What this episode is all about & how it can help you:-
- Understand what inside and outside are when it comes to your aids
- Take the confusion out of applying your aids correctly
- Get started reframing how you think and apply your aids
- Think and ride with your horse…
Do you often find yourself in the arena, ready for action… But without much of a plan for what that action will look like?! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, this is the single biggest challenge faced by equestrians – and one that many don’t even realise they have to begin with.
Riding for the sake of riding is great initially. However, as time went on, you will inevitably find yourself wanting ‘more’ from your time in the saddle. That ‘more’ can be achieved by developing your relationship, both ridden and on the ground, with your horse.
Developing yourself as a rider rarely just happens by magic. In order to really begin feeling excited and inspired to ride, you need to have something specific to work towards.
In this episode of the Daily Strides Podcast you will learn why I believe a plan for your ride is the key to really keeping the fun in your riding. You will also find out how I suggest you go about creating a simple plan. You will also and how to follow it.
Every Plan Begins with an Intention
My Mam always told us growing up that common sense is not all that common. Case in point when it comes to a plan. It seems like basic ‘common sense’ to begin with an intention – and yet, so many riders (including myself) often fail to do this.
Creating a plan from nothing, towards nothing, is practically impossible! It makes sense that if you know where you are and where you want to go, a plan can be made to get you there.
Your intention is the where you want to go part. What is it that you want to, ideally, achieve? Is it a feeling? Perhaps it is a specific movement or exercise. It may be a certain level of responsiveness or suppleness. A new movement communicated and understood. The options are endless. What is important is that you take the time and choose one.
Choose a specific intention for your ride. Then use it throughout the whole interaction between you and your horse.
Using this Intention Through the Whole Interaction
Riding is a conversation between horse and rider. However, this conversation actually starts long before we ever get into the saddle. It begins on the ground. This is why having a set intention for your ride, before your ride, is so vitally important.
Allow your intention to set the tone for the whole period of time you spend with your horse each and every day
This intention will colour your interaction with your horse while you groom. While you tack up. And later, while you cool down and untack. This will help to give your whole session with your horse a specific feel or tone.
It will help you to both focus and connect with each other before, during and after the ride itself.
Spend Time Thinking About & Planning Your Warm Up
This intention will flow through to your warm up as well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your warm up is separate from the exercises you will ride later. I see time and again how riders waste this important opportunity to really get their horse aligned with their intention for the ride.
Focus on how you can create a seamless transition from your warm up into the ‘exercise’ part of your ride.
Your warm up should support the upcoming exercises. Spend some time observing other riders in their warm up. So many will have a routine they do, day in and day out. Which is great if this is a tried and tested plan that helps to get them both in the best possible physical and mental space for the upcoming schooling…
Not so great if this is a run of the mill ‘walk two laps, trot two laps on each rein and canter a circle or two! If an observer can see where your warm up ends and where the ‘schooling’ begins, you & your horse can definitely feel it!
Blend elements of your upcoming schooling into your warm up. Support the tone you have set before mounting up. Allow the intention to carry through into the actual ‘ride’.
Review, Review and Review…
Think about this; how can you know if something is working, if you fail to look back and actually check?! It sounds so simple. Too simple actually. But spending time reviewing how things actually went, will allow you to ‘course correct’ in the future.
Noticing what needs work will allow you to build a library of exercises on things that you and your horse actually need to work on.
These exercises can then help you to begin planning out your rides in a way that will really and truly move you both forward. It will allow you to move forward, together.
Simple Exercises Done Well
Choose exercises that are simple. Now, keep in mind that simple and easy are two completely different things. Simple means that you don’t need dozens of poles. It also means that you can use the same exercise, but add small variations.
Variations on a group of simple exercises will allow you to focus on different aspects of you and your horses training; without constantly having to coming up with new, fancy exercises!
Creating a library of simple exercises will allow you to pull one out of your back pocket when you find yourself in need of an idea or two. You are now prepared for the days when things don’t go to plan. Having already identified exercises that will benefit you and your horse will ensure that you are consistently moving forward in your riding.
Progress Requires Planning
The long and the short of making real progress in your riding is that there has to be some sort of thought out plan in place. If you have a trainer, coach or instructor they will do this for you. However, if you are working alone, it is up to you to do the planning.
I suggest investing thirty minutes of so, once a month to this process. Making it an enjoyable thirty minutes, will help ensure you get around to doing it ;)
I have more detailed articles on this which I will link to below. Planning does not have to be complicated or difficult. It just takes a little dedication and consistency. When applied, you will begin to reap the benefits in your riding.
A little effort on your part upfront, will ensure that those days of wandering aimlessly around an arena become a thing of the past for you and your horse.
Other posts, episodes and resources that relate to this topic:-
- Planning for Progress in Your Riding
- Creating a Consistent Monthly Review in Your Riding
- The Daily Strides Podcast on iTunes
- Daily Strides Podcast on Google Play
- The Daily Strides Podcast on Stitcher Radio
- Join Daily Strides Premium
- Join the V.I.P List
Daily Strides Premium
Each and every month inside of Daily Strides Premium I host a live ‘Review and Planning’ call. In there, you will go step by step through the month that was. You then take that information and begin planning out the coming month. When you will ride. What you will work on. And of course all aligned with your goals for you and your horse.
Do you need to be competing? No! Do you need to have competitive goals or ambitions? No again!
In fact, I love working with riders who just ‘enjoy’ their horse; helping them to build and strengthen their relationship. No competitions necessary ;)
Couple this with the live Q&As and the members only private group ~ we are here to help you remain accountable as team leader for you and your horse.
All of 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