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Phantom Glasses
Trusted Member

Is anybody else here self-taught?

Due to lack of decent coaches in my locality, I'm thinking of buying my own horse someday (not green) and teaching myself to ride using a cameraman, a fenced arena and knowledge gathered over the internet for three years.

Does anyone else have experience with this? If so,  how did you do it?

PS. For now I'm mostly talking about my seat, not competitive dressage

Posted : 06/05/2020 1:21 am
Active Member

My first trainer taught me the very basics - like, walk/trot/canter/jump - and after that I was self-taught for a long, long time. I read a lot and I rode multiple horses every single day and had basically no lessons whatsoever for about 10 years. It didn't work out particularly well, but looking back, it didn't work out particularly badly either.

I made my way from square one to Elementary dressage before my lack of a solid foundation let me down and I hit an insurmountable plateau. Position-wise, though, I taught myself and it turned out well enough. But as for the aids, for correct training, for performing any of the movements correctly - being self-taught has let me down horribly. Worst of all, being self-taught absolutely destroyed my riding nerve. I over-faced myself regularly because I didn't know any better, and as a result, I'm utterly crippled by nerves in a way that I really shouldn't be based on my ability. It was a very lonely, very frustrating journey up until my wonderful current coach finally found and took pity on me, and I honestly do not recommend it. I think riding on your own is great and should be done most of the time, but lessons at least once or twice a month are essential to help you grow and learn from someone who has the feel, skill, experience, and technique to really make a difference.

If I could change one thing about my riding life, it would be that I would have taken good lessons in those 10 years instead of fumbling around on my own.

Posted : 06/05/2020 12:52 pm
SassyMare liked
Reputable Member

I agree with @firnhydedressage

Lessons at least once or twice a month are essential. They will keep you going in the right direction and stop you from developing any bad habits that can be difficult to get out of. 

Also, there's a lot of incorrect information on the internet. OR even if it is correct, it can easily be misinterpreted or executed the wrong way. 

It will be well worth your while finding an instructor to travel to you at least once per month x 


I'm just here for the free book! (...and I won one!)

Posted : 12/05/2020 7:06 pm
P.B. Equestrian
Estimable Member

You could always try online coaching if there isn't someone in your area 🙂 Someone on the ground that can help guide you in the right direction is incredibly helpful, for you and your horse, especially if you haven't had your own horse before. Having a lesson once or a couple of times a month is highly recommended especially when starting out. I have been riding for 20+ years and I still try to have a lesson every month or 2 as it's difficult riding on your own, even if you have a camera. Then again my goal is GP, currently working on PSG level on my own produced horse 

Posted : 12/05/2020 10:52 pm
Trusted Member

I taught for over 40 years and am now retired, if you want to film yourself and send me it, I can give you tips

Posted : 13/05/2020 10:13 am