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  • Writer's pictureJanet Henderson

10 Habits for Effective Riders

Updated: Dec 9, 2018

1. Persistence: Good riders are willing to try, try again. They know that there will be more rides, more days, and the slow and steady “wins the race” attitude always comes out first.

2. Be open-minded: Good riders know there is something to be learned from everyone, even if you find out something that you don’t like. The good riders are not discipline exclusive, and are always aware that good riding and good horsemanship is always at the top of the list, regarding of riding style.

3. Patience: Good riders are willing to wait to reap the rewards. They know that if today was not so good, tomorrow will probably be better. Small steps (and sometimes two steps forward and one step back) is all part of the journey. Quick fixes and shortcuts are NEVER beneficial to rider or horse.

4. Quitting: This may seem an odd item, but if things are going well, then quit on the good note. If you can do more but you can’t do better, be happy with your horse and quit for that day.

5. Effectiveness: Good riders seek maximum effectiveness with minimum harm. They make every step count and they resist overriding the horse for the sake of performance.

6. Self-Improvement: Good riders regularly seek to upgrade their riding skills, horsemanship skills and general horse education. They are willing to spend time, money and humility in the quest for constant self-improvement.

7. Vision for the Future: Good riders realize it’s about the journey – the work along the path to success of reaching goals. There are no shortcuts.

8. Role Models: Seek out good, qualified people and people that are supportive.

9. Problem Solving: Trouble shoot problems for your benefit and your horse’s benefit. Work on your fitness & health. Ensure your horse is healthy and has correctly fitting tack and well-maintained feet.

10. Listen to your Horse: If your horse has a sudden behaviour change, you must invest the time (& funds) to find out why! To build your partnership, make sure you are communicating when you are pleased with your equine partner. Most importantly, if your horse makes a mistake, remember it is just a mistake – it’s how we all learn! Ensure you are balanced and delivering the aids properly and set your horse up for success.

Janet Henderson; March 25, 2017

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