Remember your good days… I think that is something that we all should live by in our daily lives, especially when it relates to horses. Remember the day that you finally achieved your goal with your horse… remember the day that your horse made you laugh (I am sure there are plenty) … and remember the day your horse finally understood after an hour of making him understand… remember the day you faced a challenge, and most of all, remember all of the happy and joyful memories you are making with your horse.
As I have been growing in my experience with horses I have come to understand the importance and differences of taking lessons versus not taking lessons. I have realized that both are equally important when developing riding skills. I have taken many lessons while I have been riding horses and I have learned a lot, not only from the trainers, but also from their horses. But, I have also realized that developing a balance between taking lessons and working one on one with your horse, is also very important. I feel the rewarding moments with your horse don’t only come when you take lessons with a trainer, but also when you spend quality time with your horse alone. So, what are the benefits of taking lessons? But also, what are the benefits of not taking lessons?
We can communicate to our horses through…
1. Our Voice
Your voice is such an important way to communicate with your horse. Your voice has the ability to comfort your horse when he is worried or praise your horse when he does something special. When I ride Sky and want her to halt, I constantly have to be talking to her. When you communicate with your horse, you voice should be soft and low. We never want to yell at our horses because then they become more irritated and tense. As my trainer says your voice should sound like your are “talking Texan.”
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…
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!
Last Tuesday, I had a riding lesson with my trainer and I learned two key concepts that I think every rider should know. As I was riding, I realized that there are so many different concepts that we can learn in riding, but to really excel at one concept we, first, have to have proper teaching and second we can’t give up. Sometimes, it takes a while for us to grasp it and actually understand it, but once we do, there is no one stopping us. I also realized riders sometimes can feel tense or tight in the saddle if we are nervous or anxious. When we do that, our horses get all tense and then the concepts we are trying to learn seem even more difficult. So, today I am giving you a little sneak peak into my riding lesson to show the two concepts I learned and I am hopeful that this will help you to better understand them as well. Enjoy!