Photo Credit: NBanaszak PhotographyUnderstand The Why

When we sit back to ponder for a moment, we make connections and come to new realizations that were perhaps not clearly evident before. In our quest for riding "perfection" (we all know there is no such thing!), we find ourselves analyzing, critiquing, and elaborating on various topics ranging from the riding experience. Please read through these musings and (as always) feel free to add your experiences and thoughts in the comments sections.

Living (Horse) Life In The Basics: Can you distinguish the difference between good and bad movement?

A Question Of Imbalance: Can You Tell? At some point, it becomes essential to be able to feel what is happening so that you can hopefully address it sooner than later.

Top Ten Reasons To Ride A Horse: There must be as many reasons to ride horses are there are people who ride.

What Being On The Forehand Means to the Horse: The idea here isn’t to cause guilt and doom and gloom; instead, we should learn all we can and take steps to avoid known problems.

3 Questions to Consider Before Riding Bareback and Bridleless: What should be in place before you take off the tack?

How to Make Horseback Riding Particularly Difficult! We all know people who seem to try to make riding difficult on themselves – maybe without even knowing it!

Do You Want to Own A Horse? Answer 'yes' to these questions and you are on your way!

Dressage As A Healing Tool: Even at its most basic level (or perhaps, especially at the most basic levels), dressage holds a value to horses of all disciplines.

Perfecting Perfection in Horseback Riding: We will never really find the perfect horse, nor will we ever be a perfect rider. However, of course we try for perfect! 

The Pinnacle of Horseback Riding: Riding toward the ultimate release – this is the stuff riders dream of.

On the Use of Artificial Aids - The Method Behind the Madness: The list of artificial aids can be endless. Just when you think you know it all, you discover that there are new and improved “must-buy” pieces of equipment that will change the way you ride. Or will they really?

Dark Room Doors and Dressage: A metaphor for the learning process.

Riding is Simple, But Not Easy! Let’s face it – all we want is for the horse to do what we want, when we want, where we want, with suppleness and strength!

Frame, Round or Collection? Do you know the difference, and in a pinch, would you be able to identify it in a moving horse?

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.

Doing It Because It Makes You Feel Good: Have you ever done something around/with/for your horses in a “feel-good” way for YOU?

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.

When Do You Start Riding Your Horse? This question was being posed to me by a very respected and horse-wise mentor one day long ago, early in my riding development.

When "Good Enough" Just Isn't Good Enough In Horseback Riding: We come up with all sorts of excuses to explain why we don’t want to or can’t get past the problem.

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 Truth About Balance: We all strive for balance – in our position, our seat, our movement with the horse.

Blueprinting - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Blueprinting, in the riding sense, refers to the muscle memory that is developed in both the horse are rider. Going on "autopilot" when riding horses can be a good thing... or not!

Muscle Memory Matters in Horse Riding: Many small muscle contractions act within split-seconds in order for us to keep ourselves in the saddle and moving in tandem with the horse. Anyone who has ridden for even a short time can attest to the development of ‘muscle memory’.

The 99% “Lucky Rule”: The 99% Lucky rule is very simple – when you’re around horses, and particularly in dangerous situations, you are lucky 99% of the time. That is a good rule – unless it happens to be the 1% of the time that you might be ‘un’-lucky! Then, it’s no fun at all.

What you Ought to Know About Instant Gratification in Horse Riding: There is no such thing!

In the Beginning (riding): Part I – What to expect when you first start riding.

Riding (with a capital R): Part II – When riding becomes more than just riding.

On Enjoying the Path: I can hear you now – you’re groaning… the path?? How can “the path” be fulfilling?

It’s All About Listening: Where it all began for this blog.