Riding schools

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23 December 2018
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Hi
I've been riding since the beginning of the year. I've been doing a 30 min lesson a week and competed in a few shows.
I've had a bit of a rough month with riding and I'm trying to figure out how to regain my confidence.
I learnt to ride on pretty much one pony. A nice steady, small plod. Learnt to canter and jump on him and really enjoyed it. Spent time with him mucking out and prepping for shows.
Since I've improved I'm now getting given different horses. Much bigger and/or forward. A lot of them scare me. I don't feel confident to canter on most of them but I'm told I need to because it's what the group are doing in my lesson.
Last week I fell for the first time after loosing control of a new horse in canter and panicking, sending her into gallop and getting myself thrown. I was already feeling uncomfortable on her before that.

Basically I need to know what to do next to rebuild my confidence.
Friends who are at other riding schools tell me I should be getting a choice of horses and getting to ride the same ones. They also tell me that I shouldn't be getting told to do anything I don't feel confident in. Do I need a new riding school?

My current instructor thinks I just need to get on with it.

What next?
 

Teajack

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22 October 2018
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Riding different horses should bring you on, not destroy your confidence. To learn you do need to be pushed a bit sometimes, but I would certainly look for another instructor who will do this without overfacing you and can offer more constructive advice than just getting on with it ... . You are paying good money for lessons and should be enjoying them!
 

Rumtytum

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12 November 2017
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Well done you for getting so far in one year with only 30 min lesson each week! If your instructor won’t listen to your concerns and you are unhappy and your confidence is going, then move.
 

Red-1

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I would change instructors. If you don't feel safe then telling you that you have to do it, because everyone else is, is ridiculous.

Part of being a good instructor is to take a lesson with varying abilities and to comfortably stretch each person towards their goals.
 

Theocat

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You need a new instructor. It is perfectly possible to run a lesson in which different riders are doing different things.

Personally I don't think a nervous novice should be anywhere near a horse that takes off when you tense up - you need something that slows down and stops until you feel more confident.

Where do your friends ride? Perhaps try a lesson at those yards? Explain to your new instructor how you feel and what your goals are.
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
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The school that you are at sounds a little odd to me. To allow a novice to enter a "show" when they have only ridden one pony sounds as if they are more geared up o letting you think that you have progressed further than you have, rather han establishing the basics. A novice should be put on a variety off different horses, from the beginning imo (certainly as soon as off the lead rein). I don't think that a novice should get to choose who they ride, as they are not often good judges of their ability to match to a horse.
I would look for a different school, but be prepared to discover that you have not progressed as much as you have been told that you have.
 
Joined
23 December 2018
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The school that you are at sounds a little odd to me. To allow a novice to enter a "show" when they have only ridden one pony sounds as if they are more geared up o letting you think that you have progressed further than you have, rather han establishing the basics. A novice should be put on a variety off different horses, from the beginning imo (certainly as soon as off the lead rein). I don't think that a novice should get to choose who they ride, as they are not often good judges of their ability to match to a horse.
I would look for a different school, but be prepared to discover that you have not progressed as much as you have been told that you have.
I had ridden a variety of horses just the majority of my lessons were on one horse. The shows were only small local things - jumping 40cm for one class and walk and trot with a change of rein for the other. So I'm under no illusion that I'm amazing!

I don't particularly want to select the exact horse or anything - I just struggle with my confidence at times and would rather avoid forward going or skittish horses.
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
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I had ridden a variety of horses just the majority of my lessons were on one horse. The shows were only small local things - jumping 40cm for one class and walk and trot with a change of rein for the other. So I'm under no illusion that I'm amazing!

I don't particularly want to select the exact horse or anything - I just struggle with my confidence at times and would rather avoid forward going or skittish horses.
There is a big difference between forward going and skittish :) I also don't like people being taught to jump before they can reliably canter a reasonable range of horses and would question the ability of a school that did this. I would look for somewhere else
 
Joined
23 December 2018
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Thank you for the advice. I looked into other local riding schools and even booked into one, before discovering that when I fell the other week I broke my pelvis.
First fall so I had been trying to be rough and push through it but now I'm on ordered rest.
Hopefully this and the time off riding doesn't knock my confidence more
 

Red-1

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I am sorry to hear that. If it were me I would contact the original riding school so they can update their accident record to reflect the injury. I am not saying you are going to take action against them or anything, but accident records are used as a learning tool to predict future accidents (and hopefully avoid them!), so it is helpful for them to know. Also, it may make the YO reflect on the practices that occurred in this lesson.

I would rest until you are properly better, then start on a lunge lesson which can morph into a private lesson, on a quiet horse. That way you can go at your pace until you have your mojo back.
 
Joined
23 December 2018
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I am sorry to hear that. If it were me I would contact the original riding school so they can update their accident record to reflect the injury. I am not saying you are going to take action against them or anything, but accident records are used as a learning tool to predict future accidents (and hopefully avoid them!), so it is helpful for them to know. Also, it may make the YO reflect on the practices that occurred in this lesson.

