Horse Girl Problems







Hi I'm 16 and going to be a junior in high school. I've always loved horses and always wanted to be a rider but it's just never happened and my parents never thought it was safe. I think I'm old enough to make my own decisions and I was wondering what I could do to get into the equestrian community? I want to work with horses when I get older but I need the experience first any ideas? btw I love your blog!!
Anonymous

Hi! That’s awesome, if you want to get into the eq community you definitely should— it’s open to anyone :) Can you afford to start taking once a week lessons or anything like that (maybe work out a deal with your parents to help pay for it)? Or if your local barn offers a daytime summer camp or anything, maybe you could do that for a week or two in august? You also might consider trying to volunteer at a therapy barn, often you don’t need much or any experience (you may not start working with the horses right away if that’s the case, but you can start learning and watching how things are done…plus therapy barns just generally have a good atmosphere). In the meantime, I’d suggest reading as many books/articles and watching as many videos as you can, so you can start to get familiar with some of the terms and actions riders use. Good luck, I hope you’re able to start being around horses more often :)


  2 notes01 Aug 14   
What should I do when my horse refuses a jump? I know what my trainer does but I was wondering what you do.
Anonymous

Well, if the refusal was due to major rider error, I just pat the horse and apologize haha, then try the jump again with a better ride (can’t blame the horse for not jumping in a bad situation). If it was a mixture of rider error and the horse testing you, I’d give him a tap with the crop because he knew better, but similarly don’t get too aggressive and just ride more accurately. 

If the horse was being naughty or spooking, I get my bearings back, give him a sharp tap with a crop to remind him that’s unacceptable, then turn him back around the way he spun out and walk him up to the fence so he can look at it and sniff it. If he won’t walk straight up to it, I like to walk him in a tight circle right around the jump (forward walk, not a lazy one). Then circle back around to the jump and ride him right up to the base— put yourself in a defensive position, sit deep, and keep him straight (as if you’re in a chute). If you feel him suck back against your leg, press harder (without leaning forward) and give him a tap with the whip to reinforce what you want. Keep your hands soft but up and connected with his mouth so you’re guiding him to the fence. When he jumps it, praise him vocally and with lots of pats :)


  12 notes01 Aug 14   
Hey I really hope you can help me. My horse is a very forward horse, and going to the left she is totally balanced, listens well, and we don't have too many problems. Going to the right, she continually drops her shoulder, cuts corners, and get very anxious, unbalanced, and speedy. When I lift my inside rein, she starts tossing her head. When I put pressure with my inside leg, she speeds up. She feels totally uncontrollable and I don't know what to do!
Anonymous

Sounds like she needs more muscle and you need to use more outside aids. Build up her hind end through working strength-training exercises both directions (especially going right, as hard as it is now) so she can balance herself both directions. Lunge her to the right some as well, just to keep getting her comfortable with that directions. When you track right under saddle, put her to work by suppling her with lateral movements and circles so she eases into your aids. Always balance her off of your outside aids— hold outside rein steady like a wall, push her with inside leg and outside seat bone into your outside hand. Use inside rein to supple, gently play with the rein as if you’re squeezing out a sponge. Keep your hands independent— lift them up off her neck and separate them so each side of her neck gets a rein, and keep contact with your fingers while your elbow and upper arm stays soft and “mushy” to get her soft and relaxed. To stop her from spurting forward, support her with your legs hugging her sides, but don’t goose her forward. Instead, try really using your seat to drive her up into your hand. Good luck!


  4 notes01 Aug 14   
to the recent anon who wants to jump higher, we all learn at different speeds, and different instructors teach at different paces. I learned how to canter after i've been riding for 5 years, and i went over my first cross rail after 6 years. I had been riding for 9 years (i've taken a two year break due to money problems) and i only jumped a small vertical once. i'm sure you'll reach your goals sooner or later c:

^^^


  3 notes01 Aug 14   
Okay so I have this friend/auntie/instructor/neighbour person, who i ride horses for if she needs, help break them in, she gives me lessons, takes me places (me chipping in for feul) etc. Recently she offered me $500 to break in a horse of hers in, and my mum says that she has done so much for me and that I couldn't take money from her, if she wants the horse broken in i should just do it for free. What are your thoughts? She has done so much for me, but then again she offered?
Anonymous

Personally, I wouldn’t see anything wrong with taking the money if she was serious about offering it (rather than you just suddenly charging her)…especially considering breaking a horse is a lot of hard work, it wouldn’t be crazy for her to compensate you. I’d just be very gracious about accepting it, and still let her know how grateful you are for all the opportunities she’s given you :)


  4 notes01 Aug 14   
My trainer says my hands are loose in the release, what does that mean, and how can I fix it?
Anonymous

She probably means you’re dropping contact over the fence and “throwing the reins away” over the fence instead. Your arms should be elastic in that they go with the motion of the horse and your shoulders should be soft, but your hands should have a firm grip on the reins so that you don’t abandon your horse over the jump and are instead able to guide him over it. Don’t pitch your upper body forward (that makes it easier for your hands to loosen), but rather stay centered in the saddle and just think about gently guiding the horse with your hand.


