As riders, communication is key to developing a strong and trustworthy relationship with your horse. Communication is the connection between two or more people or animals. Horses have two main ways of communicating with their riders: vocal sounds and body language. Horses use communication to tell us how they are feeling. They communicate to us if they are angry, annoyed, happy, or even relaxed. The amazing thing about horses is that they are professionals at communicating. When they were young, they had to communicate to their mothers to tell them they were hungry, horses that live in the wild communicate with the herd to notify other horses of danger or prey, horses have the ability to communicate in small and even large ways and they can communicate by moving their ears or even by responding in flight.
A couple of days ago, I had a lesson with my trainer and let me tell you it was hard! I mean, it was definitely a rewarding lesson, but it was hard! Thanks Gary:-) I felt like putting my lesson into a blog post, because I learned something VERY important. I believe that once every horse rider accomplishes this, they will become an even better rider! So this is what I learned the night of my lesson…
Yet another Throwback Thursday makes me realize how many fantastic experiences I have been blessed with over the years. I mean, when blessed with so many people that have shaped me as a rider is something I can feel proud of today. For example, the barn I am at now has influenced me in ways I never thought were possible. I have improved and progressed in ways I never thought I could. But most of all it changed my view on finding the RIGHT barn. The barn that will support you every step of the way. It changed my view to ask myself: What even is the RIGHT barn? That leads me to the story I am about to tell you all today. The story of when I found my RIGHT barn.
Learn how to live in the now… what do you think that means? Well, it probably has about a hundred different definitions, but today I am only going to focus on one of those definitions… “living in the now” as it relates to horses. Isn’t that why we are all here? To “live in the now” with our horses?
Horses each have their own “horsenalities” as I have learned from previous experiences. Maybe some like to add in that extra buck when you are cueing them into the canter, or maybe their whole focus in life is on what you have in the food bucket, or they are the sweetest horse on the entire earth and all they want to do is spend time with you. As you know, not all horses are the same. They are all so different in their own unique and maybe quirky ways. But no matter what their “horsenality”, horses always live life to the fullest.
I remember it clearly. I was at my friend’s horseback riding birthday party when I was about 7. The first time I got on the horse, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life riding horses. I always had the dream of becoming an olympic champion in the event of jumping. I could just imagine myself joining the Canadian jumping team, riding a super tall horse and jumping over the rails, flawlessly. Horses became my day and my night… horses became my life. I’ve made many memories that I have treasured and know that there are still more to come. Throughout my riding journey, I have learned many important things about being an equestrian and as I continue to learn my goal is to share all that I learn with other riders as well. Whether you are just starting to learn how to ride or you have ridden for years, today I am giving you some advice on horseback riding. I hope that you find my advice helpful in your riding journey and maybe you can even take this advice and pass it forward to a friend or someone close. Enjoy reading!
Have you ever fallen off a horse before? How about three times in one hour?!
Two years ago when I was in a jumping lesson with a previous trainer, I fell off my horse three times in one hour. Let me tell you, by the third time, my confidence was completely gone and it took a while for it to come back.
In life, when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we can develop a lack of confidence and self-worth. We can feel like the whole world is on our shoulders and nothing will ever get better or resolve itself. When we fail or make mistakes, our whole mindset can revolve around those mistakes or regrets and then that makes us feel powerless. Feeling powerless can make us feel vulnerable or useless.
As horseback riders, we need to find the right person to help us in our riding journey. We need them to mentor us along the way so that we can grow and succeed and meet our goals. I have had many experiences with many different mentors. You could say I was on a journey myself, to find the right mentor…
I have to admit that sometimes I don’t have such a great ride. I mean as everyone says I guess it just depends on the day, right? Sometimes I walk out into the field to get my horse, Sky, and sometimes she is just not happy to see me and then that makes me frustrated and then it just turns into a really bad day altogether. I’m sure you, at one time, have experienced that. It can get pretty discouraging!
So, I am going to give you 3 riding tips that I think help for a better ride and a better connection with your horse. I mean, I am not saying that you will never have a bad ride because everyone will have those odd days. But these tips will help make those bad rides better. Enjoy reading!
Everyone has fears…everyone is scared of at least one thing. Sometimes it is embarrassing to admit that we’re scared. Admitting that were scared takes a lot of work and self-talk. You know, a couple days ago when I had my lesson with my trainer I realized that I had a fear deep inside of me that I didn’t even know was there.