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zkimom
11-14-2008, 08:11 AM
Horses, that is!

I'm realizing a life-long dream and I'm taking lessons for the first time in my life (I'm forty eleven :aww:)

Long story short: I was the kid caught during math class reading Black Beauty under my desk, the girl who's every art project featured horses, who had the nickname "Mrs. Ed.

I wanted to learn to ride desperately but I was a city kid and my mom said, "Do you have any idea how much riding lessons are around here?" and that was the end of that.

I think I carried that around for most of my life and so I never learned.

Fast forward to the here and now when the opportunity to put my dd in lessons presents itself and I'm sitting and watching her learn and thinking, "I can do that too!"

So I schedule a lesson for myself and man, am I loving it!

If you are interested in my horsey adventures check out my blog under my signature.

There are no pictures of my riding yet cause I'm the photographer but there are lots of pictures of my dd.

Let me know what you think and then let's share!

Best,
Susan

Mike
11-14-2008, 08:53 AM
When taking lessons do they do all the work?

I had a horse when I was a kid, they're too much work. I ended up riding around the pasture bareback most of the time because of it.

figaro
11-14-2008, 09:14 AM
I used to ride with my friend back in high school but have not since. I really loved it though, we would ride on the old logging trails behind her house and the horse I was riding loved to fly down the hills! My daughter has a horse back in CA and is going to school for Equine Studies and she loves to ride on 2-3 day trips quite a bit.

I am bit jealous of you, I would love to do that but my girls are a bit young right now, maybe in the future!

What a great thing to finally do something you have been wanting to do since you were a young child!

ETA-I just had to click that link for your blog and you take beautiful pictures! I have since added your blog to my Google Reader, must not miss these pictures!

zkimom
11-14-2008, 10:50 AM
When taking lessons do they do all the work?

I had a horse when I was a kid, they're too much work. I ended up riding around the pasture bareback most of the time because of it.

So far, my horse has been saddled and bridled when I get there. I am only taking half hour lessons so I wonder if it's a time thing. Also, the horse I have been riding gets nippy when he's being saddled. But he's taking the winter off (he's old and has arthritis) so I will get a different horse for my next lesson. Maybe I'll have to saddle the new one.

I love riding and I love being around horses. I don't have any fantasies about owning one though. Borrowing them is just fine for me, thanks very much. It's enough to have 2 kids, 2 dogs, a bird and 5 frogs to care for right now. Oh, and forgot to mention 1 dh!

zkimom
11-14-2008, 10:55 AM
I used to ride with my friend back in high school but have not since. I really loved it though, we would ride on the old logging trails behind her house and the horse I was riding loved to fly down the hills! My daughter has a horse back in CA and is going to school for Equine Studies and she loves to ride on 2-3 day trips quite a bit.

I am bit jealous of you, I would love to do that but my girls are a bit young right now, maybe in the future!

What a great thing to finally do something you have been wanting to do since you were a young child!

ETA-I just had to click that link for your blog and you take beautiful pictures! I have since added your blog to my Google Reader, must not miss these pictures!

My dd is 10 and I was wondering if I should have started her earlier. But she's kind of a late bloomer and just seems to be getting comfy in her own body. I don't know if she would have been able to focus enough and take directions if she was younger.

Thanks very much for your kind words about my photographs. I have been kind of lazy about taking them these days but promise that new ones will be coming soon!

I don't think I've been on anyone's Google Reader list yet! I'm honored!

JustAFloridaGirl
11-14-2008, 12:16 PM
When I was 11 and 12 I went to a summer camp that dealt in learning how to care for and ride horses. We were assigned one horse for the time we were there and we had to completely care for it. It was so much fun, I loved it. This was during my phase where I wanted to grow up to be a vet and have a horse farm (I still sort of do, actually...) The only thing we weren't allowed to do was put the bridle on our horses, the counselors had to do it...I think they didn't want the hassle or liability if we were bitten. Everything else, though, we did. Grooming, feeding, saddling, mucking...EVERYTHING. I loved it. :)

I would love to take lessons again, but just haven't been in a position to.

Knitting_Guy
11-14-2008, 12:23 PM
I don't get to ride much these days, but have spent a great deal of time on horseback over the years.

lelvsdgs
11-14-2008, 12:57 PM
OK, this is totally off topic but your Photoblog is AMAZING!!! You are an incredibly talented photographer and I just spent a good twenty minutes looking at your photos and reading your words. What a delight...

I've always been terrified of horses. I think it's their size. They are beautiful and I love to watch them but they scare the daylights out of me if they get to close.

zkimom
11-14-2008, 01:09 PM
I don't get to ride much these days, but have spent a great deal of time on horseback over the years.

