How to Become a Better Rider in 90 Days

How to Become a Better Rider in 90 Days

How to Become a Better Rider in 90 Days

It’s probably safe to assume that you want to improve as a rider, right? That, if becoming a better rider in 90 days was guaranteed, you’d probably follow the plan and do the work?  Well, the good news is that, regardless of where you are in your riding right now, you can indeed improve over the coming 90 days (or 3 months).  However, it will involve a little planning, preparation, and commitment in order to make it all happen.

Using the previous 90 days in your riding to create a plan to improve over the coming 90 days is a fantastic way to continue to make progress as a rider.

However, it will require a little work upfront in both reviewing and planning.  Looking back at what happened and then using that information to make better decisions and take better actions going forward is where it all begins.  So that being said… Let’s dive into your past 90 days and see what you can learn that will kickstart the coming 90 and help you become a better rider.

Reviewing Your Previous 90 Days

How deep you go here is entirely up to yourself.  Many riders simply state the facts.  I am a big fan of doing this, initially.  And initially is a keyword in that sentence. Having numbers is a great place to start, however, if you want to really power into the coming 90 days in your riding, I feel it’s important to go deeper.

Why are those the numbers you have in front of you? What circumstances, situations, and happenings led to them being there? And, most importantly, are you happy with them?

Now, you’re probably thinking ‘what numbers?’.  Good question, let’s begin there.

      • How many days did you ride?
      • What was the average length of each ride?
      • How long did you, on average, spend tacking up and cooling down?
      • And, from that, how long on average did you spend actually working your horse?
      • How many of those interactions or sessions were intentional with a specific focus or plan?
      • And, how many were groundwork related (groundwork, lunging, long lining)
      • How many were just riding-related?
      • What was the number you actually wanted to reach regarding days working with your horse?

Okay, once you’ve got all of your ‘numbers’, let’s go a little deeper into how you feel about all these numbers.

What You Wanted Versus What You Got

We all have an idea of what we want the outcome to be when starting something.  Otherwise, why bother starting? The challenge for many riders is that, over time, that ‘ideal desired outcome’ becomes lost in what their day-to-day reality looks like. And without that vision or goal to work towards, the day-to-day becomes a monotonous, never-ending cycle of just ‘riding’.

It is so important to keep working towards something in your riding. It will help you to regain inspiration when things feel tough – and help keep the relationship between you and your horse developing and deepening. 

      • So, with all that being said and done; what was your ideal outcome for the previous 90 days?
      • Was that outcome in alignment with where you are in your life right now (was it doable)?
      • What parts of it, looking back, were clearly make-believe?
      • And, what parts of it were possible for you to make happen from your current situation?
      • What needs to be changed/dropped/postponed?
      • And, from what’s left, is that what you truly want in your riding?

It can be hard to let go of dreams and ambitions.  Yet, if your current life and situation have clearly shown you that those things are not realistic right now, surely making a change would allow you to feel less tension and frustration?

What ideal goal or desire could you work towards in the coming 90 days that’s both in alignment with your current situation and inspires you? That is probably something to begin working towards… 

Creating a Plan for the Coming 90 Days

Once you have your ideal desired outcome or goal, I feel that the best place to start is by working backward from it. Imagine it is 90 days from now (roughly 3 months from today’s date).  Imagine you are at the barn or yard, with your horse, and you have achieved the goal or outcome.

Ask yourself, what did I have to do or change in order to make this possible?  Ask the question from the place of already having achieved the outcome (looking back) rather than from where you are now – looking forwards. 

By asking this question from the place of already having achieved what it is you want, the differences become a lot more clear.  These differences are the obstacles you need to overcome to get from ‘here to there’.

Be Realistic About Your Riding Skills

Many riders, at this point, will begin to feel uncomfortable.  All of the differences can seem overwhelming.  And, maybe, this is the time to either make a longer timeline for your goal or to adjust the goal slightly to better suit where you are riding now in your life. However, having come this far, don’t give up!

Remember that each of the things you need to change/remove/upgrade is now the actual focus points for your work with your horse going forward. 

Meaning that, by putting these things into order of what needs to happen first, second, third, and so on, you have created the actual roadmap to get you to where you want to go in your riding. You can clearly see what needs to be worked on when you are planning out the days, hours, minutes of training, and interactions together.

So assuming you were realistic about your current situation, your skills and resources, and the divide between where you are and where you want to be; congratulations – you’ve just figured out your plan going forward :)

Deciding on a Timeline that Works for You

From here, simply begin filling in your calendar.  What days can you ride this month? And, on each of those days, what will you commit to working on with your horse?  When you know what you are working on, you will know what you need to do in advance.  For some riders, this may look like learning a little more or improving their knowledge of the subject.  For others, it may be setting up exercises, riding spaces, or sourcing equipment.

I am a great believer in building ‘wiggle room’ into your plan.  Suppleness is a real thing when it comes to working with horses – both in planning and in riding!

Remember to build fun, partnership, and training into each week.  The ratios will vary depending on your goal or desired outcome and the season in your riding.  But all three are important to build into and touch on when it comes to really round out and deepening your relationship with your horse.  (You can find links to all of these below).

From here, simply follow your plan!  If you are diligent and committed, you will see results in 90 days.  How exciting!

Happy Riding

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