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Yay there are riders who ski here!

#61
I was just talking to the new paralegal on our team at work and told her about this thread. She's a lifelong equestrian, doesn't have a horse but rides often at her friends stable. She knows I am a skier and mentioned something call skijoring(sp). I am sure I butchered the spelling there. I told her about this thread and she wondered if anyone did that. Guess it takes 2 people, you are on snow, one person pulls and the other is on the horse? I might need to google but this sounds wacky to me.

Here's a couple pictures she just sent me.

skijoring 1.jpg skijoring 2.jpg

We were also talking about how you sit on a horse versus the athletic stance ski position and she said she understands how you have to switch hats and remember you are skiing, not on a horse and change your position :smile:

I know nothing about horses, am terrified of riding on them but think they are so beautiful.
 
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Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#62
nope, that's the right way to spell it. Skijoring is a scream. I cannot imagine doing this with my horse, he's spook like crazy!
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#64
I can't decide if Skijoring would be fun, or terrifying! They do a big race in Jackson Hole, I believe. I'd love to watch it sometime.
 

BrookeK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#65
Thanks, ladies. He truly rounded out my life. Caring for him whether healthy or laminitic was an absolute joy. He was a real character with a heart of gold. ALWAYS happy. Talkative. Fun to show! I have been mourning him since he passed. Going to scatter his ashes up on the mountain this week.

I was thinking of you today.
It sounds like he had a very, very good life. I have no doubt this weekend will be difficult for you. But it seems a beautiful way to honor a beautiful boy.
 

BrookeK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#67
Long as we're posting pics, here's Huey, my Dutch Warmblood. He's a retired GP show jumper. His daddy is Emilion, and this apple didn't fall too far from the tree based on that article. His forelegs took a real beating on the show circuit, so we stick to dressage. Or we did, until I got an injury from a fall that is taking FOREVER to rehab - really whacked my piriformis, and if you want to injure something that will comprehensively screw up your seat, the piriformis is the way to go. Anyway, he's more or less on an extended vacation until I'm not lame...at which point, doubtless, he will put another hole in his tendon sheath, or whang up his suspensory again...at this point, between his issues and mine, I'm reconciled to just hanging out with him. Fortunately, he's really good company, has personality times 100. As we can see from this photobomb. I hired a professional photographer to do a photo shoot of us in the fall of 2013. The colors in this image look crappy after shrinking it for upload, but you get the idea. Can't believe it's been that long...
I think the colors are fabulous! Love his tongue sticking out, what a character!

I hope you heal up and he stays sound for yiu. My boy is about to turn 20 and he's been a bit hitchy in the hind end for the last couple of years. Not much I can do about it, he owes me nothing, and while I miss our days of galloping around the horse parks, soaring over jumps like a couple of crazies, as long as he's comfortable, I'm content to just hack around with him.

I had to Google piriformis. Doesn't sound fun. I did something similar...interesting story and photos related to a fall....and it wasn't pleasant. Still have a war wound 6 years later. Whoops.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#68
I was thinking of you today.
It sounds like he had a very, very good life. I have no doubt this weekend will be difficult for you. But it seems a beautiful way to honor a beautiful boy.
:hug: Thank you, Brooke. You are so kind.
We did this today on one of my favorite mountain biking trails. We scattered his ashes all over the place, including in the middle of a pond that is currently frozen over.
 

DRG

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#70
@surfsnowgirl and @contesstant - They do the Skijoring at Silverton, too! It's crazy.

Are you both riders as well as skiers? I am - I have a 7 year old mare that I currently live across the country from (moved to California 6 months ago), but I go back to ride her at least once a month. Not sure yet what my long term plans are for relocating her - have to figure out where I will be long term first!
 
#71
@surfsnowgirl and @contesstant - They do the Skijoring at Silverton, too! It's crazy.

Are you both riders as well as skiers? I am - I have a 7 year old mare that I currently live across the country from (moved to California 6 months ago), but I go back to ride her at least once a month. Not sure yet what my long term plans are for relocating her - have to figure out where I will be long term first!
I have only been on a horse once before in my life and I was terrified. I was probably 17, I got on the horse and was lead around in a circle like I was 6 because I was soooo scared. I am afraid of heights and my those animals are tall :smile:. I love horses and think they are gorgeous but I'd want to sit on the sidelines, pet them and feed them apples or whatever they like to eat. I remember once when I was a little girl my dad took me horseback riding. I was probably 4 or 5, was terrified and apparently was more interested in riding the great dane that someone nearby had as a pet lmao.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#72
@surfsnowgirl and @contesstant - They do the Skijoring at Silverton, too! It's crazy.

Are you both riders as well as skiers? I am - I have a 7 year old mare that I currently live across the country from (moved to California 6 months ago), but I go back to ride her at least once a month. Not sure yet what my long term plans are for relocating her - have to figure out where I will be long term first!
I have been there too many times, across the country or at least way too far away from my horse due to military moves! It stinks. And yes, I grew up on the back of a horse and started skiing in my twenties.
 
#73
@DRG I am sure you miss your horsie a lot. That must be hard not to have her with you. At least you see her once a month or so, that helps I bet.
 

DRG

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#74
@DRG I am sure you miss your horsie a lot. That must be hard not to have her with you. At least you see her once a month or so, that helps I bet.
Yes - I miss her like crazy! It's amazing the bond you can form with these animals. I have a trainer friend who rides her twice a week for me which means she is always in good shape when I get to town!
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#75
I feel extremely ill-used that I'm only getting to see my boy 2x per week due to some scheduling BS. One of the barn staff loooooves him, and he loves her too, so I give her $20 to ride him whenever she can squeeze in the time. At least he's getting the Saddle Zone of his brain exercised. She's a better rider than I am too, so he's not only getting exercised, he's getting schooled. Looking forward to being able to ride him again myself, though.

