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 Allowing others to experience the horse bug!

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teekathepony
just joan
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Wil-If-I-Want
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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2011 9:35 am

Well! I figured I would start a blog, I have a lot of things happening and I think it would be great to have it all written down so that I can have feed back and advice!


I'll give you a little history about myself. I've been an avid horseback rider for 13 years.. however I've had a passion for as long as I can remember. Every summer, my family went on a 1H trail ride during our summer vacation as well participated in multiple pony rides at all the festivals near home! I collected "Grand Champion" horse figurines and my little pony as well.

At the age of 7 While visiting a cousin in Ottawa my sister and I took our first riding lesson with a well renown coach. The stable was a dressage/hunter jumper barn with $20,000+ Grand prix horses, the majority of those imported from other countries. I rode a large dapple grey +16H gelding named "Barts Blue Baron" I rode english, and was trotting off the lunge within that one lesson. (http://www.queenswoodstables.com)

The year after while having ice cream at DQ, we saw a poster advertizing horseback riding lessons 20 minutes away. Mom called that night and we started western lessons the next week. I ended up volunteering, taking more lessons, clinics, working pony rides, birthday parties, day & overnight camps, teaching beginner lessons, and officially got the "horse bug" at 14, my father sold stocks he didn't even realize he owned.. He got a cheque for $20K and I begged an pleaded for a horsie.. of course I came up with huge list of things I'd do differently around the house ie: clean, dishes, yard work (of which I did none of, oups) and we ended up getting my first horse Brandy a 10yr old Standardbred mare a few weeks later. I worked at the stable to have reduced board which ended up being $75.00 a month.


Brandy was wonderful, sweet, bombproof, FAST, and a huge heart. She had developped lameness issues & falling over with me aboard and I was faced with the fact I'd have to rehouse her to a better suited person/family who could love her and care for her health issues better than myself as a 16year old. I had a person coming to do a pre purchase exam the same day I brought 3 year old Willow home from Moncton. Of course, the vet check failed so now I then had two horses... then crap hit the fan.. a sick horse came to the stable and we were on quarenteen for 6 months (strangles) luckily I was able to lease Brandy to a little girl waiting to purchase her horse in December (as he was currently being leased by another student until then) when the quarenteen lifted Brandy went to her new home a little over an hour away (which ended up not to be the best person to sell to, but thats a whole other discussion :()

I worked hard with Willow and we formed an amazing bond quickly. We left our original stable after me being there for 9 years. I brought her with me to college, then had her in Quebec for a while, brought her back home 7 minutes away, and now she's with me in Fredericton nearly 4 hours from home.... Can't imagine life without her, this past April marked out 6 year anniversary together. <3


SO! back to what I want to blog about. I am going to be teaching riding lessons to two little girls aged 7 & 11. I met their mother's last night and went over the waiver of liability release that is to be signed and also the requirements for them needing the NBEA memberships, jeans, the use of one of the barns helmets, and a boot with a heel. I have instructed many beginner lessons in the past, but never with my own horse. I feel that 9yr old Willow is ready for basic beginner lessons . We will start on the lunge and work our way off.

I do not compete and don't have interest in this. Some people throw fits about non qualified individuals "teaching" but I feel that horseback riding doesn't need to be as complicated as many make it. I plan to teach these girls confidence, balance, and introducing them to the "horse bug". Although I'm not into technical training for a certain dicipline I am confident these girls will learn a lot from me and also safely which is the most important aspect.

SO excited. I am going over exercises and patterns in my head already. If any of you have advice or excercies/patterns that worked for you when you first started please feel free to share!!! I've given the girls pre lesson packages to go over before we meet and told them I am going to quiz them on it.. ie: how to approach a horse, diagrams of what a horses ears are telling us, the parts of the horse/saddle/bride, how to lead a horse ect.

Hope I haven't bored you all!
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Simi
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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2011 9:48 am

Sounds great Can't wait to read your progress with these two little girls...

