riding lessons

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Re: riding lessons

Post by Cyndi on Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:07 pm

I am finding out that riding lessons can be really emotional and healing.

I rode a new horse today. His name is Sonny, and he's a large paint. I have been avoiding riding him because he is 'lazy' and whoever rides him has to carry a crop with them and use it quite a bit. Jason chose Sonny for me today, to help me learn to be more 'assertive'. Well, I'm happy to say that Sonny and I got along very well, and I hardly had to use the crop at all, and when I did, I didn't "whack" him with it, it was more of a tap to get his attention. This is the first time I've ridden a horse that maintained gait at the trot!! cheers He maintained a jog or a trot for so long, that I got out of rhythm with posting! That's never happened before. I did some loping, and did better than ever before, although it wasn't pretty.

Now the emotional and healing part of the lesson... When Jason was shortening my stirrups for me while I was on Sonny, he was teasing me about riding Sonny and having to be more assertive and strong. He said I am a very kind person, but I need to be 'stronger' with the horses. He said that I reminded him of a movie character who is the quiet and kind person who gets picked on all the time, then she gets backed into a corner and comes out with some kung-fu moves and fights her way out. It was funny, yet it really hit me. I told him that what he said brought tears to my eyes because when I was growing up, I was the kid who got picked on!!! He gave me a little pep talk, encouraging me, then topped it off with a sweet little compliment and sent me on my way. I totally didn't expect him to do that.

It sunk in that I am not the quiet, shy, doormat I used to be, and that I was here, learning to ride horses, which is what I've always wanted to do...and there was no one telling me I could never accomplish it, or make fun of me for trying. It gave me a boost of self confidence and I rode the best that I've ever ridden (except for not looking "pretty" during the lope...or losing my rhythm while posting). I can feel the healing coming...
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Re: riding lessons

Post by fin on Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:56 pm

What a great story. Because you are a kind person you didn't equate 'strong' with 'rough' or 'harsh' and have now worked out that 'strong' is a state of mind when you are around horses. Well done, especially as you didn't have to hit Sonny to get him to go for you, you did it with positive thinking and a bit of a compliment!

While I think you are right to notice all your asymetries and problems with your body and how they impact on your riding, have a look at Lee pearson, the gold medal dressage para olympian. Every time I have aches or pains and think I can't do something I think of him and his enormous horse, Blue Circle Boy. If you haven't heard of him, just google and see what I mean.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Sydney on Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:46 pm

Thats so good! I am glad you are having fun and learning something about yourself when you work with horses. I think we all do just some never say it.

Also as soon as I find the name of the product I seen this neat saddle level that helps you ride balanced. I thought of you when I seen it but I can't find it now, must google some more.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Cyndi on Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:55 pm

Hi Fin!

I checked out Lee Pearson - WOW!! What an inspiration! His horse is gorgeous!

Realizing that strong didn't mean harsh was a big thing for me. These wonderful riding lessons are freeing me in many ways. This is a dream come true, and it is helping me to work through issues with low self esteem and low self confidence that I 'acquired' during my childhood years (right through my teens too). As I gain confidence in riding lessons, I feel a bit of my past flaking away.

Sydney, let me know when you get the info on the saddle level. It sounds interesting. My Bowen therapy seems to be helping my balance too.

Do you get John Lyons' magazine, "Perfect Horse"? He has a really neat article on groundwork in the most recent magazine, complete with photos, but I want to see his hand placement in a couple of the photos, but his horse is blocking my view Neutral I think I know what he's saying to do, but I thought that if you were familiar with him, you'd be able to help me.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Sydney on Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:17 pm

I seen it in the new horse and rider magazine for March (ups of having a friend that works at a tack shop) Since I didn't buy that mag I'll ask her tomorrow to look in the back and see what it is called. I keep trying to look on google but nothing like it comes up.

It was this level that slid over the horn on a western saddle (I assume they have english too) and told you if you were leaning in one direction or the other. I thought it was such a useful tool! If they would have had them in the tack shop then I would have bought one. I guess you could make one though for any saddle. I think I might try I have a level that has the end busted off it so it's not too useful anymore.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Cyndi on Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:44 pm

Hi Sydney!

