Got a horseback riding problem? Here are 23 ways to solve the problem.


Admit it - you've tried at least a handful of these in your time! (So have I... trust me, I have the T-shirt for many of these "solutions"!)

I'm also quite sure you can think of many other ways to solve the problem.

The message here is not that you shouldn't try some of the strategies above. Of course we should make sure that the equipment fits the horse and there is no underlying physical problem.

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We should know if our horse prefers one bit over another. Without a doubt, you might need the help of a friend or a professional throughout the course of your ownership of the horse.

But in the midst of fiddling with the small things, we end up missing out on the bigger picture:

changing ourselves.

The unfortunate part of having to develop our skills is that it takes time. The learning process is slow, strewn with mistakes and less-than-perfects, and at times, even discouraging.

In order to make a true change, we have to dig deep and change our very way of interacting with the horse.

(Click here to tweet that if you agree.)


This is not the stuff that happens in a day or two. Forget instant gratification and prepare to stay for the long haul.

We have to persevere, make mistakes, try something new. We must step out of our comfort zones and use new muscles - physically and mentally.

Aside from the physical discomfort, we have to develop our internal characteristics. We learn to let things go and to forgive both our horse and ourselves. We become more humble, less demanding and more persistent. We learn all about developmental stages, both within ourselves as well as our horses.

And perhaps most importantly, we discover what it feels like to stay the course and really struggle with something difficult, seeing our way through the problems to finally finding the solutions.

Only then do we become empowered in the understanding that if we can "find" the change we need within ourselves, the horse will reward us with a positive response.

And by that time, we will be startled to realize that the problem no longer exists!

Finally! The Ultimate Rider-Centered Program!

Ready for something completely different? If you liked what you read here, you might be interested in the new Horse Listening Practice Sessions. 

This is NOT a program where you watch other people's riding lessons. Start working with your horse from Day 1.

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If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy:

How To Be An Active Horseback Rider (a.k.a. Riding With Intention): What do you do when your ride isn’t going as planned? How do you respond when your horse scoots out from under you, spooks at the horse-killing object, or flat out ignores you?

A Cautionary Horse Tale: Once you decide to ride horses, you put into place a domino effect of consequences, which will occur whether you are conscious of them or not. It’s like a rule of nature.

The Dynamic Dependency of Horseback Riding: Why is it that riding can become so difficult at times? In riding, nothing can be done in isolation.

Take the Credit, Bad AND Good: In our quest for balance (not just on the kind on the back of the horse), it is essential for us to look at our achievements from both angles.


  1. So True, So True! When I get a new person inquiring about me fixing their horse. I tell them I can, but “they need to learn how to ride”. They don’t like it – doesn’t make it un-true.

  2. Love this article. I am going through this right now with the horse I am leasing. He has taught me so much and how to be a better rider but there have been so many times I wanted to give up. I kept going and learning and developing and I am glad that I did!

  3. I love what you have presented – as you say we have all done at least a few, if not all, of the things you have on your list. I am confused however by “Aside from physical discomfort… .” Doesn’t the slow process of changing ourselves include how we can change our physical comfort?