What this episode is all about & how it can help you:-
- To understand where the conversation begins
- How you can influence each ride before you get into the saddle
- Start thinking about creating different rhythms for different routines
- Begin ‘checking yourself at the gate’!
Have you also noticed how, with people we are familiar with, we don’t always show up as the best version of ourselves? I find that this happens a lot in relationships between riders and their horses as well… And it can have such an impact on the overall ride.
In this episode of the Daily Strides Podcast I want to remind you of how it is your responsibility as a rider to try to show up as the best version of yourself in the saddle. As I write this, we are in the final weeks of the year and so many riders are making plans for the new year ahead. This will definitely be a filter to put all those plans through.
However, I hope that regardless of when you are reading this, you take action on some of the things which will help you show up as the best version of yourself for both your horse and you.
Realising Where the Conversation Really Begins
So many riders think of the conversation beginning when their bum touches down in the saddle. However, I want to try and get you thinking about how the conversation actually begins long before this happens.
I believe the conversation between you and your horse begins when you are both aware of each others presence. Showing up begins at that point. The point of awareness.
Your Horse Should Not Be Your Personal ‘Pick Me Up’
A habit that many riders find themselves slipping into is using their horse as a ‘pick me up’. They are showing up, but rather than showing up as a team leader, they are showing up in order to make themselves feel better.
Sure, your horse has the ability to improve your mood and make the world seem a better place. However, that is a big expectation and responsibility. It will also become a burden over time.
Think of how your day-to-day relationships work. There is a give and take. An ebb and flow. It is important to understand that your relationship with your horse might be similar to this.
Don’t take advantage of your horses inability to verbally express how they feel by continuously showing up in ‘bad form’. Show up as the sort of person you would be if you were greeting someone you respect and love.
Positively Influencing the Ride Before Getting into the Saddle
Being aware and conscious of how you are showing up will help you to start the conversation off on the right footing. We hear a lot about rhythm and its importance in riding. It is one of the most foundational pieces when training horses and riders.
You have the ability to help ‘set’ the rhythm for each ride when you are aware of how you are showing up for your horse before each ride.
Different Rhythms for Different Routines
Setting the rhythm is a little like setting the tone of the conversation. It is going to be relaxing or is there more energy needed? Are you going to approach each action with a sense of upbeat energy, or are you going to carefully cultivate a feeling of peace and safety?
Both situations are needed on a regular basis, so learning to check yourself before showing up will help you overall in your riding.
Setting an intention for each interaction and, therefore, rhythm for the overall conversation will help you to focus both on the ground and in the saddle.
Showing Up Regardless of the Situation
Practice trying out different routines and ways of doing things and see what suits your horse and yourself best. Different situations will call for different tones. Learning what works where will come in useful both at home and if you are travelling.
A familiar rhythm and routine will often help calm nerves, for both your horse and yourself, at a new or unfamiliar place.
It will also help to focus you both as you know what is coming and therefore feel more confident about it. This is showing up as a team leader.
Showing Up for Yourself As Well
As riders, we want to transition into the role of becoming the team leader for both ourselves and our horse. When you are showing up as the best version of yourself in a given situation, you are doing so for all involved; you and your horse.
Constantly arriving at the yard feeling tired, moaning or without any real consistency in what you are doing will soon negatively impact your relationship with your horse.
This will also, overtime, wear down your confidence in your own abilities.
Showing up feeling negative will not inspire either yourself or your horse. However, no one will show up feeling great all the time. We have emotions and are ‘lucky’ enough to experience a whole range of them on a daily basis!
Different Expectations for Different Situations
On those days where you are feeling less than inspired, try to turn the situation around. What could you do, in the present situation or ‘mood’ that would be closer to how you would ideally like to show up?
A little change to how we are thinking about something is often the catalyst needed to ‘self coach’ ourselves back into better form.
Begin Checking Yourself at the Gate
It is so important to understand, realise and recognise that you have so much sway over how the conversation with your horse will go each interaction. It just comes down to becoming intentional about how you are showing up.
You can always ask yourself ‘what can I do right now to positively improve this situation’. Keep in mind that answer is often a mental one. Remember that horses align with their riders.
Becoming aware of how you are showing up and the influence this is having on your overall relationship with your horse has the potential to make all the difference in your relationship.
I am hosting a free live online training on “The 6 Basics to Focus On in Your Riding” and I would love for you to join me there… If you’re interested, you can register for your seat by CLICKING HERE
Other Posts and Episodes that Relate to This Topic:-