December 18, 2017

What IsYour Riding Dream?


      What will you do today to improve yourself, your situation, your riding? Will you surround yourself with those people who will help you achieve your goals? Or will you stay with the same ole’ same ole’?  So many of us go by the old adage- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But maybe you just haven’t realized that it’s broken. Someone defined insanity as -Doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome. Are you doing the same things with your horse and expecting a different outcome? If you want your riding/horse/training/show results to change you have to change something you are currently doing.

      One of my long-time students was having fun with her horse. Every lesson focused on learning an entertaining new skill. She could do many things with her horse- canter leg-yield, flying lead changes, jumping, trail obstacles, etc. She was a jack-of-all trades but master of none. She had also had a great deal of success at small, local shows. She had taken herself and her horse far and wanted to move up to a higher level of competition. So she packed up her trailer and off she went to one of the big, breed shows. Unfortunately, her results weren’t that great. So she tried again with the same result. After yet another less than stellar show she decided it was time to make a change. She wanted the focus of her lessons to be fine-tuning her horse for the show pen. So we looked for the areas she needed to fix. We decided on some short-term and long-team goals. Then we got to work. Her lessons got hard. We no longer had the light-hearted lessons that were fun but didn’t get her to her goals. She worked hard during her lessons and I gave her homework. Her next show was better. The changes were working. She was getting closer to her goals, but was not quite there yet. With more time and hard work she will go far, but she needed to make some changes. And she is having a lot of fun now that the program is getting her to her goal.  

      Now is the time to look at your riding program. Are you reaching your goals? Or are you just having fun but not making any progress? Not that there is anything wrong with having fun, but it’s possible that will not be enough for long. If you have a trainer you are already working with, perhaps it’s time to ask them to change your program. Re-define your goals with them and create a plan to work toward those goals. As a trainer who has some very long-term clients I know the lessons can get stagnant over time. I often find myself looking for fun new ways to keep these riders engaged and learning new things. I always ask my clients what they want to do that day as well. Is there a particular thing they want to work on like leg-yield, side-pass, canter transitions, recognizing leads, etc? When was the last time your trainer asked you what you want to learn? Yesterday, last month or ever?

      If your trainer has reached the limit of their knowledge, look elsewhere for help. If the knowledge is there, but they aren’t sharing it with you, something is wrong. You are paying them to teach you. You deserve to get what you are paying for. Your lesson dollar is hard earned, don’t waste it. Ask them what you should be learning to get to your goal. No goal? FIND ONE! If you don’t know, ask your trainer. It’s their job to help you define your goal and help you reach it. After you reach that goal, dream up a new one! Just like my student, she had a goal- to have fun learning new things. Her goal changed so the focus of her lessons did as well. Her dream changed.

      Your trainer should be a dreamer who has their feet firmly planted on the ground. Your trainer should be helping you reach your dream, not their dream for you. Well, actually, both you and your trainer should have the same dream for you.

  I welcome your comments and questions about lesson goals or other topics. You may attend my discounted lessons during November to try some different riding ideas.  Go to the events page to see dates and details of upcoming classes. Feel free to share this article with your friends! Enjoy the Ride!






  1. My dream is that I wish to run barrels WPRA…and be a 1D winner in the divisional runs.

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