Here's a link to the "Perfect Horse" page on John's website.
http://www.johnlyons.com/sponsors/ph.php

I bought the magazine to help my daughter with the school fund raiser magazine 'drive', and I'm glad I got it. It doesn't come out every month, which is kind of nice because then you don't have 50 million magazines hanging around your house. I've received a couple of issues now, and have found them to be very interesting and the info has been very timely.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Sydney on Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:30 pm

I get the magazine as well. A friend of mine gets it for me every christmas. Of course I get about 6 mags a month so I do have piles of them lying around but they have very valuable information in them. My favorite magazine is equus of course.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Sydney on Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:38 pm

I hate to double post but I FOUND IT, I FOUND IT!!!

http://www.levelrider.com/

I think I am going to get one or at least figure a way to make one for my english saddle too! I find I am off balance jumping a lot. I however am going to buy their version for my students. What a wonderful tool!
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Cyndi on Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:42 pm

Wow, what a neat item. Thanks for finding it!

I am still having weekly Bowen therapy and my therapist keeps saying that my right side is so much weaker than my left, which would explain why I keep leaning to the right. My treatments are slowly helping.

I just got two books in that I ordered, both written by Gincy Bucklin. Apparently, she's got exercises to do that are very helpful for balance as well - "borrowing" techniques from Sally Swift as well as many others. I am looking forward to reading it, as it's come very highly recommended.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Sydney on Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:54 pm

I e-mailed the company and asked them about an english one and they said they were in the process of trying to figure it out.

I am ordering one at the end of the week. Free shipping and everything I can't wait!
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Re: riding lessons

Post by fin on Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:29 am

Thanks for telling us about this. I'm off to raid the tool box to see what I can adapt! Such an obvious idea it's amazing no one thought of it sooner. Please keep us posted about an English version. Fin
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Sydney on Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:57 am

honestly I think the original idea was a circular level with a piece of bike tire tube glued around it. Looks just like it actually,
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Cyndi on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:25 pm

Woo Hoo!! Went to riding lessons on Monday night (since last Saturday's was canceled), and I loped in a "small" (as opposed to the entire arena) circle and my left foot didn't slip out of the stirrup at all!! cheers I guess I was concentrating on steering the horse so much that I didn't even think of losing my balance. I felt so good.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by HorseHippie on Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:46 pm

Yay for you! Nice to hear that you are enjoying your lessons. I am just getting back to riding more seriously (hey, I have a 3 year old, a husband and 70 cows that are just starting to calve) and have decided to start dressage. Typically a western rider, I picked up a book by Jessica Jahiel (sp?) and am hooked on dressage now!

Keep us posted on those lessons Cyndi!
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Cyndi on Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:39 am

Yes, you do have a busy life! I'd like to get into something with Fanny someday, when both of us are ready for it, but I have no idea what that might be.

I think that the Bowen therapy that I've been having has made a difference in my riding lessons as well. Last week I had my hamstrings worked on, so it relaxes them more, and I was able to stretch my legs longer and sit in the saddle better. Because of my work schedule and a vacation, I will be missing my riding lessons in all of March, which is too bad because after the last lesson I am really pumped about doing more. On a positive note, the arena should be starting to feel warmer by April. I hope so, anyway.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by bohohorse on Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:50 pm

I'm not so sure about that balance thing. What if the horse is crooked? (and most are, just as most of us are, horses always want to weight one shoulder more than the other). Then the spirit level will be off and your weighting the opposite seat bone will just put uneven pressure on your horses back (and won't correct his crookedness).

Cyndi, you need the therapy AND the exercise. The exercise is your homework between therapies otherwise the work that your massage therapist or chiropracter does will come undone between sessions. It's important that your form for the exercises is perfect - use a mirror if you can to make sure you stay properly aligned. Again, it's the same with horses - Zeno had trouble with his hips going out of alignment last year so I had to diligently make sure he was exercising in good form inbetween sessions. He was recently pronounced in perfect balance recently so thats great. Very Happy I'm doing 10 mins of Pilates every day at the moment to try and ensure I can say the same of myself...! Laughing

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Re: riding lessons

Post by Cyndi on Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:47 pm

I agree, I have to exercise in between lessons and therapy sessions. Seems like I'm always on the go, but I need to find time to do it, like when I'm watching tv or something.
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Re: riding lessons

Post by Sydney on Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:27 pm

Just want to update since I originally posted it in this thread. I got the level rider today and it is exactly as I said, a bicycle tire tube glued around a circular level. Anyway it is a very useful piece of equipment.
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