I would rest until you are properly better, then start on a lunge lesson which can morph into a private lesson, on a quiet horse. That way you can go at your pace until you have your mojo back.
Thanks. I did get in touch to let them know. I'm not sure if they actually even recorded it though. No accident book or anything was filled out at the time so I can't imagine they have anything to amend.
 

teacups

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Oh, that's rubbish for you. Hope you are not in too much pain - broken pelvis sounds nasty.

Agree with red-nose that a lunge lesson will make you feel a lot safer when you first get back on again, and will help you get your confidence levels back up again. Or a private lesson on a quiet horse, if a lunge lesson is not possible. It's common for people to lose confidence after a bad fall, just in case you were wondering!

If you give your rough location, there may be a riding school in your area which people can recommend.
 

LaurenBay

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I hope you recover quickly.

In all honesty I'd move to another school. No school Horse should panic and run off with a rider. School Horses should be forgiving to riders mistakes and be able to carry on with their job regardless. Obviously a riding school will have more forward Horses, but even they should be fine with rider errors.

If the school does not have have a range of suitable Horses for you to progress on then I'd leave.
 

Shay

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A school without a formal accident book and recording policy is likely to be a "school" without insurance. For your own safety you need to change.

I'm hoping that you have popped one of the pelvic joints rather than broken the main structural arc. Having done that myself- and it is surpringingly easy to do espectially in a young person - ask your GP about something called Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction. Its a common side effect of that type of injury and will make no difference to your life whatsoever - until you become pregnant (I'm assuming you are female but if not or gender non conforming my apologies) when it becomes incredibly important! Hopefully not something you need to know about right now but worth bearing in mind for the future!
 

JFTD-WS

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Thanks. I did get in touch to let them know. I'm not sure if they actually even recorded it though. No accident book or anything was filled out at the time so I can't imagine they have anything to amend.
If they don't keep appropriate records of accidents, I'd be very surprised if they have insurance (or are compliant with its terms), and that's a real red flag. The lesson set up / lack of common sense from your instructor is also very worrying. Go and try out a few schools in the area when you're better, and hopefully you'll find a more suitable environment.
 

AdorableAlice

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24 October 2011
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Op, please check that your riding school is a licensed establishment. This can be found either on the premises or by contacting the local council.

There are two reasons for doing this, one is that you may well have an injury claim against them for negligence and secondly, if they are not licensed or compliant it needs bringing to the attention of the licensing authority who have a duty of care to the public who may be at risk. It is a condition of licence that an accident book is kept and maintained. Your injury should also be reported to the HSE.
 
Joined
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Oh, that's rubbish for you. Hope you are not in too much pain - broken pelvis sounds nasty.

Agree with red-nose that a lunge lesson will make you feel a lot safer when you first get back on again, and will help you get your confidence levels back up again. Or a private lesson on a quiet horse, if a lunge lesson is not possible. It's common for people to lose confidence after a bad fall, just in case you were wondering!

If you give your rough location, there may be a riding school in your area which people can recommend.
Luckily I've had a few recommendations from friends who ride elsewhere locally. All BHS approved which my previous one was not!
 
Joined
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I hope you recover quickly.

In all honesty I'd move to another school. No school Horse should panic and run off with a rider. School Horses should be forgiving to riders mistakes and be able to carry on with their job regardless. Obviously a riding school will have more forward Horses, but even they should be fine with rider errors.

If the school does not have have a range of suitable Horses for you to progress on then I'd leave.
I was told it was my fault but since found out the same horse did the same with another rider this week. Maybe not the best horse for beginners/novices.
 
Joined
23 December 2018
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A school without a formal accident book and recording policy is likely to be a "school" without insurance. For your own safety you need to change.

I'm hoping that you have popped one of the pelvic joints rather than broken the main structural arc. Having done that myself- and it is surpringingly easy to do espectially in a young person - ask your GP about something called Symphasis Pubis Dysfunction. Its a common side effect of that type of injury and will make no difference to your life whatsoever - until you become pregnant (I'm assuming you are female but if not or gender non conforming my apologies) when it becomes incredibly important! Hopefully not something you need to know about right now but worth bearing in mind for the future!
I don't intend on returning. Too many red flags.
It's a break through the arc unfortunately. I'm seeing ortho every 2 weeks until it heals so I'll ask about that and any other longer term impacts.
 
Joined
23 December 2018
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Thanks for the replies everyone.
At the minute it looks like it'll be a while before I'm cleared to fully weight bear and return to work let alone ride, but when I'm allowed I will be finding a new school and looking into it much more thoroughly.
I have learnt at my own peril what happens if I allow other people to push me past what I'm capable of
 

LaurenBay

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I was told it was my fault but since found out the same horse did the same with another rider this week. Maybe not the best horse for beginners/novices.
Not your fault at all. A riding school Horse should be able to carry any type of rider. They should be well balanced and know their job well. If they are teaching people to canter then the Horse should be forgiving of the riders balance, leg aids etc. and should be calm and well schooled enough to either come back to a trot or keep to a steady canter regardless of what the rider is doing. Riding school Horses are picked for their temperament and are worth their weight in gold.