Just wondering -- I know you have back issues -- does that hinder your ability to ride?

You are also (from what you've said) kind of big guy. Does that affect the kind of horses you ride?

zkimom
11-14-2008, 01:17 PM
OK, this is totally off topic but your Photoblog is AMAZING!!! You are an incredibly talented photographer and I just spent a good twenty minutes looking at your photos and reading your words. What a delight...

I've always been terrified of horses. I think it's their size. They are beautiful and I love to watch them but they scare the daylights out of me if they get to close.

Thanks so very much! I love photography and I've been having a blast with my blog. So much so that it even cut seriously into my knitting time (gasp!) But I have fixed that and am again, happily knitting away.

I have to admit that I was pretty scared the first few lessons. But after watching my dd at her vaulting class being so brave and standing on the back of her horse, I figured I could if she could. The biggest thrill was posting a trot while not holding on. Whoopee!

I think working with the instructor I have and her horses has helped a lot. Most of the horses are so very sweet and lovely that you forget how big they are. And not all of them are huge. My dd started out on a Paint Horse who is on the small side. It's when I get close to the Friesians that I am a little taken aback at their size.

Knitting_Guy
11-14-2008, 01:37 PM
Just wondering -- I know you have back issues -- does that hinder your ability to ride?

You are also (from what you've said) kind of big guy. Does that affect the kind of horses you ride?

The back doesn't affect it so much, but the bad hip (from a shattered pelvis) does indeed. I suspect that if I tried to spend any real time in the saddle now I would be in a good deal of pain.


As for the type of horses, yes it does. I ride larger horses that are built to carry 200+ pounds without injuring their backs or legs.

lelvsdgs
11-14-2008, 01:55 PM
Thanks so very much! I love photography and I've been having a blast with my blog. So much so that it even cut seriously into my knitting time (gasp!) But I have fixed that and am again, happily knitting away.

I have to admit that I was pretty scared the first few lessons. But after watching my dd at her vaulting class being so brave and standing on the back of her horse, I figured I could if she could. The biggest thrill was posting a trot while not holding on. Whoopee!

I think working with the instructor I have and her horses has helped a lot. Most of the horses are so very sweet and lovely that you forget how big they are. And not all of them are huge. My dd started out on a Paint Horse who is on the small side. It's when I get close to the Friesians that I am a little taken aback at their size.
Well, I am jealous of you. I have petted horses but just tho thought of getting on them is scary. I love to watch people ride them and I think it's amazing to see the bond that develops between horse and rider. And I know there are programs for handicapped kids that work wonders for them. I'll just keep watching from the sidelines and leave the riding to you guys! :notworthy:

Darby
11-14-2008, 06:29 PM
I have two horses here at home. One is my retired endurance horse. I did endurance riding for many years and stopped about 4 years ago. I now have a 10 year old Arabian who I just pleasure ride on. We have much fun in the summer just enjoying the outdoors. It's becoming winter now and I HATE the cold so I don't ride much if at all in the winter. If I need a warm hat and gloves, I don't ride.

zkimom
11-14-2008, 07:10 PM
I have two horses here at home. One is my retired endurance horse. I did endurance riding for many years and stopped about 4 years ago. I now have a 10 year old Arabian who I just pleasure ride on. We have much fun in the summer just enjoying the outdoors. It's becoming winter now and I HATE the cold so I don't ride much if at all in the winter. If I need a warm hat and gloves, I don't ride.

Endurance riding is something I've never heard of before. 50 to 100 miles a ride?!! Wow. I'm just lucky to make around the ring a few times :aww:

As for the riding in the cold, I so don't want to stop that I'm going to riding with sweaters, hats, gloves and whatever layers it takes for as long as I can. I don't know if I could wait until summer to ride again!

vaknitter
11-14-2008, 08:52 PM
OH I thought this was gonna be a thread about knitters on motorcycles !! I was already to post a picture of me on my Nighthawk.
Glad you are enjoying your horse lessons. My aunt had horses so we rode all the time as kids and it was just never my "thing." I do have a lot of patients that I refer to hippotherapy though and they all seem to love it.

Darby
11-14-2008, 09:04 PM
Endurance riding is something I've never heard of before. 50 to 100 miles a ride?!! Wow. I'm just lucky to make around the ring a few times :aww:

As for the riding in the cold, I so don't want to stop that I'm going to riding with sweaters, hats, gloves and whatever layers it takes for as long as I can. I don't know if I could wait until summer to ride again!


Yup - 50 - 100 miles in a day. It was tough. I also did the multi days which were 50 miles a day for 5 days in a row. Those were fun.
Now I just want to ride along slowly and enjoy the outdoors. The horse I'm riding now likes to do just that.
I wish I had more friends to ride with tho. I mostly just ride by myself. I'm not working right now so when I ride, I mostly ride during the week when everyone is at work, less people out and about on the trails.

