Well, it's not really that hard to ride horses.
In fact, one might say it's pretty simple to sit and be taken around from place to place. That's because once you can stay on with some balance, and move along reasonably with the horse, you'll be riding. All it takes is some tack and a willing horse. People have been doing this for millenia, long before we learned to drive cars or write a blog post or tap on our smart phones.
What is hard is much deeper and more profound than travelling à la equine. It involves much more than a simple stop, start, go left and go right.
Some of the learning can be physical. It's about sensing the slightest change in balance, position, or even thought (of the horse). It's knowing when to move and when to stay still, when to tighten your core muscles and how to maintain a three-point seat on a moving back.
But it's more than that. The real learning can be personal. Riding can "exercise" your emotions, your mental stamina and even your very character.
Because horse riding is an interaction.
It isn't anything like blog writing or driving a car or texting on the phone. The horse is a living, breathing, self-determining participant in everything we do. The reason we call it a partnership is exactly why we are put in a position to learn - especially about ourselves.
This learning might be the most difficult of your life, because it is likely the most personal characteristics - those entrenched in your normal day-to-day existence - that are challenged to develop over time. The horse doesn't know it. He just goes on being a horse, doing his best to be with you, but nevertheless being a horse.
You, on the other hand, are put in a position that requires you to recognize what needs to change in you so that you can improve in your riding. For your horse. And that is the most difficult part of what horses really do for us.
What do you think is the hardest part about riding horses? Comment below.
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