Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Be the Rider You Can be Today

Kate at A Year With Horses has a great post yesterday: Ride the Horse You Have Today.

It made me think about where I was at today. I went out to ride Corrie. Sensei was letting the other horses out, which ran beside the indoor. I knew he was doing this and was prepared . The horses ran and we heard them. Corrie was on high alert, but I was able to keep her under control. I admit I was a bit rattled, but I did NOT get off.

As I read Kate's post I thought about that moment. Not only did I have to ride the horse I had, but I had to be the rider I was in that moment. In the past I may have reacted differently. Working Corrie more assertively and although been aware of what was going on, kept Corrie on track. Yesterday, I couldn't do that as well. I modified our work to where I felt I could comfortably keep Corrie under control. I did. We rode on the side of the arena away from the window so we would not see the horses, I keep her focus on me as much as I could. I did not handle it perfectly, I did not handle it as well as I did in my youth, but I handled it.

Years ago I had better balance and more control of myself. I am not that rider anymore. Some rides I honestly get very frustrated that my body does not do what I asked it to do. At those times I have to remember to be the rider I now. Accepting where I am now and moving forward from there. Comparing myself to what I was does not help me to be a better rider now. Being happy with the accomplishments I am making and having my sights set on new goals does help me.

Just like Kate says in her post, although you should go in with a plan, be prepared to alter than plan. Even if your horse is having a really good day we need to take into account our own emotional state. Yesterday I was very stressed, I wanted to just bum around on Corrie. Corrie made it knows that she has other plans and we adjusted, worked through that and then just bummed a bit. Sometimes getting out to the barn I myself feeling very confident. After checking in with my horse to see where she is, I might choose that day to challenge myself.

In a partnership we need to look at the needs of both partners. In some partnerships the the rider is strong enough to just look at the needs of the horse. Other relationships, the rider's need have a lot of focus too. Normally this is a beginner/ rerider, someone like myself that has issues to work through, or someone that has physical limitations. In these cases you need a special horse to pick up the slack. No matter though, we need to be the rider can can be for the horse we are riding today.


  1. I really like this - it's a great compliment to my post.

  2. I meant "complement"! (of course your mentioning my post is a compliment!)

  3. I just found your blog through the Horse Bloggers Google group. What a great post!

    I was badly injured in a fall from a horse several years ago, so I can really identify with this post. The hardest thing for me to deal with wasn't the fear, but coming to terms with the fact that I wasn't the rider I used to be. I wasted a lot of time crying and being angry and frustrated that I couldn't ride the way I did before I was injured. When I finally came to terms with the fact that I would never physically be the same again, I was able to learn new ways to get what I wanted from my horse. It made me a more sensitive and thoughtful rider. As you said, I had to learn to be the rider I can be today!

  4. So true Beth! I think for me and probably most folks being ok with where you are as a rider is harder than riding the horse you have. It is really difficult not to be too hard on yourself. Once we learn to not blame the horse and take responsibility for our actions the pendulum swings the other way and all that blame and guilt falls right on us.

  5. Thats really great. I am glad you can handle what corrie dishes out. it sounds like you guys are going to make a great team.

  6. Both of these posts are really great. It's crazy, even when things go well I find that I can be frustrated by my limitations. I am most own worst critic.

  7. I think Corrie is that special horse for you. She sounds so great. Enough of a challenge to keep you moving forward, but quiet enough to build up your confidence. :) Good job for staying on and getting her focus.


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