Over the past few days, I have read quite a few blog posts answering the question “What have I learned?”, which was first started by Sara. Reading all of these wonderful and inspiring posts from fellow bloggers really got me thinking about what I have learned in the past few months that have had the biggest impact on my riding.
The theme of the past few months for me riding wise has been “it’s all in the details”. Diesel’s inexperience has really made me take a step back and work on fine-tuning my riding all over again. It has also taught me some things that I guess I never really thought much into before now:
- Creating and maintaining a good quality canter is more important than trying to “find” a distance.
- Continuing to work Diesel through bad behavior is more effective than stopping the exercise to regroup.
- Your outside aids are just as important as your inside aids.
- Working your horse on the bit does not mean you have to have strong rein contact. You can be soft and still maintain contact.
- Softening your hand while working your horse in contact is a more effective reward for good behavior than just dropping the contact altogether.
- Ride every step. You have to be the driver – not the passenger.
While all of these things are great, I have saved the most important thing I have learned, and am still learning, for last. It is best summarized in this quote:
“Riding, like life, doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” – unknown
I have been a perfectionist for my entire life. One of the hardest but most important things that I have learned and am still learning every day is that it is okay not to be perfect all the time. Messing up and making mistakes is part of the learning process, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of that. The most important thing is enjoying the ride.