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Becoming an Effective Rider

2007 Cherry Hill

This newsletter is a personal letter from me to you, a fellow horse owner and enthusiast.
My goal is to answer some of your questions and send you interesting stories and helpful tips for your horse care, training, and riding.

I want my horse to bend better.........How can I get my horse to jog slow........My horse rears..........I want my horse to have a horse freaks..........I want a controlled horse won't move horse has a hard mouth..........I want a smooth trot...........My horse needs to overcome fear..........he won't slow down.........wrong lead.........shys..........moves when horse bucks.

What do all of these snippets from Ask-Cherry letters have in common? They all focus on something that the horse is doing that the writer of the letter does not like. Few letters state a problem and then ask ........How can I improve my seat so that my horse trots smoother? What can I do to give my horse confidence? What am I doing that might be causing my horse to rear? And yet, the solution to any horse problem starts with the handler, rider, trainer learning what he or she can do to help the horse develop trust, respect, and a willingness to learn and so that the horse and rider can understand each other and communicate with each other.

Riding is a privilege. Riding well is a responsibility. The more you focus on what you can do to become a more effective rider, a better rider, the better your horse will travel, the more confident he will become, and the fewer problems you will have. You'll be in the problem prevention business, not the problem solving business.

This month, I'll focus on the philosophies and ideas that might help you become a better rider. Next month, I'll devote the newsletter to answering specific questions about your riding. Follow the instructions here for submitting a question to Ask-Cherry

The following articles are adapted from the Introduction of "Becoming an Effective Rider"

No Absolutes

With riding and horse training, there are no absolute rules. What may work wonders with one horse and one rider in one situation may be completely wrong in another set of circumstances. Learning how to ride a horse "on the bit," for example, is excellent for dressage lessons in a ring, but the same principles would be difficult and inappropriate to use when shinnying down a rock slope.

Similarly, the recipe-like instructions that are included in many how-to books on riding are based on ideal situations and must be modified each time they are applied. For example, at the very beginning of things, the instructions for mounting may direct you.................

to read the rest of the article, go here:

Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced?

One of the first steps in developing any skill is to determine where you are starting. Although the words beginner, intermediate, and advanced are vague, see if the descriptions that follow help you to find where you presently fit. Persons of all ages can be found in any of the categories. Some people feel that any person who is riding a horse is also training that horse — whether purposely or inadvertently and whether good or bad habits are being formed. Theoretically, I agree with that. However, I use the word trainer for those riders who have advanced enough in their skills that they can ride a variety of horses well and that they have a very good chance of eliciting the desired response from a horse the first or second time they ask the horse to perform a specific maneuver.

The PRE-BEGINNER rider is someone who is interested and curious, but totally inexperienced with horses and needs to learn about them from the ground up. She is learning how to lead horses, groom them, and relate to their size and movement from the ground. The pre-beginner rider has no knowledge about horse training and care. She may be timid or fearless.

The BEGINNER rider is entering the awareness-development stage. She might have spent.........

to read the rest of the article, go here:

Dedicated Rider

Do you want to be a serious, dedicated rider? A rider with any degree of experience can become one. Do not think that becoming serious or dedicated about your riding will mean that you will lose your sense of humor or that you will be required to live, breathe, and talk about nothing but horses. Quite the contrary. Some of the most successful riders say that a sense of humor is what helps them to keep the ups and down of their work in perspective. And as far as having interests other than riding, it is essential! Only by being a well-rounded individual will you bring to your riding an overall sense of well-being. Think of the serious, dedicated rider as a person who has chosen riding as a recreational vocation — an activity that is pursued for self-development and self-satisfaction as well as relaxation and enjoyment.

To read the rest of the article, go here:


The process of reaching goals includes an initial evaluation, frequent reviews, and progress checks. Goals should be set down in specific terms so they appear as crystallized pictures in the mind rather than fuzzy apparitions on the horizon. "I have to become a better rider" sounds like a project of enormous proportions with nowhere to start. Setting a more concrete, short-term goal is more effective. For example, decide that at the end of two weeks you will be able to effectively ride a horse 5 strides canter, 3 strides trot, 5 strides canter, 3 strides trot, etc. for one entire round of the arena. This is a more a more specific, practical, and therefore attainable goal.

To read the rest of the article, go here:

Rider Success

Over the years, I have observed that most riders face common obstacles. However, rather than presenting my observations to you as a series of problems that you must learn to overcome, I'm listing them as factors that are important to the successful development of a rider. After each factor are descriptions of people at the opposite ends of the spectrum regarding that point.

To read the rest of the article, go here:


To read other riding articles, look under Riding and Mounted Training at
Cherry Hill's Horse Information Roundup at:

That's it for this month.

Keep your mind in the middle and a leg on each side!

Cherry Hill

Before you copy, forward or post anything from this newsletter or Cherry Hill's Horse Information Roundup, be sure you read this article!

Don't forget to regularly check the Horse Information Roundup at to find information on training, horse care, grooming, health care, hoof care, facilities and more.

Take the time to browse the complete Cherry Hill Horse Book Library at
2007 Cherry Hill, all rights reserved.



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