Let's stop coddling people, stop doing them favors. Sounds cruel right? No, not cruel…I think this has contributed to a recent shift in the equestrian world.
In today’s world we do too many favors, we make things too easy on people. Everything is about doing it faster, rushing to a finish line on the easiest path possible. But being a good rider, a good horse(wo)man takes time, patience, and understanding the large animal that is our teammate.
Now I’m not discounting innovation at all…innovation is awesome, like I feel like that is what makes humans so amazing is how we can think through new ways of doing things but the traditions of our interactions with horses were created for one reason: they worked.
Growing up so many of the lessons I learned were cemented with me because I had to go through the struggle to figure them out. I had to feel some pain of my actions and decisions. I wasn’t given everything with my hand held along the way.
George Morris just wrote a fantastic article about this same sort of idea that so many young riders don’t have to do things on the ground level of horse care or training. They don’t clean stalls, or their own tack. They know little about general horse handling and care, or handling situations on their own. Highly recommend this article, read it here.
I see this happening all too often. If you aren’t put in a situation where you have to go catch a horse in the pouring rain before your riding lesson or you don’t understand what it is like to be the first one at the barn and the last one to leave....aren’t we teaching aspiring riders that if the situation isn’t ideal that they should give up?
I can remember as a kid never caring what the weather was, how tired I was, or anything else in my life for that matter except getting my butt on the horse.
"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." Winston Churchill
This is not an easy sport. This isn’t where you can spend one hour a week at the barn and except huge changes and consistent improvement. You have to want it and have the drive to go for it and push yourself sometimes. And be honest with yourself...if you are spending more time at the barn you are just down right going to feel better about yourself.
I think if you are new to riding, and you truly want to improve, you should spend as much time at the barn as long as your schedule allows. Whether that means volunteering at a therapy center tacking up horses, or volunteering at a rescue, those types of programs are looking for people that are hungry for experience, why not capitalize on that?!
Get out there, get experience, get comfortable, and stop letting people do favors for you. Clean the stall, wipe down your tack after your lesson, offer a helping hand to the barn manager next time you are out for a ride.
Meet the Bloggers
Miranda and Julia bringing over 20 years of experience in the horse industry in a wide variety of experiences and disciplines. Here on this equestrian blog we'll share our horse experiences, tips, plus advice on surviving as an adult amateur rider.