Forum Helper and Cat Devotee
- Jan 9, 2018
- Colorado USA
Hi Furballsmom ...no not yet.
Groundwork can absolutely be done outdoors if you feel more comfortable starting to learn with handling! I would call first and ask for a tour/info about the lesson program, and specify you'd like lessons on handling the horses first. Any good barn will be happy to hear your thoughtfulness!I'm thinking I want to do the lessons in the warmer months, and definitely outdoors.
But then again, ground work would probably all be done indoors,..so I guess my first steps should be to actually find a few stables, for lessons, and drive to them, and just take a look.
Hey, like you've said to me a dozen times - baby steps are okay, and going slow is key.(With me, it's all going to be 'baby steps'...I think.)
Most schools will provide some helmets for your first few lessons, but if you stick with it it's of course best to buy your own so it fits your head perfectly. I love Ovation helmets for a first time schooling brand. I wear a OneK which is fitted with MIPS technology, but that's not necessarily required.Not sure about if the riding schools provide any equipment for beginners.
English and Western riding has a different saddle, you use the reins differently, and your position is often a little different. They historically come from different traditions. English riding is based off of European military movements (dressage) and historical events like hunting and pleasure riding. The saddle is smaller and "closer" to the horse, and you always ride with both hands. Western riding comes out of North American cowboy culture. The saddle is larger, and some horses are trained to neck rein (use one hand) or both reins. I would say one isn't easier than the other, but a lot of beginners feel more comfortable with Western because there is a horn on the saddle you can grab if you feel unsteady! Little bit of extra security. Most people seem to start with one or the other and then stick with what suits them best based on comfort and goals.1) What is the difference between English riding and Western riding?
Is it the saddle, and the way you use your legs and body, with a horse?
Which one is easier?
It is ALL in the leg and "seat" (butt). Riding is 90% leg and seat aids, and 10% hands. I spent a full month not being allowed to touch my reins as a junior rider, and there was many a time I had them taken away again if I was relying too much on my hands. A horse can feel a fly landing on their back, and the touch of your leg or a slight drop of weight in one hip will make them go, stop them, turn them, bend them. You can think of the reins as a way to "refine" what you're asking the horse for, but your main mode of communication is your legs and bum!2) How much leg work, are you actually using, to ride a horse,...and is it true, that at first, you will be sore from finding out you have muscles that you never knew you had?
When I was a junior, there wasn't a huge emphasis on groundwork or teaching a new rider how to lead/move/"speak" to their horse. It was a lot of trial and error. Which is a shame because I could have avoided a lot if I'd been properly taught! I'd say go with your gut. You can discuss what you do or don't have interest in learning or feel comfortable with with your instructor, and work together to make it fun. And if you are having fun with one particular horse any good barn will accommodate that!3) For those of you who remember doing 'ground work'...was it a 'gradual process' with the same horse?
Until a person becomes comfortable near the horse?
Haha, fairly soon I'll be telling you you're not giving yourself enough credit, just like you tell me! But yes, it's hard not to look at the legs and head, just beautiful. A lot of the body language in the video you shared is subtle, and shows horses that are either interested in something, or calmly listening, so it's all fairly neutral. You'll learn to read them quickly, I promise!I think they may be seeing things, in horses, with the ears and tails,...that are just too fast for me to notice.
I keep looking at the legs, muscles, and head, and not necessarily the ears.
Thanks C Cataria ...about all this info.Yay, horses! I own a horse, he's a 22 year old black tobiano American Paint Horse named Gambit. He's awesome and a lot of fun.
1) How old were they when they started? I started riding when I was about 27, I believe. 33 now! I definitely don't claim to be any sort of an expert, but I've taken Western lessons and know enough to do ground work and take Gambit on trail rides, which is all I really wanted.
2) How large/tall big are their horses? About 5 ft tall!
3) Has a horse ever stepped on them? Yep, several times. I didn't realize this when I bought him (neither did his previous owner), but Gambit is blind in one eye and was constantly stepping on my feet. The vet thinks he was always blind in that eye because he has no nerves in it and is completely comfortable with people on his blind side. I also got my foot stomped and kicked over by another horse. No terrible injuries, just some bruising.
4) Have they ever fallen off? Not yet, and I hope I don't!
Lol. It's different, though, with cat-to-cat intros...which are much easier when you videotape them, and watch them back.Haha, fairly soon I'll be telling you you're not giving yourself enough credit, just like you tell me! But yes, it's hard not to look at the legs and head, just beautiful. A lot of the body language in the video you shared is subtle, and shows horses that are either interested in something, or calmly listening, so it's all fairly neutral. You'll learn to read them quickly, I promise!
This is so good to know...so 'airplane ears on horses....means 'beware''....equals pinned back ears.If you're worried about annoyance/"back off", I attached a picture of a horse with their ears pinned. That's the hiss of the horse world, and if you don't listen it'll become the swat! But horses aren't malicious and will give you ample warning, and usually it's very easy to tell.
Here's a good video about general body language I like:
Gambit is gorgeous !!Absolutely! This is Gambit!
View attachment 421013
Honestly, Gambit does great, and I have had zero problems riding him with his one blind eye. I try to be a little cautious on one of the trails we go on because there's a ditch and I want to make sure he doesn't accidentally step into it when it is on his blind side, but that's been my biggest concern. Also, when I trail-ride with other people/horses, he prefers to have them on his blind side. Even when I walk him on the ground he likes me on his blind side, but he'll switch if I nag him.
I suspect a more experienced rider than me would notice other differences -- although I've rode other horses for about six months prior to getting him, he's really my first and only horse. Hard for me to know if he does certain things because he's half-blind or if he does them because he's Gambit. Funnily enough, two owners prior to me used him for jumping lessons!
My favorite horse is the Gypsy Vanner. I went to the Kentucky Horse Park once (before I ever got a horse) and they had a showing of different breeds and I thought they were just gorgeous! Admittedly, I know nothing of their personality, I just loved the one I met and looking at them in pictures. Gambit is the same color as the Vanner I saw.
That's okay. Liking them all, and not having any particular favourites is fine....I've been trying to figure out how to answer the question of my fav ... I'm a total horse nut, I don't think I can pin it down to one breed lol