You might have liked horses all your life. Or you might have had an awakening not too long ago that is urging you to explore horseback riding for the first time. You can’t tear your eyes away from the sight of glowing coats and rippling muscles. You get excited every time you drive by horses in a field.
Contrary to your friends, you even like the smell of a barn!
And now, you know you are ready to take the first steps on the long road of becoming an equestrian. You’ve booked riding lessons with www.bournevalestables.co.uk and you are convinced that you are ready to tackle the learning curve that lays ahead. Before you begin, here are nine tips to smooth the way into your new adventures!
- Be prepared to be a beginner – for a long time!
Once you step into that stirrup for the first time, forget all about instant gratification. Instead, get all pumped up for the accomplishment of doing something for the long term.
Don’t worry if your fingers fumble when putting on the bridle. Have no worry when the horse gives you a knowing look out of the corner of his eye: “This one is a beginner!” Just take the plunge into new feels, new learning curves and new coordination. It’s all about the joys (and challenges) of being on the path.
- Every horse has something to teach you.
If you ride at a riding school, and have had the chance to ride many horses over the course of a few years, you will truly understand that there is something to be learned from every horse you ride. If you part-board or lease a horse, you can have the opportunity to work with one horse over the long term. You might develop a deeper relationship and maybe even know each other so well that you can read each other’s minds. But always be appreciative of the chance to ride new horses because they will add to your depth of experience and repertoire of “language” you need to ride effectively.
- Find an excellent mentor.
Your mentor might or might not be your instructor. However, this person will be critical to the success of your first years as a horse rider. She will be the one who can listen to your questions and concerns and give you the answers you need for your situation. She will guide you in your decisions and help you find the solutions that are necessary for your development – even if you are not aware of them at the time. Find someone you can trust.
- Surround yourself with great professionals and horse friends.
It is true that you are the sum of the influences around you. So search for people you admire and look up to. Find the ones who you would like to emulate. Then, be around them and learn from them at every opportunity.
Get to know the professionals in your area – from nutrition, to health care, to training – it is essential for you to be surrounded by kind, compassionate people who always put the horse first when they make decisions.
- Although the initial learning seems quick and easy, don’t despair once your learning curve seems to slow down.
At some point, your riding skills will plateau and try as you might, new learning becomes frustrating and difficult. Be ready for that time period and be willing to keep trudging through – until you reach your next series of leaps and bounds. However, the plateaus will always reappear just before the next real learning curve; they are just a fact of life.