So recently, I had a lesson with my trainer and let me tell you, I learned a lot. Every lesson is always so different. Some lessons, my horse and I are going great, but sometimes we have a lot to work on. Sometimes my instinct is to always blame it on the horse and never really get past my emotions and fears to say that it is NOT the horse, but it’s me. You might be thinking, what do I exactly mean by this. Well, let me tell you…
So I hadn’t ridden Cahari in a while and I had a lot to “catch up” on. So, I got on Cahari and the first thing my trainer wanted me to do was get her to bend her head and neck to touch my foot. We did that on both sides and then I pulled up with both reins to get her to bend her head in towards her chest. This exercise really helps to figure out where the stiffness is in her neck.
Then towards the end of the lesson, my trainer set up a circle of big cones. This was what the concept was… I had to go on the inside of the cones and at a trot bend Cahari into the circle and bend her in towards the circle. I had to make that circle smaller and smaller so eventually, I was riding a small circle. Then I had to push with the inside leg and expand my circle slowly, but while still keeping that bend. Then once I got on the edge of the circle I put my outside leg back and cued Cahari into a canter.
Now, doing all of this wasn’t perfect every single time. I didn’t get it right, but I had to work on it to get it right. It was hard! But what I realized from this lesson is that for a long time since I first started riding, I blamed the horse for its problems and my problems. I realized that most of the problems we have are not because of our horses, but because of us. Cahari is an amazing horse and once I got my act together and got it right, Cahari is incredible! Part of it too was that I needed to get over my emotions and fears. I really just had to let go and then once I did that everything came into place and eventually I got it right.
Let me tell you, riding is a humbling experience and every ride won’t be perfect. But next time you ride and it’s not going well, assess the situation and don’t blame the horse.