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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2011 9:55 am

Woah! I was just looking around on the Queenswood website, I havent been on there in a few years

Private Lessons (45 minutes)
With Senior Trainer - $76.99
Package of Four - $296.46

Private Lessons (30 minutes)
With Senior Trainer - $68.14
Package of Four - $265.49

Semi-Private Lessons (package of Four)
With Senior Trainer - $212.39
Extra semi-private lesson with Senior Trainer - $57.52




Board
Including feeding four times per day, blanketing, booting, stall cleaning - $620

Full board
Including horse training and lessons five times per week - $1680



I can't fathom ever being able to afford that.
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2011 9:58 am

this is going to be great to follow along......please make sure you take lots of pix of the girls........wooo hooo for you :cowboyhound.gi

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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2011 10:04 am

I'll have to make sure I have permission from their parents to post their photos publically online.

I am very excited.. they met Willow yesterday and she was very gentle with them almost as though she could tell they were newbies.

The older girl is very confident, but not overly confident which is wonderful. The younger one is very nervous, but eager to learn confidence, we will take things very very slow.

They are very nice girls with good heads on their shoulders, they have that love for horses and wilingness to soak up everything just as I did/do!



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teekathepony

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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 08, 2011 1:44 pm

Neat blog! Can't wait to read more!
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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeWed Jul 13, 2011 4:24 pm

As per my post in the photo section I have been working on getting back into teaching mode. My binder is now about 100 pages in length! diagrams and key pointers. I learned this way, wayyy back in the day and loved my little booklets that I received after each lesson! I still have them all kicking around somewhere.

I don't plan on taking anymore riding levels as at this point in my life the "paper" doesn't mean as much as knowing I'm capable of doing it. but I'm excited to personally practice the level III & IV western patterns. I'm looking forward to the hay being cut so that I have the fields back to ride in! Willow and I have great fun with patterns.. gives us motivation as all of you know sometimes its hard to keep motivated without a coach or someone telling you what to do.

I've purchased a few little things suchs as balls to play games with, they will have to throw them in buckets if they miss they will have to dismount, mount, and try again! I also bought a bunch of pylons and a hoolahoop so they can practice ground work by having Willow stand in it different ways ie: front feet, hind feet. ect...


My "western rider preparation program" now consists of:


Grooming - How & why each brush is used and their order.

Markings & colors - Just the basics ie: facial markins, leg markings, and your basic colour schemes

Parts of the horse - Diagram with all parts but explanations of the terms used most often ie: withers, hocks, crest, ect.

How to move a horse with body language (ground work) - Diagrams and instructions on how to properly turn a horse in and away from you, backing up, body language ect.

Saddling & Bridling - Diagrams of the parts, functions, mechanics, and how to fit properly.

Mounting & Dismounting - Diagrams, instructions ect.

Lunging Exercises - to strengthen core muscles, balance seat and learn leg, seat & rein aids. My main goal is to teach the girls that reins are not was guides a horse, it is a combination of leg, seat, rein & voice. I plan to start them off by holding reins clipped to the halter on the lunge rather than have them learn with her mouth.. I've seen far too many newbies lean on the reins ect and I'd just prefer to teach them direction/transitions usuing leg & voice alone usuing the reins as a gentle reminder only.

Riding aids (Artifical & Natural) - listing of natural aids & their purpose/usage (voice, legs, seat, hands) and artificial aids (whips, crops, spurs, bits)

Transitions - balanced upward & downward transitions, how body language translates ect.

A whole section of horsemanship, equitation, & game patterns to have fun and practice with!
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeWed Jul 13, 2011 5:04 pm

sounds like a really comprehensive course you have planned for the girls....sure hope their parents allow you to post pix. when do they start?

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Wissy
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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 8:14 am

sounds pretty good, you are really organized.. can't wait to see pics and progress of your new little riders..

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A western horse has guts and commitment, an english horse has grace and elegance, but my horse has it all!
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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 8:33 am

Joan, they start next week or so! There are two other kids from up the street who are equally as interested in taking lessons. They have to show me their proof of NBEA memberships and also sign their waivers.

While I'm no pro what so ever, I have a passion for horses and everything horse related lol. The kids want to ride horses, plain and simple.

If your going to ride, its best to know how what you ask translates to the horse under you as we all know so I feel its important to be prepared and refresh myself on all the early horse stuff that we kind of let slip slightly once we are more knowledgable horse people.

