What Are The 3 Things You Need To Test When Getting On A Horse For The Very First Time?

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “What Are The 3 Things You Need To Test When Getting On A Horse For The Very First Time?”

I think the best thing to do, you get on the horse and you go and you test your brakes because that will give you the confidence and the certainty that you can stop the horse.

I worked with a client a couple of days ago and she had this irrational fear and then we realized she doesn’t test her brakes. So if you put me in a car with no brakes or I’m not sure if the brakes work, I’m going to be terrified to drive that car. I’m not going to drive the car, I won’t be comfortable to drive the car, I don’t know if the brakes work.

 

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Hey riding superstars. Today I’m going to answer the question. What are the three things you need to test when you get on a horse for the very first time? Okay, so you’ve got on a brand new horse for a very first time. There’s a million things probably rushing through your head and a million things that I like to test when I get on a horse, but I’ve distilled it down to three things that I think every single rider should do and especially if you’re feeling a little uncertain or a little bit scared or a little bit not sure.

I think the best thing to do, you get on the horse and you go and you test your brakes, because that will give you the confidence and the certainty that you can stop the horse. I worked with a client a couple of days ago and she had this irrational fear and then we realized she doesn’t test her brakes. So if you put me in a car with no brakes or I’m not sure if the brakes work, I’m going to be terrified to drive that car. I’m not going to drive the car, I won’t be comfortable to drive the car, I don’t know if the brakes work. So the first thing you want to do when you get on a horse, it’s got, okay, I’m on and I’m just going to test the brakes. We’ll get back to the training in a second.

I just wanted to remind you, if you’re loving this video, make sure to subscribe and leave me a comment on how this video has helped and your biggest learning so far. So now I tested the brakes, we’d just touched my foot on the brake, I just did the tiniest little aid, I just went and think about halting and he thinks about it, he thinks about it. Good boy and remember the horse doesn’t know me, you don’t know the horse. There’s a million different aids for holt, there’s a million different things going on, but the fact that I just applied, I just touched my leg, I didn’t touch my leg. In a car if you touch your leg on the brake, what I did over there was I just tightened my stomach and he kind of ran through it and I just did it a little bit stronger, tightened my stomach and I could feel him slow down.

So I just kept with it and thought, under no expectation, didn’t matter if he didn’t stop or did stop, I’m just playing. So again, I’m walking and I go, okay, I’m just going to think about stopping. And now he’s not paying any attention, he’s looking over there, I haven’t got to him at all. So then I got okay, but when I apply my hands, yep, I’ve got brakes. Okay. So that makes me feel confident and certain that I’ve got brakes. So I always think you should get on a horse and test your brakes.

The next thing you want to do is test your accelerator. Would that be all right? You want to check that you’ve got an accelerator and probably before you check your accelerator, you want to check that your steering wheel works. So just turn left, he turns, just turn right, yep, he turns. Now, whether he turns like a Mack truck and you’re like, “Oh God, this turn. I apply the aid to turn and it takes forever.” We’re talking very crude, we’re talking very rough. We’re just saying, is the answer in the realms of safe? Can I turn him? Yes. Is it pretty? No. We’ll start with that. Does he halt? Does he stop? Yes. Is it pretty and perfect? No, but you wouldn’t expect that at the very start.

Okay, so we know our steering wheel works, we know our brakes work, so now we’re just going to go, does our accelerator work? Yes, the accelerator works and if I put more accelerator on, do we trot more? Yep. When I ask for less, do we get less and I go, okay, everything’s kind of working, that feels good. Then I’m on canter, yep, I’ve got accelerator and then straight away, if you want to test your brakes in the canter, because I know a lot of riders can get… Good boy. Worried about that. The minute you start cantering, test your barks and go back to trot, that’ll give you the confidence and the certainty of I’m in control. I’ve got the canter, but I can trot whenever I want, so therefore I have no need to fear the canter.

So that’s the first bit. Then obviously if you’re aiming to try the horse, you’re going to be asking all different questions. You’re going to be wondering what tricks it has, what things it knows. Does it know how to sharoone, does it know how to travit, does it know how to high past, does it know a flying change. You might also be playing with the contact, going okay, is he easy to get through and connected? I wasn’t working on any of that today, because he felt even in the rains. Is he blocked from one side and all these other things come later too. Can you go? Can you stop? Can you turn? Enjoy.

So trust that helps and remember if you guys need any help with steps, procedures, strategies, recipes. How do you do A? How do you do B? How do you do C? I’ve got a free training card that tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.

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