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April 10, 2018 13 Comments
Do you ever feel pressured to get on a horse when you feel you shouldn't?
Do you ever pressure yourself?
Horse riding is supposed to be fun. So why would you ever do something that feels like pressure? Is it because you feel like you don't want to look like a wimp? Is it because you feel like your horse needs you to ride?
First of all. You are a wimp. And so am I... compared to a horse, that is. A horse is 1,000 pounds of muscle and emotion. You're not even close to 1000 pounds. It's your God given right to second guess whether or not you should get on. In fact, the late Ray Hunt said. "Don't get on until you are sure that your sure!" He was a real cowboy. He could ride anything, but he still didn't ride anything until he "knew" he could ride it. He didn't wonder if he could ride it. He didn't let his friends tell him he should ride it. He tested, observed and progressed to riding like a master. Just like you should.
By the way, you don't have to be experienced to test, observe and progress. You don't have to be Ray Hunt or Rachel Jessop. You just have to stop listening to the pressure. Stand up and be brave enough to say, "I decide when to ride!"
Recently, a close friend of mine fell from her horse in a familiar situation. My heart goes out to her as she lays bandaged on her bed all day. I doubt she'll ever forget her experience, but I hope you never have to have her experience.
If you've properly tested your horse and still feel uncertain he or she is ready to ride. Listen to that voice, that gut feeling and test again, because something is missing. Then take a quick break and test again. Then test again. Through repetition you'll see what secret energy your horse is hiding inside. You'll unlock the reason you needed more preparation. Lots of horses pass the initial preparatory tests for riding and a few minutes later, fail them. I only ride horses that pass the test several times in a row. Also, I often get off later and retest. It's the best practice for safety.
If you feel safe, you can have fun. Your horse isn't bad if they fail the tests, and you aren't bad if you fail the tests. It all just means that you have to keep practicing.
Not sure what a good pre-ride test looks like? Comment below. The more comments I get, the sooner I get a video out to you.
In the meantime. I wish you success with your horses. I hold you accountable to be brave in the presence of pressure. And I'm here for you.
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