We usually hold on to a lot of concepts & techniques that we learn in our early horse years, so the way I see it is that my part is fulfilled If I can start these girls off decently!

I began riding at a stable where the coach had no qualifications.. although some of her techniques differ from other barns (like anything horse related) I learned a lot... It wasn't a show barn, nor did it specialize in a specific dicipline.. I can never thank her enough for starting me off the right way as in she started me off by pushing me to learn "WHY" not just "HOW". I remember cutting out all the information and diagrams she gave me and making my own little booklet with key pointers from the time I was 8 on... and to date I haven't stopped learning. If not for this woman, I don't know if I would have the luxury of horse ownership!

I've been involved in other forums who'd of torn this whole idea right apart... I bet I'd have people privately messaging me that my horse is no where near capable of performing a level IV pattern infact I wouldn't doubt if they posted it publically.... or for sure there would be talk behind my back. So I edit the pattern a little, who cares? or if I do a simple change instead of a flying... I don't know when horses stopped being a love and passion and started being an activity for high society yacht club members only who point fingers at those less privileged. Not all of us can afford to take $50+/h lessons or buy $5000+ horses.. however we can provide loving, caring, homes and educate ourselves as much as possible.

I really like this forum by the way! Its nice to say something and not have to backspace a million times to make sure that everything was worded correctly as to not upset anyone. No flame suits needed here.
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charlo




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 12:25 pm

I'm happy for you, especially being able to helping other people enjoy the joys of riding. I enjoy it, but haven't done it that much as it is time consuming and I'm still an Amateur so can not accept payment for my time (I know there is a new rule change that allows it for UP/Down lessons but...) and with 2 kids, a home, a job, sports and my own horses, it just isn't worth it yet for me.

I do have a concern which I'm sure you have thought of and already did BUT...I wanted to voice just in case there are others out there who are planning on taking on the joys of giving lessons to someone.

*Have you gotten insurance for yourself?

IT is great that you are getting a waiver signed, that is very important, but for the most part it is only as good as the paper it is on. Also NBEA does not work for you if you are making money off your horse, they will no longer cover you in the event something happens. Having insurance that will cover you and your horse(s) in a lesson programs is around $800 a year.

Please don't take this as a downer...for the business I work for having insurance is something that is very important, if something goes wrong for us it isn't just broken bones, but it could result in death (as with horses) for the general public so I'm very for liability insurance. I just would hate for your AWESOME good deed land you in a heap of trouble without funds to help you out.
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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu Jul 14, 2011 1:39 pm

No problem. Its an important aspect to consider!

I am doing the lessons through the stable and they are insured. I equally have my own waiver of release which indicates that horseback riding is a dangerous sport that can result in death. I know my waiver isn't sufficient but it acts as a warning to the girls parents so that they understand the seriousness of the dangers.

I don't plan on making this a job, its just a few kids who want to learn the basics. I am using my own personal horse - not the barn owners so if I feel that its detrimental to Willow's training (or mind) I will pull the plug on the kids learning on her.


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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 15, 2011 10:07 am

So yesterday after work my friend and fellow boarder took a lesson on Willow.

She is in her mid twenties and has been riding for a little over 7 years. I was baffled to find out it was her first ever lesson.. everything she knows was self taught with the help of her previous barn owner.

We started with quizzing on terms & the mechanics of the tack we were using, and then she learned how to put on a polo (as she'd never done it before!!!)

We started on the lunge line.. She's only ever ridden her own horse. He is an aged, narrow, 14.1hh app gelding. She'd never done a posting trot because she claims she can't feel it on her horse as he does not have much spring to his trot. (unlike my big girl who covers a lot of ground) We worked on excercises at the trot.. sit sit, stand stand, sit sit, stand stand and then feeling whether or not she was on the right diagonal. Once this was good I put Willow up to the lope and she had to work on balancing her weight and not leaning forward.

Off the lunge I had her work on weaving between pylons using as little rein as possible. I had her over exaggerating her shoulder movements & looking to where she wanted to go so that she could see how much her body language & energy transmits to Willow (very sensitive horse) The rider found that Willow is very gas & brake compared to her horse.

