Thinking About Horse Riding Lessons

Kleio

Member
Mar 30, 2011
308
1
Long story: I initially joined TPF because I am a huge Hermes scarves fan. After learning more about the brand, my love has expanded to include all things Hermes, not just their scarves. How deep is my love? Well, let's see, because Hermes initially started out as a harness and saddlery company, I now find myself very interested in possibly taking horse riding lessons. It also helps that I moved out to what I like to jokingly refer to as the "boondocks", with, oh, probably a million or so farms within easy driving distance of me.

However, being a complete ignorant regarding these sorts of things, I have absolutely no idea at all where to start. I guess I would like to learn how to ride a horse "properly" and elegantly, rather than sitting like a sack of potatoes on a horse's back, which thus far has been my sole "experience". I don't plan on taking things as far as showmanship, but it could be cool to learn how to leap obstacles with a horse as well. But at the end of the day, I'd settle for simply learning how to ride well.

So to our experienced riders, please deluge me with any knowledge that you think I might find the least bit helpful! And even if you don't think it's helpful - please share anyway! I'm probably even greener and wetter behind the ears than you think! :biggrin: Thanks in advance!
 

PlaneGGirl

O.G.
Jul 9, 2010
127
25
That is awesome you are considering getting into riding! I have taught quite a few beginners and it is so fun to see people progress. My suggestion would be to visit potential lesson stables to get a feel for the atmosphere. Some things you want to observe are: is the stable clean, horses look happy, friendly people? The number one thing you want to check out is is the instructor conducting lessons in a positive, professional manner and running a SAFE operation. A little educating yourself before visiting stables will help. A wonderful book to read to get initiated would be the United States Pony Club Manual for D Level Riders. It is written for youngsters so is simple and easy to read, but will provide you with a wealth of knowledge of things to be aware of and look for when looking for a place to take lessons. Also, investing in a few things will help you be safe and comfortable riding. Number one is a well fitted helmet, and boots with a heel. Gloves, paddock boots, and riding pants are things you can add.
Sorry for prattling on, I just love teaching people about riding. Best of luck and have fun!
 

Kleio

Member
Mar 30, 2011
308
1
That is awesome you are considering getting into riding! I have taught quite a few beginners and it is so fun to see people progress. My suggestion would be to visit potential lesson stables to get a feel for the atmosphere. Some things you want to observe are: is the stable clean, horses look happy, friendly people? The number one thing you want to check out is is the instructor conducting lessons in a positive, professional manner and running a SAFE operation. A little educating yourself before visiting stables will help. A wonderful book to read to get initiated would be the United States Pony Club Manual for D Level Riders. It is written for youngsters so is simple and easy to read, but will provide you with a wealth of knowledge of things to be aware of and look for when looking for a place to take lessons. Also, investing in a few things will help you be safe and comfortable riding. Number one is a well fitted helmet, and boots with a heel. Gloves, paddock boots, and riding pants are things you can add.
Sorry for prattling on, I just love teaching people about riding. Best of luck and have fun!

Thanks so much for the wonderful advice, PlaneGGirl! You're not prattling at all! :smile: I will definitely check out the book that you suggested. I would have searched for reading material myself but I just didn't know where to start, so your suggestion is much appreciated!

In your opinion, what is progress generally like for the "typical" student? I know it differs a lot from person to person, but if possible, I'd like just a general idea of where I might expect to find myself if I keep at this relatively steadily.

Thanks as always, PlaneGGirl!
 

PlaneGGirl

O.G.
Jul 9, 2010
127
25
It does vary rider to rider, but from the beginning to do 6-10 lessons on the longe line, to learn the correct position and balance, get comfortable with posting the trot and a little canter. I've found that after those basics, riding twice a week shoots the learning curve up quite a bit. So, after a year, with a good school horse, to be able to walk trot canter and jump small fences, and ride out in the open would be very good progress.

There are a variety of disciplines, Hunters/Jumpers, Dressage, Eventing, and many more! This weekend the biggest Eventing competition in the US is taking place if you want to check it out: www.rk3de.org
 

lilian

Member
Jan 3, 2006
1,207
5
Totally go for it! You mentioned you were in a rural area..are there any colleges around you? A lot of colleges with equestrian teams also have a lesson program that is open to both students/nonstudents. That might be a good place to start taking lessons.
 

Kleio

Member
Mar 30, 2011
308
1
Thank you to everyone who has offered advice and encouragement! You guys are wonderful! :smile:

I am taking this slowly, so proper lessons may not start for a while, but I do want to let everyone know that I am very serious about becoming a decent horsewoman! (Becoming a "good" horsewoman might be a bit too much to ask for. ;)

Does anyone have any age-specific advice for someone who is starting out on this adventure as a grown woman? Thank you as always!
 

lizavet8

"Ruffian"
O.G.
May 3, 2007
1,223
79
Don't think being a "good" horsewoman is too much to ask for! You may surprise yourself! I've been riding for a long time, but started running seriously at the advanced age of 42 (now 44,) and I have to say....things are a little harder to start than they used to be! Just take it slow, and keep lots of ibuprofen around.
 

SunglassLove

Troublemaker!
O.G.
Jan 26, 2009
2,605
28
You will love it! I always joke that paying for my horse is much cheaper than therapy sessions. :smile:

OP, if you can, start out with proper lessons. Not only will you learn how to safely work around horses, thus raising your confidence around them, they will start you out on safe, forgiving horses so that you only have to work on you. Even taking one lesson every other week is a good start.

I know plenty of grown women that started riding... many of them ride during the day while the kids are at school and then go out to lunch after. :smile: Barns are VERY sociable places, you'll meet lots of people!
 

Lulugurl2006

*sigh*
Jan 24, 2011
984
0
I think this is a great idea. And I would agree with a few of the posters that you should go visit some stables, and look them over, get a "vibe" from the place. Is it clean, happy horses, is the instructor insured. Other things to look into is how much you want to spend as you will most likely need/want your own helmet, boots,etc. I would also talk to any local tack stores as they will hopefully have lots of advice and information about local stables, etc.

I have been riding for over 10 years and owned my own horse for about 5. It is the best thing I have ever done, plus its cheaper than therapy! :roflmfao:

Good luck!

Long story: I initially joined TPF because I am a huge Hermes scarves fan. After learning more about the brand, my love has expanded to include all things Hermes, not just their scarves. How deep is my love? Well, let's see, because Hermes initially started out as a harness and saddlery company, I now find myself very interested in possibly taking horse riding lessons. It also helps that I moved out to what I like to jokingly refer to as the "boondocks", with, oh, probably a million or so farms within easy driving distance of me.

However, being a complete ignorant regarding these sorts of things, I have absolutely no idea at all where to start. I guess I would like to learn how to ride a horse "properly" and elegantly, rather than sitting like a sack of potatoes on a horse's back, which thus far has been my sole "experience". I don't plan on taking things as far as showmanship, but it could be cool to learn how to leap obstacles with a horse as well. But at the end of the day, I'd settle for simply learning how to ride well.

So to our experienced riders, please deluge me with any knowledge that you think I might find the least bit helpful! And even if you don't think it's helpful - please share anyway! I'm probably even greener and wetter behind the ears than you think! :biggrin: Thanks in advance!
 
Top