Plantgoddess+
11-14-2008, 10:07 PM
That's great that you are getting to do something you've wanted for so long. I have always been horse crazy. I'm down to 2 geriatric Arabians. It's all that's left of my breeding program. I have bad hips so have difficulty riding anymore. I used to love when I was taking dressage lessons. I also had a mare that I broke to drive and I had built a 2 wheel cart for her to pull. She liked driving much more than being ridden. I miss the freedom of climbing on my horse and heading off into the woods.

jess_hawk
11-15-2008, 04:44 AM
I ride when I have time and money... I got to take regular lessons in high school but other than that its been sporatic at best. Still, it's something that I absolutely love to do. My favorite horse ever was bought out of a kill pen at auction. He was a big gelding named Little John. We think he may have been abused at some point. He was my buddy, and I was his favorite human - we both loved to trot and I could trot him anywhere from slower than the other horses were walking, up to faster than the others were cantering. He hated to canter, and when I started riding him I was terrified of cantering, but once I learned to love it (riding other horses who had no aversion to the gait, and ironically a direct result of the first time I fell off a horse) I convinced him to go for it a few times and he had the most amazing canter in the world. It was like flying only better... Indescribable.
Anyway, then I went to college and no longer had time or money for weekly lessons, particularly not at the same barn... I took a few lessons at a different place but I'm frustrated because I've only had the same instructor for more than 3 months on one occaission, and all the others start me back at the same spot to make sure I can do everything I say I can. I don't blame them, its just that I don't get to do much new stuff, so I'm hoping that after graduation I can afford to take consistant lessons. Hehe, and when I had the same instructor for a long time, the time slot that worked for me was a class of lazy little girls so I ended up being a teaching tool... but she'd also let me stay late and try things like riding bareback or, my personal favorite, when I was riding Little John I would ride without stirrups or reigns, just control him entirely with my seat and legs... it was an amazing feeling.
As for the riding in the cold, I so don't want to stop that I'm going to riding with sweaters, hats, gloves and whatever layers it takes for as long as I can. I don't know if I could wait until summer to ride again!
One place I've ridden had a heated indoor arena, but in the unheated ones: handwarmers and footwarmers are excellent, just keep in mind that you should put a layer of clothes between those and your skin. They do get hot! Also, dress in layers. Whenever I was actually working hard, even when it was down to single digits I could get warm enough to ride in a sweatshirt.

I mentioned that the first time I fell actually made me more comfortable with cantering, and I want to make sure that nobody thinks that I am crazy and/or stupid. My girth was a little loose but didn't start sliding until I was cantering, and as I felt it slip, it went so slow that I tried shifting it back to center, then realized that wasn't working and was kicking my feet out of my stirrups as the fall accelerated so that I wasn't going to have time to regain my balance before I landed on the ground. My horse could tell something was wrong, and when I hit the ground, he was already stopped and staring at me like, "What in the world are you doing down there?"
I am aware that this is not typical. I thank God that I have never had a serious fall, but I have watched some and I take it very seriously. I've never ridden without my helmet, first because until age 16 it was always required, and then because before I turned 16 I watched a woman fall three times, each worse than the previous, and the last time she cracked her head on the wall. There was no lasting damage that I know of, but I rather like my brain the way it is, thanks.

One last piece of advice: When riding in an English saddle, NEVER wear jeans without any kind of chaps/half chaps. I spent two years with scars running up the insides of my legs from rubbing my skin off riding English every other week. (What can I say... no pain, no gain... yes, I did eventually do the smart thing and stop riding English!)

Congratulations on getting to learn!!! :cheering:

Cynamar
11-15-2008, 09:19 AM
Cool! I volenteered with a charity black tie event once and we had a donation of two free riding lessons. Another committee member got it for me for my daughter. She took right to it! Posting came very naturally but I think it was the preceeding years of dance class. I wish I could have afforded to keep her in it. I think it was even better for posture than ballet!

Puddinpop
11-17-2008, 12:16 AM
I had an Appaloosa Thoroughbred, but she died 2 years ago. I also, have a Leopard Appaloosa that we have had since he was born. He is white with black and brown spots all over him. I don't ride much anymore. The other Appaloosa was my horse and the Leopard App. is the one my husband rides. It is a lot of fun to ride fast, like you are flying. I never have gone long distances, though. You have to make the time for all of that. They can get expensive. I also, have 3 dogs and taking everyone to the vet. is expensive as all of you know, who have animals. I love horses. They are great animals.

zkimom
11-17-2008, 07:57 AM
Hi all!