We did figure 8s, change of rein across the diagonal, and transitions.. also learning to control the speed of the gait without breaking down (or up) I was very proud to see an obvious slow trot (not quite a jog) vs extended trot. Once we had this down It was time to try the lope transitions... Willow tested here and went into that silly super fast out of control trot. I hopped on and showed her that when the leg cue goes on and the voice command made there should be a smoothe transition going into AND out of the lope.

Willow tested her a little more and then to win we had her do walk/lope transitions which went over super super smoothly.

There were multiple times when I said what to do Willow DID IT... which I thought was pretty neat... I said "how do we do a change of rein on the rail?" and I kid you not Willow came off and did one perfectly.. when I praised the rider she claimed she didn't ask the horse to do anything hahaha...

Very proud of my horsie. I love her so much. Its kind of nice to "see" her being ridden.
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charlo




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 15, 2011 10:22 am

Good Horsey :bigsmiley.png:
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeFri Jul 15, 2011 11:41 am

GREAT. VERY POSITIVE.....good for you, good for her......and GREAT FOR WILLOW :cowboyhound.gi

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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeTue Jul 26, 2011 12:01 pm

First lesson was last night.

Willow fell asleep in the cross ties while she Student learned to use all the bruses. Student was nervous to pick feet until she realized that Willow picked them up for her lol! I held her tail out of the way for the back feet though, so that if it swished it wouldn't frighten her.

She learned to lead Willow around - turning in and away as well as backing up.

Learned to tack up, although I did it all and she watched and learned. Deal was I'd do her up, and she had to take it all off (she can't lift my saddle though, I remember those days!!)

We did a lunge line session.. she learned voice aids (which needs work, she says "stop" as oposed to woah but she'll get it) She learned how to walk on, how to turn and how to halt.

Off the lunge we set up some pylons and she weaved in and out "like soccer practice" she said.

Then we went back on the lunge and I had her feel a trot both directions. Willow is REALLY springy (and thast an understatement) so I had her hold on and work on keeping her jean pockets glued to the seat.


Had her cool her out, un tack, feed her grain, then turn her out


Overall Willow was great.
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeTue Jul 26, 2011 12:05 pm

Great Wil.......it all ended on a Happy Positive note........well done. :cowboyhound.gi

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teekathepony

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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeTue Jul 26, 2011 3:49 pm

Great update, I'm glad it went well!
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu Aug 04, 2011 7:56 am

Hey Wil, got any more updates?? are the kids still coming for lessons?

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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu Aug 04, 2011 9:15 am

Supposed to teach tonight - the weather isn't sure yet if its going to co operate!

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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu Aug 04, 2011 3:16 pm

This is great! It's nice to give back to the equine community in a positive way. Giving people a chance to ride and learn is surely a gift that they appreciate. I know in our area it's difficult to get lessons unless you own or lease. Pat yourself on the back for opening the door to another generation!
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PostSubject: Smiling   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeSat Dec 03, 2011 8:33 pm

I'm smiling after reading this blog! I ride a "Willow" too and have been helping my daughter transition from pony (which she's still riding) to horse by having her lunge on Willow. I know just what you mean about being proud watching your Willow take such good care of the riders and do so well. Often I'm equally proud of both my daughter and Willow.
Good for you!
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Wil-If-I-Want




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PostSubject: Re: Allowing others to experience the horse bug!   Allowing others to experience the horse bug! Icon_minitimeThu May 17, 2012 8:23 am

So It's that time of year again!

I will have two students this week (kids) and an adult next week. I am excited for the adult as she has owned a horse for the past 7 years (an extremely well bred Arabian mare) she purchase her for her daugher whose now 15. She is at the barn 2x daily and is a wonderful owner but has never ridden a horse before!!

Here are the two little ones! I am on the search for a smaller saddle for them. Please don't mind their sneakers and shorts. I had just finished a trail ride and they were visitng the farm so I popped them up on the girls.

Tell me that Willow doesn't look happy? Haha what a goof. She's sooo good with the kids. Last week the rider on Willow did a few strides of the lope. Good horse, and great little rider! was so proud of both of them.

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