Your Riding Comeback – Creating Something You Love!

Your Riding Comeback – Creating Something You Love!

Your Riding Comeback – Creating Something You Love!

In order to make your riding comeback a lasting one, you will have to begin spending more time in the saddle than you have been recently. It makes sense, right?!  And yet, while clocking up those minutes and hours in the saddle each week can initially ‘seem’ to be a win… They are likely working against you and your horse in the long run.
This is because when we ride for the sake of just riding (clock-in riding), we tend to become a little too ‘lax’ about some of the things. The basic things that lay the foundation for everything else.
And when you begin to allow the small things to slide, chances are the bigger things will follow suit pretty quickly. This usually holds true for you, the rider, and your horse, especially in your training and development.
So, instead of just riding for the sake of riding, I’m challenging you to begin getting a little more strategic and intentional with each of your training sessions with your horse. Yes, not just ‘rides’, but training sessions.

Training Sessions Versus ‘Rides’

Often, this one simple shift in how we think and talk about what we are doing with our horses can be enough. When you approach a ride as a training session, your mind will immediately begin wondering about what you are actually ‘training’ on… What is the focus for that particular session together?
And when each ride becomes an opportunity to train and develop, you can begin to set up a more strategic plan to string those rides together to create something more…
Picture in your. mind a handmade bead necklace. If some thought and ‘intention’ went into the creation of that necklace, you will, usually, be able to identify a pattern of sorts regarding the beads, their placement, and how they all relate to each other. The beads can all vary in size, shape, and colour – but they will usually relate in some way to the one that came before and the one that comes after. They ‘follow through’ to each other. And the result is a well-crafted necklace that is balanced and aesthetically pleasing.

“…Your training sessions are like those beads. Each one should ‘lead’ or ‘relate’ to both the one before and after… And if you can string them together, it will result in changes to your riding…”

All Work and No Play?

Let’s go back to talking about that necklace again… A well-designed one will, usually, have a little variety in it as well. And this is also essential when making your riding comeback. Again, it is all about being intentional. I believe that all riding and training plans need to include three separate types of ‘rides’ with your horse; fun, partnership, and training. The ratio of these to each other will depend on what your goals are. Both long and short-term.
When we forget to include (or intentionally omit) any of these three elements, things can begin to feel repetitive and even boring in our riding.
I have spoken about these on separate episodes of the Daily Strides Podcast which I will link to. Each post includes a list of activities you can use to help you spark ideas – and begin ‘stringing’ along to help you create an intentional riding plan.

Being Flexible

Once you have identified the basics for your rides over the next two weeks, it simply becomes about following your plan. And keep in mind that horses have a great way of teaching us to be supple and flexible in our approach to plans! I highly recommend building ‘wiggle room’ into your plan. And this applies to both yourself, your horse, and the training.  There will be days when your schedule won’t match up to your plan. Be flexible and see what you can change, shuffle, or adjust, either with the schedule or the training session.
There will also be days when energy levels, attitudes, or moods won’t ‘line up’ with the session that’s planned.
Rather than pushing through and potentially putting both of your training backward, maybe swap out a training session for a partnership or fun session.  The goal is to create something that works for you and your horse. And that keeps you both inspired and moving forward – rather than just riding for the sake of riding.

Patterns & Balance

Finally, when you do find something that works well for you and your horse, use it. Let it be the thing that helps you create a pattern, or a rhythm throughout our rides. This could be a particular groundpole exercise, a certain trail ride, or a groundwork exercise. It could be a massage, a way of grooming, or a specific warm-up or cool-down routine.
Whatever it is, if it works, use it to help you create a pattern – think of the beads in the necklace – for the coming two or three weeks.
Over time, it will probably change again, and this is where you will have to dig into your suppleness. However, if something is working – use it.
Your riding does not and should not be to simply clock in a certain number of hours in the saddle each week.
While this might get you going in the short term, it is simply not sustainable – and your comeback will fizzle out before it ever really gets going for you and your horse.
Happy Riding

Your Comeback to Riding

You are unique as a rider. So it makes sense that your journey back to regular riding will be yours and yours alone.  Keep in mind that you can look to different plans and advice for inspiration. However, each should be then tweaked to suit your individual journey and circumstances.

If you would like help with your comeback to riding, make sure you check out Returning to Riding. 9 weeks to get your basics onto autopilot so that you can make the transition from passenger to ‘rider’ for you and your horse. We will work together, using easy-to-follow audio horse riding lessons and weekly video reviews to help you transform your riding.

Experience how you will go from feeling ‘floppy’, unbalanced, and lacking confidence in your abilities when in the saddle, to gaining control of your body and aids, practicing clear communication, and actually improving how your horse goes while being ridden. 

With 9 weeks of private, 1 to 1 coaching with me over a secure video, voice, and text app, you will have all the support you need – and a proven program you can re-do with your horse time and again to polish both of your skills.

Make sure you check out Returning to Riding today for all of the information.

Happy Riding

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