Accountability in Your Riding

Accountability in Your Riding

Accountability in Your Riding

The Importance of Accountability in Your Riding

What this episode is all about & how it can help you:-

  • Recognise how easy it is to fall into this ‘trap’ in your riding
  • Understand what ‘showing up’ means for you & your horse
  • Begin doing what you said you were going to do
  • Find an accountability solution that works for you in your riding

Accountability… Funny how when there is a direct consequence, such as being accountable for tightening your girth, we are usually pretty good at meeting the mark.  However, there are other elements of accountability necessary to make progress in your riding.  Unfortunately often you will only have yourself to hold you accountable.  Meaning that it is pretty easy to allow things to slide…

Horse riding is a team sport.  You and your horse.  While there are a lot of similarities with other team sports, there are also a few rather marked and noticeable differences…

One of the most obvious is how the team communicates.  There is a definite lack of verbal accountability between you, the team leader, and your other team member, your horse.

Having a ‘silent partner’ where accountability is concerned means that you really do have to constantly check yourself.  Is the story you’re telling the truth?  Or is it a convenient way of reasoning as to why things didn’t happen the way you said they would?

In this episode of the Daily Strides Podcast I want to get you thinking about your riding.  Do you have accountability ‘built in as standard’?  Or is the lack of accountability what is really holding you back from making the transition to the next level as a rider?

Why it is Easier to Stay Where You Are

The status quo.  Not the group, but where you and your horse are right now in your training and relationship.  Making changes means that you risk upsetting the status quo.  And yet, the very reason we make changes is because we want to things to develop into something else.

Change means that you are allowing a possibility of some discomfort to enter into your experience with your riding.

The discomfort is not an absolute guarantee, but there is a strong chance that you will encounter some along the way.  It is this perceived ‘discomfort’ that riders shy away from.  The feeling that they are a little out of their dept.

And the longer you remain stationary at a specific point in your riding journey, the more ‘discomfort’ you will experience when you do decide to make changes.

The irony of this is that the longer you stay put and allow the current status quo to remain in place, the more likely it is that you actually need the change in your riding!

Why Change is Necessary; Familiarity breeds Contempt.

A long time ago, I was told that everything is either growing or dying.  There is no standing still.  Now, I realise that this is quite a statement to make regarding horse riding.  However, the more I work with riders, the more I see that it is true.

Skills do not remain the same.  The conversation between horse and rider is not a fixed thing.  If the rider stops improving or wanting to improve, they are just one element of the team or the overall conversation.

It is often at this point in the relationship between a horse and a rider that frustrations begin to bubble over.  The day-to-day riding becomes an ordeal rather than a pleasure.

This too is often the place where safety and commitment to correct development take a nosedive.  Corners are cut.  Shortcuts, which rarely ever lead to a good outcome when it comes to horses, are taken.

Boredom sets in and this leads to mediocrity.  Both you and your horse deserve more than this and I believe that it is your job as team leader to ensure you are both receiving all you deserve and more..

Accountability Requires You to ‘Show Up’ for Your Team

Notice I say team, not horse.  This is because adding accountability to your riding will help you just as much as it will help your horse.  It is your responsibility to improve your leadership skills as an equestrian and rider.

Improving your skills, leadership and riding, requires you to do what needs to be done.  Even if that means you have to get uncomfortable.  It will only feel like a challenge until it become the new status quo for you in your riding.

Showing up means that you have a goal for where your relationship with your horse will go.  It also means that you begin implementing a realistic plan in order for you both to get there. 

Riders who work with a coach, instructor or trainer often have this done for them.  They also are then held accountable by that person as well.  Each session will end with ‘homework’ in the form of exercises that will move things forward for the next session.

However, many riders are working alone.  When this happens, the need for outside accountability becomes essential for many riders.  Especially where implementation of their plan is concerned. 

Finding an Accountability Solution for You in Your Riding

As mentioned, an instructor, coach or trainer is often the first that springs to mind for many riders.  They will help you not only create a goal, but also a very ‘do-able’ action plan for your monthly, weekly and daily rides as well.

However, many riders fall outside of this particular scenario for many different reasons.  Location is a big hurdle for some.  Finances can also be a limitation on what is possible for you right now in your riding.  And some just simply choose to work by themselves.

There are always ways that you can begin to build in accountability with regards to doing what you said you were going to do in your riding. 

You can begin holding yourself more accountable.  Creating a monthly plan and then using a riding journal will assist you here.  However, this also requires you to be honest and diligent with yourself.

In my experience riders often start off with the best of intentions here, but soon begin allowing standards to slip.  The old ‘short cuts’ start reappearing again in how they do things with their horse. 

Making External Accountability Work for You

I suggest that you rather find another person, a third-party, who will help you to remain more accountable.  This person does not have to be a ‘horse person’.  In fact, in my experience someone who does not really understand horses is often a little more difficult to ‘bluff’ at!

This is because they ask different questions and think a little differently with regards to ‘why’ something didn’t happen.

In order for accountability to really benefit you, there needs to be a set schedule for it to occur.  Specific times that you will check in with this person.  Timelines created for you to do what you said you were going to do.  And genuine support for when things truly do not go to plan for you in your riding.

Accountability & Support

We offer you accountability inside of Daily Strides Premium in the form of a real person ‘checking in’ with you every fortnight.  Asking how things are going.  Finding out where you need extra support.  Then providing that support to help you truly move the conversation forward with your horse.

However you choose to begin building accountability into your riding, I think the important step is that you begin today.  Reach out to someone who can help you really and truly begin to break free of the status quo, and strengthen your relationship between you and your horse.

Happy Riding

Lorna

Other posts, episodes and resources that relate to this topic:-

Daily Strides Premium

Starting April 2019, you will get built-in accountability when you become a Daily Strides Premium Member.  A real person from our team will be reaching out to you on a fortnightly basis to help you build and then maintain momentum with your progress in the saddle.

Couple this with the weekly live Q&As, the monthly review and planning live calls and the members only private group ~ we are here to help you remain accountable as team leader for you and your horse.

Daily Strides Premium is packed full of step by step trainings for you to use in the saddle. All the trainings are easily accessed using your phone, meaning that you can take them with you where ever you are going.  These trainings and so much more are available for you immediately when you join Daily Strides Premium. Find out more HERE

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