How to Be a Dedicated Horse Rider

Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at
from Cherry Hill

Becoming An Effective Rider
From the Centerof the Ring
How To Think Like A Horse
Your Horse Barn DVD
Your Horse Barn DVD
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill

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Dedicated Rider

  2006 Cherry Hill

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.

The dedicated rider is a life-long learner, intent on maximizing her equine knowledge and skills. A dedicated beginning rider is not a lesser person than a more skilled rider. Dedicated riders at all levels have certain characteristics in common: a healthy self-image, a consistently positive attitude toward work, and a knowledge of successful principles for dealing with themselves, their horses, and other people.

The sound physical and mental self-image of the dedicated rider makes daily tasks run smoothly and adds a measure of help when problems arise. Problems are part of learning how to ride. How you react to a problem will greatly affect the future of your endeavor. The dedicated rider is not afraid of change, as it often leads to growth and improvement. Individuals who view problems as opportunities for learning rather than deterrents are ultimately more successful. People that like things to stay the same tend to progress more slowly. Remember, when the going seems easy, it may just be that you are going downhill.

Evaluations are an essential part of becoming a better rider. Learning how to appraise your own skills will be discussed later in the book. A developing rider needs more, however, than self-evaluation. Critiques from qualified instructors are essential. Riders at all levels have room for improvement and should receive warranted criticism with respect and an open mind. During an evaluation, apologies are unnecessary and excuses are non-productive. Instead, focus your energies specifically on what you can do to improve.

Often the needed changes involve habits that occur out of the saddle. The rider's body is most effective when maintained by moderation and regularity in eating, drinking, sleeping, and exercising. Maximum performance is contingent on dedication to healthy habits. A healthy physical self-image begins with high standards of personal hygiene and a tidy appearance. Although what's on the inside counts, what's on the outside shows. If you are sloppy or careless in your dress, it can cause you to approach your work with horses in the same manner. Additionally, if your personal appearance is offensive you may alienate your fellow students or your instructor.

The dedicated rider really enjoys her involvement with horses. Horses provide a good way for you to get to know yourself and they can offer a way for you to reach some of your personal goals. The successful rider at any level knows the answers to the following questions: Where have I been? Where am I now? Where do I want to go? How do I get there?

  2004 Cherry Hill



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