I miss him like hell when I have to go 4 days without seeing him. Can't imagine what that's like for you, DRG.
 

eclaire

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#76
I have always wanted to learn to ride and decided that this is the summer to do it. I just scheduled an intro lesson at a local barn for this Friday. I'd appreciate any advice on how to evaluate the instructor. What should I look for and what should I expect? I'm an absolute novice and not in the best shape. I'm hoping that I enjoy the lesson and the instructor enough to sign up for more private lessons, but I'm unsure of how often I should ride to progress enough to join the adult groups. Any advice would be appreciated!
Ellen
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#77
Instructor should ask what you want out of the lesson and actually listen to what you say. They should also pick a good horse for you (i.e., a quiet one that is used to carrying green riders). Some may disagree, but IMO, a riding lesson should include grooming and tacking up, not just riding. That grooming/tacking process is important for bonding with the horse and getting everyone's head (yours and the horse's) into the right space for riding. If it's the sort of barn where you'll groom, then the instructor or someone employed by the barn should catch the horse for you and put it into the crossties for you, and then introduce you to the components of the grooming kit, show you how to use them, and then let you do it. They might just tack up for you at first, since that's a safety issue, but even if they do tack up for you, they ought to be teaching you how to do it yourself.

The horses ought to be in good physical condition (no ribs showing, looking generally clean and happy), and cooperating with the handlers.

You'll probably spend a bunch of time just walking around on the horse. This is important, and not at all a problem. Even expert riders work their horses a lot at a walk. Just like with a ski instructor, the riding instructor should be helping you advance but not pushing you into places you're not comfortable. When you're skiing, the snow doesn't care how you feel about what you're doing, it's just the snow...but when you're riding, the horse definitely cares about how you feel about what you're doing, and will change its behavior as a consequence. And don't think you can hide what you're feeling from the horse. Riders have NO secrets from their horses when they're astride.

The horse will not necessarily change its behavior to be more accommodating to you, either, it may change its behavior by getting naughty. If this happens, your instructor should realize at once what is happening and tell you how to make it stop. That doesn't mean you'll be able to, any more than you can take a bump field fluidly on demand when you're learning, but the instructor should be giving you relatively clear instructions.

If the instructor is yelling it doesn't necessarily mean they're "yelling" at you - most of them seem to yell habitually to be heard over the racket that horse and tack can make.

Tell the instructor your goal is to eventually join the adult lessons, and ask him/her to let you know when you're ready. You may need to discuss this a couple of times, depending on how flaky your instructor is (and the odds are high that s/he will, in fact, be kind of flaky), but they ought to let you know when you're ready. There is no standardized amount of time for how long this will take. Some people will be ready to do it almost right away, some will take a lot longer.

Riding once a week is a minimum, IMO, for keeping your skills moving along and your muscles developing. There are muscles you use when riding that you don't seem to use for anything else, so you will be sore after the lesson (even if all you do is walk), and I don't think there's much you can do in the gym to keep that from happening. Best way to condition yourself for riding is to ride.

You're going to need some gear, of course. As soon as you decide you want a second lesson, you're going to need some boots. If you're riding Western, it's cowboy boots, if you're riding anything else, it's paddock boots and half-chaps. They're $60-$100 or so, and available at any tack shop or online. You'll probably also want some breeches, regardless of what discipline you pursue. If you're on the smaller side, you can get these at the tack shop. If you're generously proportioned, you'll probably have to get them online. You also, of course, need a helmet, also available at the tack shop. The barn should have some loaner helmets for brand-new riders like yourself, but as soon as you decide you want to go more than once, buy your own.

That reminds me...the instructor should not permit you to get on the horse without wearing a helmet. Period. No, you cannot use your ski or bike helmet for this. I checked. Ski helmets are designed for relatively low-speed collisions, and both them and the bike helmets are designed for falls from no more than six feet. If you fall off the horse (and this does happen, but it is not something to be particularly worried about), you'll be falling from quite a bit higher, and the riding helmets take this into consideration. Horses are at the bottom of the food chain, and species survival is contingent upon reacting very quickly and strongly to perceived threats. Some of this can be trained out of them, but not all of it, not any more than people can be trained not to blink if something heads right at their eyes. It's reflexive. So even experts, riding horses that they know extremely well, still wear helmets.

This is going to be great, by the way! I remember my first riding lesson like it was yesterday. I couldn't wait to go back. I haven't been able to ride my horse in almost a year because I injured my piriformis, and it's taking FOREVER to heal up completely, and it's driving me nuts not to be able to ride him. More nuts now that ski season is starting to fade off here.
 

Serafina

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#78
Oh, and I just saw you're from Boston. Some of those eastern barns can be really snooty, so if you get a bunch of attitude, don't let it put you off the sport, just look around for another barn.

And your tack shop is going to be one of the Dover Saddlery shops, or (my favorite) SmartPak out in Natick.
 
#79
Have fun and let us know how it goes. Good for you for doing this. I am terrified of horses but want to do this one day.
 

eclaire

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#80
Thanks, Serafina for your long and thoughtful reply.

I had a very nice conversation with the instructor on the 'phone when I made my appointment and I got the feeling that she really listened to me. She also asked a number of questions including my height and weight so as to decide which horse to use. She said that we'll most likely spend about half of the lesson in the barn and half on the lunge line. By the way, it's Volo Farms in Westford if you're familiar with them.

I'm definitely a plus-size so if you can recommend any online tack shops to check out I'd appreciate it!

Surfsnowgirl, maybe this is the year you should confront your fear and join me in the saddle! :smile:
 

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