Good Days And Bad Days With Horses
Good days and bad days come with the territory when it comes to horseback riding and life with horses. It is only natural that sometimes when you are trying to ride an animal that weighs a thousand pounds and doesn’t speak your language that things may get a little sketchy!
Looking Forward To Your Lessons
We all hopefully look forward to our riding lessons. We may have been practicing what we learned in our lesson and can’t wait to show our instructor our progress. Or maybe if you are a once a week rider, you are just excited to see what new skill you might learn today. Whatever your situation may be, when you look forward to the days lesson and it doesn’t go as planned you are bound to be frustrated or disappointed.
This Is Totally Understandable
I’m not discounting that the feeling of disappointment really sucks and can take the wind out of your sails really quickly. Especially when you thought you would be off to a great start. Don’t let it ruin your ride though. You have to stay in the right frame of mind! Remember our horses pick up on all of our stress and tension and it just makes them tense which doesn’t help our situation at all!
If Your Horse Was Always Perfectly Behaved in Lessons….
Imagine if your horse was always perfectly behaved in lessons. It would be good for your ego to hear a lot of positive feedback.
But then when you have a bad day with your horse without your instructor’s help, it will be harder to fix. Since you maybe won’t quite be sure how to fix the problem.
Instructors Are There To Help You Problem Solve
Instructors teach us new things and perfect the skills we already have. The other part of our jobs is to problem solve with you, so teaching you how to get through an issue you might be having and how to fix it.
If your instructor never sees your horse misbehave then you are missing out on a chance to learn how to fix it. Also, working through a problem with your instructor will help give you the confidence to work through the problem when you are schooling on your own.
What We Get Out Of A Good Lesson
When we feel like we had a great lesson. What do we get out of it? Lots of important things. We boost our confidence when our responds the way we want them too. Our instructors can get a chance to perfect our technique with skills we already know when our horse is being cooperative.
Good lessons give us confidence in ourselves. They also give us a chance to learn new skills.
We enjoy good lessons. It keeps us enthusiastic. Keeps our heart in the game and our dedication to our riding strong.
What Do Bad Lessons Do?
They give our instructor a chance to see what our “weakest links” are so they can help us patch up any holes in our riding that are causing us problems.
Bad lessons remind us that we are working with a thousand-pound animal that sometimes doesn’t know what we want it to do. That’s because they don’t always understand what we want of them. It reminds us that our horses are not robots and that we have to constantly tell them what to do and be in “conversation with them”.
Our instructor helps us break up those miscommunications. Helps us to work through the problem step by step, and encourage us along the way.
These lessons are how we really learn and have “light bulb” moments in our riding journey. We will feel more accomplished when we finish a bad lesson on a good note and then have more skills moving forward to practice on our own or use it in the next lesson.
A Time To Be Pushed
In the harder lessons are when our instructors a lot of the time have to push us harder. We may be lacking confidence or maybe we just are having trouble putting together their instructions.
A good instructor will only push when they know their rider is ready and skilled enough to get the job done. We all need to be pushed out of our comfort zone from time to time to move forward in our riding journey. This is more likely to happen in a harder lesson than in a great one!
What I Want You To Take From This Post…
Riding horses is not always easy. Sometimes we have to really work at it. Sometimes we have to overcome our fears. Some lessons will be great and you will get off glowing with pride and others you will just feel disappointed and frustrated. This all comes with the territory.
You need to keep a positive attitude no matter whether it is a great lesson or the hardest lesson either. Either way you are learning and improving. Some days are just harder than others.
If you have a bad ride, try to instead of being upset and frustrated after the lesson. Think in your head a list of all the things you learned. The steps that you now know to work through a certain problem. If your instructor never saw that struggle you would never learn the new skills you need to fix the problem.
“I Just Want To Ride For Fun”
I have heard this from students before. People who aren’t interested in going fast or jumping high jumps. They will complain when things get hard. Sometimes even just shut down and stop trying.
The thing is if you have chosen a sport with a thousand pound animal involved. You need to learn to be assertive and to be safe in order to have fun. So yeah, some of your lessons may seem harder than others.
This is just because your instructor knows that in order to have fun with horses, you have to learn to be safe with horses. Which requires being assertive at times instead of sitting up and going along for the ride.
It’s All Just Part Of The Journey
Good lesson, bad lesson. The natural balance of the two is what helps us be confident riders, and push ourselves to learn to think like a horse and be problem solvers.
So, remember the bad lessons teach us the biggest lessons!
Keep On’ Keepin on’!