If You Don’t Want to Learn You Aren’t Going to Listen
- CH Staff
Many folks love horses and the idea of owning a horse and of riding it successfully and enjoying every minute in the saddle.
Unfortunately the idea of your own horse and being happy in the saddle can be more a dream than a reality. If a horse ran like a machine it would be easy. But they simply don't. The only thing horses and machines can have in common is horsepower.
Buying the horse is actually the easy part. Have a pre-purchase vet work up completed and take the vet’s advice; select something that fits your riding ability, discipline and personality, and you should be set. The difficulty begins when you start riding and schooling your horse.
So often folks eagerly set about taking lessons and find themselves frustrated and unable to learn and progress at the rate they expected.
Let’s assume you have found a good instructor. Someone that doesn’t just shout louder at you when you have trouble understanding or completing an instruction but someone that uses intelligent approaches to help you key into their requests.
You may think that this is all that is needed but it is not. You need to really listen to what those requests are and to be body aware enough to work your body parts both in unison/timed together and also individually and apart.
The first question to ask yourself is do you really want to learn? Or is it more you just fancy showing off to friends or perhaps think that riding is easy and the responsibility rests with the horse to get the job done. It doesn’t work that way.
The major part of the equation is you! 51% of the horse rider partnership (at least) should be you directing the horse in a succinct and empathetic but direct manner.
If you don’t truly want to learn then you simply won’t listen. This is a frustrating time for your instructor as they are keen to help you progress and improve. Their time is valuable to them and for most trainers or instructors their motivation is altruistic and not just financial.
If you take a look at yourself and realize that you truly don’t want to put the effort in to learn then you might as well save the expenses of lessons and of owning the horse because it simply is not going to work. While you can certainly be a backyard horse owner and work alone, you probably won’t be improving either your horse or your riding unless you already have a wealth of experience. Even top riders in the sport take consistent instruction from others to keep improving their talents.
One lifetime is not long enough to learn all there is to learn about horses and riding. But if you are sincere in wanting to do the best for yourself, and for your horse, then being a listening student that is keen to learn is a great start.