Today let’s look at one of the most important factors I believe to experience success in your riding…
Mindset to me is everything when it comes to riding, and in fact living a life to its full potential.
When we think about riding, we may think about the horse needing to get stronger, or perhaps the horse needs to learn a particular movement, or the horse needs to improve. In my experience and learning, I have come to realise I don’t get half the results I can, when I focus on me rather than my horse.
I was coaching last week, and the rider was choosing to experience a challenge with the correct canter lead. She did it twice until I stopped her, and asked her what she was focusing and thinking about to get the right canter lead. She replied everything! I’m thinking about bending him to the inside, but keeping the outside rein connection, keeping weight on the outside shoulder, so the inside is free to come through, I’m thinking about him coming off my leg aids, and I’m thinking about how I really want this right canter lead.
Now that is all cool. But as I explained to my client, that doesn’t help. Yes you need all those things, but the focus needs to be on you. Canter transitions are the easiest in the world… when you know how. The next time I told her to come around, and this time only focus on self. Think about what your inside hip is doing, and just think seat and pop the transition, don’t complicate it, don’t rush it, and don’t force it. Just let it come, and trust and know it will come.
Around she came and inevitably got the perfect lead, in a perfect canter transition.
She went around and then stopped and said HOW DID THAT HAPPEN????!!!
I said magic, but at looking at her unimpressed face, then asked why don’t you tell me? What was different?
She replied – well I didn’t think it was going to work, I decided to do as little as possible, and do exactly what you said – just think it, trust it and pop the hip, and it just happened underneath me. I told her to remember that feeling, and remember the learning. Riding is feeling and connecting with the horse, and guiding it to follow us. The more force and pressure we put upon us and the horse, the more the horse can become confused, and can’t give us the result we want. The horse knows how to canter – sometimes you need to sit back and just allow the horse to do what it knows.
So try it next riding session. Trust and allow the horse to go a little bit. Start connecting with your horse, and get into that zone of feel-react rather than feel-think-react. You don’t need the thinking part. The analysis can happen later.
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To Your Success,
p.s. If you are a Your Riding Success member, click here to read about how you can get the results you want through mindset!
p.p.s. Love to hear your thoughts 🙂