HORSE RIDING LESSONS – DRESSAGE – WORKING EQUITATION
What does it take to become the kind of rider that your horse can enjoy?
Sounds like a simple question – and it is – but that is what tricks a lot of us.
Sure, your horse needs a saddle and bridle that fit well to stop him from feeling uncomfortable, but they don’t make him enjoy the ride.
There are, however, several things you can do to help him enjoy his work:
- Be a balanced rider (this is a lot harder than it sounds).
- Apologise when you get it wrong.
- Help him to be a balanced horse.
- Praise him when he gets it even a little bit right.
Give crystal clear and consistent instructions for anything you want him to do – new or old. If you get sloppy, so will he.
Teach new things in small doses. Quit while you’re ahead. And praise him.
Never work him until he’s mentally exhausted. A horse learning something new has a maximum attention span of about 20minutes. Beyond this he may switch off or explode.
Don’t work either of you until you’re physically exhausted. This leads to short-cuts and easy options (otherwise known as bad habits).
Be fair. Horses usually do what we asked them to do – not what we thought we asked them to do.
Never ride if you’re in a bad mood. Never.
This is a pretty challenging list, but if you try to help your horse in this way, the partnership becomes so much better that you’ll never want to go back.