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!
I have learned to…
Never Give Up
Never give up. This was the first thing I learned when I started to ride horses. It was the first thing I grasped onto and never let go. Every rider will go through their own unique challenges and battles, but through it all we can’t give up. We can’t expect perfection as none of us our perfect, so YES, we will all make mistakes and fail. We have to learn to pick ourselves up and look forward, towards the future. I remember my first fall off my horse, Reba. I was so scared and almost didn’t ride her again. But when my lesson teacher led Reba over to me and told me I had to get back on that helped me to not give up, but to try again. I feel that this is so crucial to learn as new riders and also as experienced riders. Hold onto this truth and don’t ever let it go, even amidst the most difficult challenges.
Riding Takes Time
This is so important to learn! Sometimes riders have trouble taking it easy and slow and I believe that when a rider can take it easy they truly grow as a rider. Riding takes time and no matter how many people tell you this it will forever stay true. My horse, Sky, went through a stage of not wanting to be caught. Yes, she can be very stubborn sometimes. All I wanted to do was ride her and sometimes I tried to rush the situation, but that didn’t help the problem at all. Honestly, when I rushed it that just made it worse. Now each time I go to catch Sky, I have to tell myself, “Keeley just chill out.” If you feel like it is taking your horse forever to learn a new skill, remind yourself that it is NORMAL because riding takes time!
Patience is the key to success in riding. Without patience, basically it would be riders losing their minds every time their horse did something wrong. It definitely would be chaos! Patience allows us as riders to give our horses a chance. Sometimes, when I can’t get a skill right that I am learning I have to learn to breathe out and have patience. So next time your horse is driving you crazy, just breathe and keep trying. I promise you that if you keep trying, you will get somewhere with your horse and what you are learning. Great things come out of patience!
As riders, we are constantly learning new things in our journey that help us along the path to succeed. I challenge you this week to put these tips into practice. Have patience, never give up, and understand that riding takes time. Until next time… don’t forget to hug your horse!