Becoming a better rider takes hard work and time, but these tips can help you to speed along the process.
Horseback riding is a highly challenging sport, and it takes years to learn to ride well. In fact, you can never stop improving as a rider – there will always be something else to learn.
If you want to become a better rider, following these five tips can help you to improve your skills.
Work with Different Trainers
Many riders tend to work with a single trainer for years at a time, but one of the best ways to improve your overall riding skills is to make sure that you work with different trainers. It’s important not to get “stuck” with a trainer when you’re ready to advance past the point where they can teach you.
At some point during your riding career, it will be time to move on to a new trainer who will have new techniques and new observations. Don’t be afraid of this change.
Take on the Challenging Horses
It might be tempting to always opt for the schoolmaster or the ready-made horse, but you can only learn so much from this approach.
Make yourself take on the challenging horses sometimes, since they will quickly teach you about riding, dealing with issues, and thinking creatively when you’re in the saddle. Challenging horses can be a great way to educate yourself as a rider, as long as they’re not dangerous to your safety.
Watch Other Riders
Take the time to watch other riders – you can learn a lot about riding from what they do well and what their weaknesses are. If possible, try to observe other lessons at your barn, or at least watch as more advanced riders school their horses.
Don’t forget to also head to local shows to watch riders who aren’t in your barn, and tune into top competitions on TV to watch the pros.
Attending clinics is a great way to become a better rider. Clinics generally focus on a particular set of skills, allowing you to strengthen your riding abilities in that area.
Clinics also give you the chance to study with a trainer whom you might not otherwise have the opportunity to work with. Even if you can’t ride in a clinic, attending it as an auditor still lets you learn plenty about what is being taught.
Ride as Much as Possible
Finally, becoming a better rider depends on the amount of time that you spend in the saddle. If you ride once a week, you won’t progress as quickly as someone who rides five times a week.
Do your best to ride as much as possible. Even if you don’t own a horse, there are ways to maximize your ride time, such as doing chores in exchange for riding or by volunteering to ride horses in need of exercise.
Becoming a better rider depends on the effort that you put into your goal. With serious work, you can always improve your riding abilities.