Scary riding school story (long post)

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When I was a youngster I rode all the naughty ponies, freshly backed and those that hadn't been backed - I was tall skinny and had an ability to stay on! One pony camp, I was asked to ride a new pony in the school as she had chucked her current rider off and the rider didn't want to get back on. I got on, go chucked off, got back on, managed a couple of minutes, got chucked off, got back on did some good work, got chucked off landed on a massive rock and got knocked unconscious. Fortunately for me, it was decided that I probably didn't need to get back on, was walked back down to the yard and had ice applied to my back. Once I knew who I was, I had to go and help turn the ponies out - the same as everyone else, ride on bareback and lead as many as possible. I can just imagine if that happened now, there would have definitely been an ambulance called! I don't even think they told my parents :D

I went back to the school in recent years for some lessons and I was reminiscing with the YO, I asked her about the pony, apparently she was sold on as a non ridden companion as she was deemed to unsafe - not surprising really!
 

SEL

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I worked at a trekking centre in Australia (thankfully closed a fair few years ago) where all the riders no matter what their ability were allowed to have a gallop on the beach. I fell in love with stock saddles working there - did a cracking job of keeping riders on board.

We had to cross a river on the longer ride and it was tidal. We were under strict instructions that if the people on the shorter ride wanted to change their minds at the point the rides split then they could join the 2 hour trek and pay the extra when they got back. A lady and her two kids decided they wanted to come on the longer ride and that meant crossing the river. I'd completely forgotten it was high tide and we had two tiddlers on ponies with us - looked back and saw the ponies swimming. Smiled sweetly and shouted 'hang on tight' whilst thinking oh f***. Had to do the return trip as well that day.
 

jumbyjack

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An old fashioned school teacher style instructor had stables in the church drive, her posh shrieks could be heard throughout the church service. She then moved to her own yard with an indoor 'school' made out of old sheds and bits of wood as was the stabling. There were also wooden posts holding the roof up in the indoor and riders had to weave round them. Still, she didn't kill or injure anyone apart from the trauma from the posh yelling, dont think any 'rider's emerged from her hands though.
 
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Ah Memories of the day we got to go out on a On Road Hack - Somehow I was riding the ArabxTB cross I was never any good at getting her brakes to work - We ended up cantering up a hill towards a blind bend! So glad there were fewer cars back then (I'll swear the cars were slower too!). Twigs was great fun in the school - but life got rather hairy on a hack :D
 

HashRouge

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The OP reminds me of my experiences riding in Lisbon. This was only 6 or 7 years ago mind. I did part of my study abroad there year and remember being very excited to discover that there was an equestrian centre right next door to the university. So I made my way there in my first week or two and was astonished to discover a veritable horse city in the centre of Lisbon! The place was huge! It had a riding school based there, but was also a huge livery and competition centre. The first set of stables I popped my head into housed three stunning lusitanos, who had classical music playing in their stables from overhead speakers! To ride at the riding school you had to do some sort of complicated membership thing, but I encountered an extremely friendly and very elderly Portuguese groom who introduced me to a freelance instructor who kept his horses at livery there and offered to give me lessons. My mount was a very cute, part-bred lusitano and I rode there twice a week for the best part of three months. But goodness me every lesson was an experience! The outdoor schools were quite quiet, but I found it too hot in the Lisbon sun, so we were generally in one of the enormous indoor arenas. This meant riding with at least 20 other horse and rider combos, who were all doing their own thing in different directions. There would always be at least one horse being long-reined round the outside track doing complex dressage moves, kids charging about all over the place, and expensive lusitanos doing canter pirouettes. Add me into the mix, trying desperately to remember if they pass left to left or right to right in Portugal, as well as to understand what my instructor was saying to me (my Portuguese studies to that point had not included any equestrian vocab other than "cavalo" (horse)) and you can imagine the chaos!!
 

npage123

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I worked at a trekking centre in Australia (thankfully closed a fair few years ago) where all the riders no matter what their ability were allowed to have a gallop on the beach. I fell in love with stock saddles working there - did a cracking job of keeping riders on board.

We had to cross a river on the longer ride and it was tidal. We were under strict instructions that if the people on the shorter ride wanted to change their minds at the point the rides split then they could join the 2 hour trek and pay the extra when they got back. A lady and her two kids decided they wanted to come on the longer ride and that meant crossing the river. I'd completely forgotten it was high tide and we had two tiddlers on ponies with us - looked back and saw the ponies swimming. Smiled sweetly and shouted 'hang on tight' whilst thinking oh f***. Had to do the return trip as well that day.
Hilarious!!
 

Trinket12

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When I was a kid and first learned to ride back in the UK, I remember one lesson where for some reason the instructor was off so the RS owner's husband took the lesson (he was the yard manager I think). Anyway he thought we all needed to be 'challenged' and had us all take saddles off and ride bare back while jumping over a very small jump (one of those with the crosses at the end that could be altered high wise, the name escapes me).

Anyway, cue a line of eleven year olds doing a mix of canter and trot up to said jump and then all promptly sliding off the other end! I think one girl stayed on, because her pony was basically a sofa with legs who daintily stepped over the jump.

Thinking back on it now, probably the coolest thing I have ever done. Jump bareback with an emergency dismount ;-)
 

Bob notacob

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A long long time ago. Shortly after the dinosaurs. I went to ponyclub camp .We boys were excluded from the normal run of flat lessons show jumping, Xc . Doesnt leave much for us ,I hear you say !, Our instructor said we would have to make do with a tent pegging lance , a fearsome sabre and a world war one 4.55 revolver. So we did skill at arms for the entire week. We pulled out pegs with the lance and charged at a dummy on a pole with the sabre . Shot at balloons with the revolver (blanks ,but they still chuck out enough junk to burst a balloon at quite a distance ). Camp had started very badly for me as my own horse died of colic on day one. I was smashed to bits. A wonderful girl, a junior instructor at my home stables knew exactly what to do and sent her own pony for me .The wonderful Satin. Satin knew exactly what a broken hearted kid needed and wasnt averse to a bit of war horse . She wasnt built for speed but we pulled pegs out and skewered th dummy and Satin I am eternally sorry for singeing your ear with the blast from the revolver. I,ve had a glass or two of southern comfort and possibly that is what is bringing the tears to my eyes ,but it is Christmas so I hope you forgive me for straying off post.
 

SEL

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(one of those with the crosses at the end that could be altered high wise, the name escapes me).
That would be a cavalletti. They weighed a lot, but as well as turning them to increase the height you could put one of top of the other so they were pretty handy.

Bob - loving your PC experience. Awful to have your pony die, but it sounds like they knew exactly how to keep boys amused!!!
 

Trinket12

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That's the one!
That would be a cavalletti. They weighed a lot, but as well as turning them to increase the height you could put one of top of the other so they were pretty handy.

Bob - loving your PC experience. Awful to have your pony die, but it sounds like they knew exactly how to keep boys amused!!!
 

Red-1

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Not seen cavalletti since the 70's - presumably now considered unsafe since they don't come down when hit?
A pony at our riding school broke a leg on one. He hit it, and as he stumbled it rolled with him... so, they were banned for us.

I suspect they have been banned more widely because a rider hurt themselves on them, ours had sharp stickey up ends.
 

SEL

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A pony at our riding school broke a leg on one. He hit it, and as he stumbled it rolled with him... so, they were banned for us.

I suspect they have been banned more widely because a rider hurt themselves on them, ours had sharp stickey up ends.
We used to stack them 3 high - really dangerous thinking back now. My back these days appreciates plastic jump wings instead of lugging huge wooden contraptions around.
 
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