We can all think of a rider we know that seems to always do well, has calm, happy horses, and steadily improves their horse's physical and mental state in an almost effortless manner.
We watch and admire from afar, but in fact, we can all stand to learn from their regular habits and "way of being" in order to develop our own horse riding mantra.
What do great riders have in common that makes them appealing to watch, steadily develop their riding skills and become role models for others to aspire to emulate?
1. Persistence: Great riders are willing to try, try again. They know that there will be more rides, more days, and the slow and steady approach always wins the "race".
2. Open-mindedness: Great riders know there is something to be learned from everyone, even if to see proof of why NOT to do something. These riders are not discipline exclusive, and are always aware that good riding is good riding is good riding, regardless of the saddle or style.
3. Patience: Great riders are willing to wait to reap the rewards. They know that even if something falls apart today, there will be more days to come and small steps even backward are more beneficial than quick fixes or shortcuts.
4. Quitting: This may seem counter-intuitive, but great riders quit while they're ahead. They ride for short periods of time to their highest ability and then call it a day. They seem to intuitively know when enough is enough.
5. Effectiveness: Great 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: Great riders regularly seek to upgrade their riding skills and general horse education. They are willing to spend time, money and humility in the quest for constant self-improvement.
7. Seeing the Big Picture: Great riders enjoy the "work" and the path as much as they do the goal achievement. They know that each day and each step is as important as the other and is a natural progression in development.
8. Role Models: Great riders know great riding when they see it and seek to surround themselves with those who will not only help them improve on a riding level, but also on a more personal and inspirational level as well.
9. Problem Solving: Great riders can trouble-shoot through problems to come to gratifying solutions. They have many tools in their "tool-boxes" and know there is more than one way to approach a situation. They are always willing to try new things.
10: Horse Listeners: Great riders are expert horse listeners! They are sensitive to the feedback from their horses and adjust their responses accordingly.
It's as simple as that! 🙂
And now that I have humbly created my own ten habits of a competent rider, please take a look at the following video for a much more eloquent description. I was so thrilled to find the new Facebook page of one of my most revered writers and riders of all time, Charles deKunffy, that I thought I'd share it here for your viewing and educational pleasure. He always has a depth of understanding that surprises, even in answer to the most simple questions, and this video is no exception.
Now it's your turn. What is missing from this list? Please add to the comments below.
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