If a riding school cannot provide these types of Horses then they are not worth going too, it will only ruin your confidence and as you have found our the hard way, they can be quite dangerous!

What area are you OP?
 
Joined
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Not your fault at all. A riding school Horse should be able to carry any type of rider. They should be well balanced and know their job well. If they are teaching people to canter then the Horse should be forgiving of the riders balance, leg aids etc. and should be calm and well schooled enough to either come back to a trot or keep to a steady canter regardless of what the rider is doing. Riding school Horses are picked for their temperament and are worth their weight in gold.

If a riding school cannot provide these types of Horses then they are not worth going too, it will only ruin your confidence and as you have found our the hard way, they can be quite dangerous!

What area are you OP?
I'm based in Teesside/Darlington
 
Joined
18 April 2015
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How horrid for you, and how very irresponsible of the riding school. A novice should never be put on a horse that will behave in this way if the rider makes an error. And the fact that you had told them that you were nervous makes it worse. Get yourself better and then look for a school that can offer calm and sensible horses. It is supposed to be fun, and there is nothing wrong with riding the calmer horses for a long period if that is what you enjoy.
 
Joined
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How horrid for you, and how very irresponsible of the riding school. A novice should never be put on a horse that will behave in this way if the rider makes an error. And the fact that you had told them that you were nervous makes it worse. Get yourself better and then look for a school that can offer calm and sensible horses. It is supposed to be fun, and there is nothing wrong with riding the calmer horses for a long period if that is what you enjoy.
I'm starting volunteer work with the local rda centre when I'm better, with the lovely bonus of getting to ride their calm ponies when I'm ready.
 
Joined
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Found out today that the horse involved has a few times now done the same and been removed from lessons indefinitely as a result.
Adds further insult to the fact the blame was placed solely on me (although I do blame myself partially).

Still got a long recovery to go unfortunately. This has really thrown me, physically and mentally.
Hopefully I'll stop feeling angry soon! (With them and with myself!)
 
Joined
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I'm starting volunteer work with the local rda centre when I'm better, with the lovely bonus of getting to ride their calm ponies when I'm ready.
That is a great idea - do let us know how you get on. Speaking from personal experience of having pushed myself to improve enough for a horse who was (and was always going to be) too much for me, I can say that sticking to the nice calm horses makes it what it should be - a fun and relaxing hobby. I recently 'traded down' from a horse who was a superstar, and the pro enjoyed him very much, but unfortunately as an owner I was simply terrified most of the time. Now I have a 14 year old schoolmistress and could not be happier - and I have no intention of trying to ride anything more powerful ever again! Good for you for volunteering for a very good cause, and I really hope that riding their lovely calm ponies in due course will get you back on track.
 
Joined
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Found out today that the horse involved has a few times now done the same and been removed from lessons indefinitely as a result.
Adds further insult to the fact the blame was placed solely on me (although I do blame myself partially).

Still got a long recovery to go unfortunately. This has really thrown me, physically and mentally.
Hopefully I'll stop feeling angry soon! (With them and with myself!)
I have never met you and I am angry! This was in no way your fault. They were aware of your abilities, you had expressed discomfort with the horse, and still they kept you on a horse who was clearly not a novice ride. Of course accidents can happen with horses, and any horse can have a 'one off' bad day, but this horse was not suited for teaching inexperienced riders. Try to move forward without blaming yourself.
 

BOWS28

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Found out today that the horse involved has a few times now done the same and been removed from lessons indefinitely as a result.
Adds further insult to the fact the blame was placed solely on me (although I do blame myself partially).

Still got a long recovery to go unfortunately. This has really thrown me, physically and mentally.
Hopefully I'll stop feeling angry soon! (With them and with myself!)

Please don't blame yourself!! It was not even in the slightest your fault!! I was a victim of a dodgy riding school when i was about 12. I'd jumped for about 6 months, but never anything more than basic cross poles and small up rights. I went for a lesson with this woman she put me on this little chestnut arab and set me off. She put up a fence of about 80cm, i was a beginner to the jumping world.... I told her i didn't want to jump something that big and she said 'Get on with it, he an jump this with his eyes closed'
I jumped it first time, without breathing and the horse bolted on landing. She made me do it again, he took a stride and again off he went. I was in tears at this point, but again she told me to do it again. He put in a dirt stop and i came off. Resulting in a severely bruised spine, fractured pelvis and nasty concussion. I obviously never returned but she blocked my mums number and denied all knowledge of the incident.
Go somewhere upon recommendation and don't let anyone make you do anything you know you can't do. There is nothing wrong with being pushed when you're capable but not fair to be put in danger.
 
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