Horse Riding Tip – Improve Your Riding by Measuring Time

Horse Riding Tip – Improve Your Riding by Measuring Time


Hello, today I want to share another
riding tip with you. This one is about measuring time. We’re awfully critical
of ourselves when it comes to our riding and confidence and things like
that, and you know we often don’t do is: we don’t often measure the amount of
time we spend on a certain exercise. Here you see a young horse, he’s only had
three or four rides and I’m measuring the time I’m spending on doing these
serpentines. Just changing direction, trying to encourage him to keep his head
down during the change of direction. So what I want you to do is set your watch
and just check it and say okay I’m going to ride this exercise for one minute or
two minutes or three minutes. Don’t overdo it, especially if you’ve got an
educationally young horse or an unfit horse or horse that hasn’t got much
top-line muscle. You don’t want to ride for an hour, you want to just do
something really specific, with a goal and then rest and do something else, okay,
so you don’t want to keep going on and on and on at your horse at the same
thing. But time yourself because what will surprise you is how little focused
time you spend and a minute or two minutes once you really have a focus can
be a long time and it can certainly also be a long time for the horse. So what it
does is, it stops you just sort of getting on the horse and riding. It
actually gives you something to do and by doing that you can say oh wow you
know I’ve spent this whole four minutes doing serpentines or changing
direction or trying to get my horse to relax or give to the bit, whatever it is,
shoulder control, whatever it is and look at that look how much progress I’ve made
and that really is what confidence is all about! That’s how you get confidence is
knowing that you can make a change in your horse. Knowing that you can train
your horse yourself, which means if things start going wrong you know how to
fix it. So this is all about making you a more confident rider. Don’t worry too
much, at this stage, if you look at this horse this is a quarter
horse stallion and you know this is a way I want him to travel with a low head and
relaxed and it’s not the way you want every horse to travel so you have to be
training for that particular thing. Having said that, don’t expect perfection.
You know this horse has had three or four rides. What’s most important at this
stage is relaxation, not perfection. What’s most important is getting him to respond
to bit pressure and not desensitized to bit pressure so that I have to carry him
around. Keep your focus on what you’re doing for those three or four minutes of
your ride and then stop have a rest and reflect on that and then start again. It
works really, really well and I think what you’ll find is you’ll be kinder to
yourself. Because by setting little goals, 3-minute goals, you can actually achieve
a lot more. So every time you rest you say: well that that’s good because now he’s
traveling without pulling on my hand or now he’s traveling and maintaining his
head elevation through the turn, whatever it might be that you’re focused on, you
can actually see some progress, whereas if you just jump on and ride around the paddocks or even around the aren, whatever you’re doing for an
unfocused thirty minutes or for an hour, you don’t have that, you don’t have those
little wins. So let’s break it down for you as well as for the horse and really
structure it so that you’re both succeeding! As riders, we all know that
things don’t always go according to plan. But having a plan, a system, a program,
that follows a step-by-step process is no doubt the best way to really make a
difference with your riding, training and your horses performance, not to mention
your relationship with your horse. Whether you’re planning on competing,
trail riding or simply having a great relationship with your horse on the
ground, then you need regular, structured lessons,
each with an aim and a clearly defined achievable outcome. The Kandoo Equine
Online Training System is exactly this. Not only do the lessons build on one
another, giving you a solid foundation, but I carefully discuss possible
problems – it’s not all perfection and pretty pictures, it’s real life! It’s
always nice to have a trainer or a coach standing in the middle of the arena but
few of us can afford such a luxury on a regular basis and there comes a time
when we realize that, in order to make real progress, that we must first
recognize what’s not right and then learn how to address that ourselves. The
fact is that you know your horse better than anyone and once you start training
your horse yourself the only thing you’re going to wonder is why you didn’t
start years ago! So come on let’s get you back in the saddle and put the fun back
into your horsemanship!

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