We did some Prelim test moves today, got some of the moves quite well and the paces did pick up towards the end but of course by that time I was pretty tired from getting them going! Nice to be working towards my goal of doing an online test.

Had a chat with my instructor about looking for a share later in the year and was pleasantly surprised she thought I'd be about ready for this - it's usual of me to talk down my abilities! Had a chat about the sort of share set up that I might want to think about, and other bits I could do over the next couple of months to feel more ready. I'm keeping an eye on what comes up on Facebook but I think will start looking properly in September.

Next lesson my partner is coming to watch so maybe I can treat everyone to some video of my progress so far :D:cool:
A good RS makes all the difference, I love mine!
Flights home booked, so when I finally ride it will be six months since my last lesson I anticipate pain😱😀. I’m doing Prelims too. My instructor videos me and occasionally I’ll ask her to ride for 5 mins whilst I video her. It’s really helpful to compare and see where I’m going wrong!
 

SaddlePsych'D

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A good RS makes all the difference, I love mine!
Flights home booked, so when I finally ride it will be six months since my last lesson I anticipate pain😱😀. I’m doing Prelims too. My instructor videos me and occasionally I’ll ask her to ride for 5 mins whilst I video her. It’s really helpful to compare and see where I’m going wrong!
Ah cool - you'll be back riding before you know it :)

My hips were very not happy for the first couple of lessons but getting better now, and doing some yoga to help them out a bit! I'd not thought of asking to watch my instructor ride, could be particularly helpful for the horse I'm finding a bit tricky to get going.
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Lesson number 6 (I think!) today. Wasn't feeling great as I slept really badly last night and on new horse just felt a bit wobbly. I like that my instructor doesn't put the pressure on and this added up to a good lesson, by the end of which we had done some walk, trot and canter. Still practicing some of the prelim test bits too so that was good. It's good building understanding of different horses even though I'm always a bit unsure to begin with. By the end of the lesson I was feeling much more positive!

Turned out riding the new horse today was a really good thing as she felt quite similar to the horse I went to try for sharing yesterday. I'm less used to riding horses that are responsive from the leg, but it was nice not to get off at the end of the lesson as a sweaty mess from needing to keep generating forward movement! I'm looking forward to getting more experience with this horse in my lessons, and waiting to hear back about the share. Hopefully next lesson will be feeling a bit more together and positive from the start.
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Lesson day! = best day of the week :D

I was back on the more forward going horse today and on the way home was thinking about how once upon a time I would have said 'do not put me on anything forward going!' I know I've not just ridden 'plods' the whole time but I can't remember riding anything where I could ditch my schooling whip completely.

I'm finding it easier to ride in some ways and trickier in others - for example the transition to canter kind of takes me by surprise so I end up giving a bit of a mixed message and we get fast trotting, but worked on that today and had a couple of really nice transitions. Had some excellent steering practice with lots of serpentines today, and working on keeping rhythm in trot. Lots to work on but really enjoying it and looking forward to the next one.
 

SaddlePsych'D

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Not too sure about sharing a video of me riding just yet, but here's a pic (excuse poor quality, I have no camera person so making do with stills from a video) :)

1595346102058.png
 

SaddlePsych'D

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You look great! Nice leg position from what I can see through the fence and looking up and ahead.
Thank you :D Aiming to get some less 'fency' shots next week when my partner can come and be an actual camera person, presuming he has more skills than my car dashboard!
 
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