You will never guess what I did yesterday! I joined my dd's vaulting (http://www.americanvaulting.org/) class.

Neither of us had ever been on a horse unless you count the pony rides for dd when she was little but we both wanted to learn. A friend of mine had so much good things to say about how vaulting classes were helping her dd with coordination, balance and confidence so I thought I'd let my dd give it a try. I don't think either one of us had a clue as to what we were getting into.

So every Sunday, we head over to the stables and dd (who is trying very hard but kind of inching along) bravely gives it her best shot.

I've been watching from the sidelines, taking pictures and itching to give it a try, too. I figure, hey -- if I can climb on the back of a horse with just a fancy harness and a saddle and flip around like a gymnast, I can do almost anything.

So yesterday they brought out one of the bigger horses (a gorgeous Friesian named Jorrit (http://www.grayfriesianfarm.com/horses/Jorrit.htm)) and another mom and I got to take the class. Amazing! I did almost everything that the girls are doing except mount from the ground (I have very weak leg muscles in my left leg from my Achilles tendon repair) and a move called switch to the neck (which I can't seem to wrap my mind around to save my life.) The move requires one to end up sitting on the horses shoulders facing his rear and then switch back.

But I got up there and went around the ring a few times and did most of the other basic moves including standing up although I did that at a standstill.

Man, it was so cool. I can't wait to try it again! And I will, next Sunday.

Anyway, thanks for all the good advice.

Jess -- I'm thinking of buying a case of those hand and foot warmers. Between my riding and my ds outdoor wilderness skills classes this winter, we are going to need them. I'm also going to be hitting up ebay for some winter riding apparel.

Puddin -- sorry about your horse. Appaloosa's are gorgeous. I'm sure you must miss her a lot.

I haven't had much experience yet in the speed department. Us older folks need to work a lot on balance first. When I take my lessons in the saddle I'm only up to a trot. I trotted last night in our vaulting class but that's as fast as I go for now.

Well, time to wake my dd up and get her ready for school. Catch you all later.

Susan

Secksiebrat
11-18-2008, 12:22 PM
I never was able to ride horses (other than fares and such) when I was a kid. My mom owned horeses as a teenager but we never did!

I married into a family with horses. My FIL used to be a rodeo clown (ya know the one that hid in the barrels and taunted the bulls and horses?). My husband used to ride (he lost a lot of weight this way) with a rodeo cowboy, Mike Waters. I rode here and there when I dated my hubby and when we got married I got pregnant right away!

My FIL divorced my hubby's mother and married another one who loves horese. Karon (my step-MIL) and I ride all the time. They have since sold me one of their horses, Vandal that I ride. My inlaws have built an arena in the back yard. We ride barrels and chase calves! They have just bought a colt (18th months old) that we are working with.

So in short, I ride (western) alot. I love it. My horse is sorrel colored, although one day I will have a golden palomino. Vandal is a registered quarter horse. We are part of the AQHA riding program where we log our hours. We are currently signed up to ride in both christmas parades in our area (purely for fun) and hope to ride in a couple grand entries for some of the local rodeos in the spring. We are always on the look out for a good trail ride and I would love to, one day, go across a couple states on horseback!

~danielle~
PS All my tack and wear is in pink!!!!

zkimom
11-18-2008, 01:10 PM
I never was able to ride horses (other than fares and such) when I was a kid. My mom owned horeses as a teenager but we never did!

I married into a family with horses. My FIL used to be a rodeo clown (ya know the one that hid in the barrels and taunted the bulls and horses?). My husband used to ride (he lost a lot of weight this way) with a rodeo cowboy, Mike Waters. I rode here and there when I dated my hubby and when we got married I got pregnant right away!

My FIL divorced my hubby's mother and married another one who loves horese. Karon (my step-MIL) and I ride all the time. They have since sold me one of their horses, Vandal that I ride. My inlaws have built an arena in the back yard. We ride barrels and chase calves! They have just bought a colt (18th months old) that we are working with.

So in short, I ride (western) alot. I love it. My horse is sorrel colored, although one day I will have a golden palomino. Vandal is a registered quarter horse. We are part of the AQHA riding program where we log our hours. We are currently signed up to ride in both christmas parades in our area (purely for fun) and hope to ride in a couple grand entries for some of the local rodeos in the spring. We are always on the look out for a good trail ride and I would love to, one day, go across a couple states on horseback!

~danielle~
PS All my tack and wear is in pink!!!!

A rodeo clown -- how very cool. I love your pink tack!

Vandal looks so much like Texas, the horse I'm learning on. He's also a sorrel QH.

I'm learning English but here in CT that shouldn't be too surprising.

Thanks so much for sharing!