Be A Better Rider
Top Errors To Avoid
D URING MY TIME IN THE HORSE INDUSTRY, I’ve seen riders struggle with a variety of issues while working with their horses. Some are due to problems in the horse, but others are pilot error. It can be frustrating for riders to work hard to achieve their goals and run up against walls over and over.
I’m going to talk about six mistakes I see riders make as they work with their horses. It happens at all levels, with horses in many disciplines. I’ve even been guilty of some such mistakes myself. I’ve seen the negative results, so I want to show you why certain habits aren’t helpful. I’ll share suggestions of how you can break these habits and replace them with productive routines that’ll help you and your horse progress with your objectives.
Not Enough Groundwork
Te No. 1 mistake I see is lack of adequate groundwork. At the beginning of working with a horse, when the horse and rider are still learning together, it seems as though riders will do some groundwork and some ground exercises. But once they start riding more, they tend to get away from that part of training.
I do some form of groundwork daily before I ride. Depending on the day or the horse, it could last just fve minutes or be 15 minutes on the ground before I ever step into the saddle. I run through a checklist that gets rid of the horse’s excess energy and gives me the tools I’m going to need before I get on him.
For instance, I’ll put the bridle on and hold onto the end of the reins, pushing him about 3 feet out away from me. I’ll work on getting his face sof, and on getting the body working right and yielding to pressure. I’ll use my hand or a training stick to aid in body yielding. I want to get the horse sofened up, turning, and backing up without resistance.
By doing so, I don’t have to go through what seems to be a common thing for some riders: a really bad frst 15 or 20 minutes of riding before the horse starts working decently. Horses can get into a bad habit of just being kind of silly and not being focused when you f rst get on. You can eliminate that possibility with daily pre-ride groundwork.
Too Much Leeway
Another frequent rider error, especially in the beginning stages of training, is that of giving the
Quarter Horse mare Huntin For A Color