Working with a horse and the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Without a solid foundation in the beginning, there a very few things that stay right for a long time
One of the famous exceptions is the Leaning tower of Pisa, but other than that most things crumble and turn to dust, if not built right the first time.
For children, their formative years are spent learning the alphabet and practising sounds for letters and sometimes it’s hard, because some letters have multiple sounds and you just have to learn it
Unfortunately, our own family went through this the hard way, as early schools didn’t get it quite right in the early days and our son had trouble reading and writing and memorising things.
The modern trend to teach words as they sound and not the alphabet didn’t really work for him.
So we made the decision to hire a tutor and she took him right back to the basics, where he learnt the phonetic sounds of the alphabet using flash cards and we worked on it endlessly at home ( ooh boy was I popular!).
But guess what?!
English finally made sense to him after learning the basics again correctly. He had the building blocks he needed and could use what he learnt to form words letters, sentences, structures, and text.
With every new chapter the tutor introduced, she checked the previous one and made sure his understanding of it was rock solid so he could build on it and go to the next level.
This took loads of dedication and perseverance, especially going back all the way to the beginning and starting again.
Was it worth it?
After this amazing process and effort, he was more confident, English wasn’t the most dreaded subject any more but tolerable.
It helped him across all subjects- as with everything, you needed to be able to read and write. It took a long time to retrain his brain and read a word letter for letter, rather than rushing over it and guessing the meaning, then see if it fits in with the rest of the sentence.
How does this relate to horse riding?
It’s fundamental to teach your horse the ABC, so that you are teaching your horse basic building blocks which they fall back onto in any situation
This takes time, awareness, dedication and observation, to develop an understanding and feeling of a correct movement.
Especially when you have to go back and start again at the beginning!
Most horses try to please and offer more or try to guess the answer, which unfortunately leads to a similar situation, rushing, bracing, tension and unnecessary wear and tear…..As well as a frustrated rider and horse.
Without the tension and bracing riding becomes fun, easy and harmonious. You receive the same answer in a calm reliable manner.
Check that your horse has understood the chapter after your lessons and feels comfortable in his balance and is ready to continue.
You want to aim for a healthy horse with a great quality of life, who enjoys his work and looks forward to the next ride in all disciplines.
SO yes, it is absolutely worth it – every time.