  3 notes01 Aug 14   
I saw you kinda answered this already but.. It's kinda different. I'm 14 almost 15 years old and I only jump 2 ft hunters, I wanna be a professional jumper and a horse trainer but I feel like I can never do it because I only started jumping 9 months ago. I see Gia Rinaldi and it's quite embarrassing because she is my age and jumping 3 ft higher than me! <- that wasn't really a question but I just need some advise :P
Anonymous

Don’t weigh yourself down with negativity like that— keep working towards your big goals and you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish in the short term. I think almost every rider has some dream of being famous or one of the best in their discipline, and you should keep that as your big goal to work towards. But set short term goals for yourself as well, that are realistic for where you are in your development now so that you can reach them sooner and have more positivity. Be patient with yourself, don’t beat yourself up— there will always be riders who are better than you, who challenge you, who are younger than you, who have more money than you….but remember that you have the same potential and you can get there too. Be confident in this, and work on riding for yourself, to get better, and you’ll be advancing before you know it. Who cares how high someone else is jumping? Be selfish, only care about your progress and what you can do to improve your riding. Talk to your trainer about your goals so you really have something to work towards and to keep you focused on something other than comparing yourself to other riders :)


  7 notes01 Aug 14   
Are Himalayan salt licks or Redmond salt blocks any different (better, worse, etc.) than just a normal salt block?
Anonymous

I wouldn’t say one is drastically better as they all serve the same purpose, but I happen to love Himalayan salt blocks because of the balance between minerals and sodium (more minerals, less sodium per serving). I’ve never used Redmond so I don’t know too much about it, but it looks like another nice, natural, mineral-filled salt block.


  7 notes01 Aug 14   
What's your course?
Anonymous

It’s an online writing course run by Brown Uni….can’t remember why I agreed to sign up for it, but it’s not that bad lol


  2 notes01 Aug 14   
Do you have any tips for girthy horses?
Anonymous

First check that her tack fits…you may also want to check for ulcers. Once you determine it’s behavioral rather than pain-related, you can act a little differently. Otherwise, be sensitive when you do the girth, going slowly one hole at a time and talking her through it. When she tries to nip, don’t be afraid to lightly punish her by saying a sharp “hey” or “no” and smacking her neck. Reward her when she’s good and stands still, and do your best to minimize the time she has to stand. Think of dealing with a small child— reward when she’s good, and punish when she’s bad, so you can shape her behavior the way you want. 


  5 notes31 Jul 14   

lol this always happens…i finish answering my messages and then get so behind again. Sorry guys! I’ve been really busy with this online course & then packing for my 2 week trip in a few days (also y’know, stuff like riding and social interaction haha). Will try to answer as many as I can tonight/tomorrow! :)


  1 note31 Jul 14   
Hello! I ride once a week, and since May I’ve been having some pretty bad lessons, so bad that last week my instructor actually pulled me aside since she was really concerned that I might end up hurting myself. I know this is probably because of stress from moving(We’re being evicted) and some kind of cold I’ve had seen May. Anyway I was wondering if you have any techniques or suggestions on how to relax before the lesson and while riding, especially while jumping? Thank you so much!!
Anonymous

Aw, I’m sorry you have so much going on that’s stressing you out! I find that being organized helps me be more relaxed— spend some time just grooming before your lesson so you can just chill your mind with the methodic movements. When you get on, take a deep breath and roll your shoulders a few times to open yourself up. Then spend a good amount of time warming up so you fall into a rhythm with your horse— count his strides so you can focus on the movement. Also, sometimes it helps to pick two or three things to focus on during the lesson- like “I’m going to work on keeping my heels down and my eyes up”. If you really focus on achieving “heels down & eyes up”, you’ll be more focused on that then on being stressed, if that makes sense (sometimes your brain just gets overwhelmed). Now, when you have those kind of disappointing rides, it’s normal to get timid and embarrassed and question your ability. But what you have to do instead is take several deep breaths, gather your reins, pat your horse, and put the past in the past. You have to have a “short memory” when it comes to those mistakes- learn what you can from your mistakes, and then push them out of your mind so they don’t influence your future rides. Good luck!


  7 notes31 Jul 14