I know about the many beautiful sides and aspects of riding but what does that help when there are so many situations and obstacles in everyday life that can spoil this pleasure for us in the long term? I want to talk about some of these “joy killers” today. Maybe you will find yourself in one or the other situation and can then use my problem-solving tips in order to be able to enjoy a nice, carefree and joyful time with your darlings.
The joy of riding can be spoiled by the following factors
You drive into the stable and know that there is still a lot of everyday work to be done before the day is over. During the entire time you are with your horse, things come to mind that you must not forget. I think everyone has done this before. A relaxed riding experience will hardly be possible on this day …
Before you get out of the car, say everything that you still have to do and that is important into the dictation function of your mobile phone or write it down on a piece of paper. This simple ritual will help clear your head and make it easier to concentrate fully on your time with your horse. Should a thought flash up in between, just pull out the cell phone, speak up and hold on again. This can lead to interruptions, but these are short and you can then relax and devote yourself to your riding pleasure.
100% goal achievement
Perhaps you’ve been working on a certain goal for some time. As an example, I would like to take out a lesson that is difficult and the initial “failure” is inevitable: the flying change. The horse rushes off, does not jump through or does not jump over at all or only in front, gets high or crooked at the back, always takes a trot step in between. Now I can practice this lesson, in the same way, day after day – and thus fail and dissatisfied be with me and my horse.
If I set myself goals and expect to implement them 100%, I will be dissatisfied if this only succeeds 90%. However, if I only expect 80%, 90% will be more than satisfied.
In our case, that means in concrete terms, to direct the attention to partial sections such as the preparation for the change or to consider new variants, e.g. to make the change over a pole. To achieve your goals and to overcome emotional and mental hurdles/blockades, I offer individual success coaching or workshops.
If I take the last world champion as a role model, that’s basically a great thing. The desire to achieve top performance in harmony with your horse is a beautiful goal. However, if I measure my performance and my riding skills directly with this example, I inevitably have to be dissatisfied.
My role model is riding master Ingrid Klimke. I admire her for the way she feels about all kinds of horses. If I look at the situation realistically, I will never even come close to achieving the achievements or successes of my role model – if I expected to become a second Ingrid, I would inevitably fail. So my goal is to strive for it and do what I can to refine my aids.
Solution tip : Think about what you most admire about your role model and try to get closer to this quality within your framework and with your possibilities.
The horse as a riding animal is naturally fearful. It is only through trusting interaction that it learns step by step not to be safe from possible dangers by “suddenly storming off”, but rather to trust its rider and to remain as calm and relaxed as possible.
If a fearful rider meets a cautious horse, dangerous situations can arise more easily because the tension inevitably increases and the horse tends to flee. However, this rider will feel differently on a confident, calm horse. In this case, the horse gives the rider security – and fears can be overcome over time. But if you get on a horse every day and cannot get rid of your fears, you cannot enjoy riding because there is always great tension.
Analyze where the fear is coming from and do everything that can give you a feeling of security. Despite negative experiences, it helps to imagine being with your animal the way you want it. Every thought of a possibly dangerous scenario increases the tension and is even more likely to encourage the occurrence of this supposed danger. If images or thoughts arise, keep pushing them aside, then smile and think of a nice experience with a horse. You can even communicate by calling horse names you choose for them and he is familiar with them.
This means the “onlookers” who watch and possibly blaspheme at the riding arena or in the hall. Sometimes groups form in riding stables, often around trainers or riders. Anyone who is not in this group is viewed critically as an outsider. Everyone is strong in a group, but it’s always more difficult as an individual. Letting yourself be unsettled by others can in turn lead to tension and ultimately to the fact that nothing works the way you want it to.
In reality, you always ride for yourself. Whether in the training session or at the tournament, only the moment counts, the performance of you and your horse. It is therefore very important to focus on the essentials, namely the unity horse/human: What do you feel, how does your horse react to you and what can you do to improve this interaction. Everything else is hidden. The focus is on what you are doing right now – in the here and now.
We come into the stable and have been angry about something beforehand. While you are still cleaning, saddling and bridling, your thoughts revolve around this annoying situation, which mostly has nothing to do with the upcoming riding lesson. If you take this anger with you on horseback, it will definitely affect the training session. The horse will tense up and likely cause further trouble for not doing what you want him to do. In truth, it can’t because communication is disturbed by the anger and the distraction it creates.
The anger of humans arrives at the horse as a riding animal as tension and aggressiveness – and triggers increased alertness and tension. Therefore it cannot respond adequately to the rider’s help/expectations. It looks at everything against the background of a possible threat that the rider is emitting, to which perhaps one has to react quickly.
Solution tip: Similar to everyday stress, you can record or write down everything related to the anger and the situation in order to distance yourself from it. Screaming and cursing in the car can also help – this way you can react and relieve emotions without any consequences or bothering others.