A couple days ago I found an inspiring quote on Facebook that said this:
“Ride softly, listen carefully, and love completely”
I wanted to share it with you because I feel this quote really represents what horse riding is all about. It represents what the relationship between a horse and a rider should be. Today, I wanted to give you my perspective and thoughts on this quote and what riding softly, listening carefully, and loving completely truly means to me.
Let’s start off with riding softly. What does that mean exactly? Well, after putting all of my thoughts together this is my definition. Riding softly is when a rider uses “soft hands” when riding their horse. It doesn’t mean completely letting go of the reins, but it means using more legs than hands. Once you stop relying on constantly using your hands, you can rely more on your legs and seat to direct your horse. When you use your hands to direct your horse, your horse can easily become irritated and may start to not listen to your hands. Always remember to take the pressure off of your hands and use your legs. Not only will you be relaxed, but your horse will also be as well.
Next, is listening carefully. All humans at one point in their life like to be in control and that may transfer to our horse riding as well. Sometimes horse riders feel they need to be in control, but sometimes we need to stop being in control and start listening to our horses instead. Horse riding is all about a partnership with our horses, so it’s not just a one way relationship. When I am riding, I always need to do a little check in with myself and ask, “Am I listening to my horse right now?” If you are doing something wrong, your horse will tell you. So make sure to always listen carefully!
Lastly, LOVE completely. I always have to remind myself of this even on the tough days. Even when we are frustrated with our horses or they are not doing what we are asking, as I always say, we still gotta love em’. Love is the reason we were passionate about horses in the first place. Love is a huge part of a horse and rider relationship! We love them when they do something silly, we love them even when they are frustrating, and we love them when we accomplish something great together. Love is what makes horse and rider a team.
I hope that this quote was inspiring to you and that it put your relationship with your horse in a new perspective. Until next time… don’t forget to hug your horse!
What are your thoughts on “ride softly, listen carefully, and love completely”?