I meet a lot of different pupils while teaching, most of them love their horse and have a very special relationship with their equine partner.
I always get asked which book should I read to improve my riding.
It’s a tricky question … not because there isn’t a lack of books out there that describe any movement in as much detail as possible.
There are brilliant books out there and they make incredibly good reading and provide a wealth of knowledge.
And I find I keep on re-reading them and every time I do I move a bit more forward in my own training and understanding and these books make so much more sense when you have a lightbulb moment in the saddle.
However, I find you need a horse and someone on the ground teaching you in motion, to really get a feeling for the timing, coordination of the aids. So you can develop the feel for when you can help or hinder your horse.
Those changes are sometimes very subtle, easy to miss and then the confusing guesswork begins.
Also, you need to learn that every horse has a slightly different mindset, some are very eager to please, others are a bit slow to grasp the concept.
Here also lies the difference in repetition or drilling rather than teaching with feel time and patience.
When you have the horse’s mindset with you, you have the horses cooperation, its only then as a rider that’s it’s possible to achieve amazing results.
Books help you to re-read what you have learned and felt in a lesson, sometimes it gives you a new focus point and a goal to work towards.
Or just hearing / reading it in a slightly different way of explaining helps you to understand how to achieve a movement, or sequence of movements, as ideas of how to combine different exercises to improve another or to combine them to make a movement smoother.
But reading it, being able to place what you read straight into practice is more difficult
Very few riders / pupils have the imagination and feeling to put the written word into a harmonious, correctly ridden movement.
So what you really need to work on is a good foundation.
So that you can come back to it anytime, anywhere in your training it’s your safety net. A step back to take a step, or leap, forward.
So the basic foundation is the key.
And starting a whole heap of different exercises and not making sure they are complete as an exercise and a movement can lead to a whole heap of confusion and frustration from horse and rider as the horse will keep on giving you different answers every time. As it hasn’t received a clear yes or no. The guesswork continues, therefore the confidence and the basics haven’t been established and then there is no foundation to fall back to.
Good news is with a great foundation, once you realised that you took a wrong turn and jumped a couple of chapters and have been a bit too ambitious, you can flip back a couple pages and rewrite them.
Hopefully you remember some of the continued story and connect them again the second time more effectively.
Enjoy every step of the journey and yes, enjoy the mistakes along the wa, as making mistakes is the most humbling way to learn.
If you want to know more about how I can help you, send me a PM or call me on 0408 882 730 and let’s find out what your goals are.