Richard Spooner Demonstrates What a Rider's Sixth Sense Looks Like

Posted by Paige Cerulli

When things go wrong during a show jumping course, Richard Spooner beautifully - and unconventionally - finds a way to fix the situation. 

Sometimes, you just have to let go. Let go of your fear when it comes to riding, let go of your perfectionism, and even let go of your expectations. Rider Richard Spooner takes that phrase a little more literally, in that he actually lets go of his reins as his horse enters a triple combination during a show jumping round. But, his split-second decision proves to be the right one.

Richard Spooner is known to be a great rider, and having ridden for decades, he knows to listen to his sixth sense. Spooner instinctively knew what to do when his horse entered the combination wrong, taking off about a half stride too early and crashing through most of the first fence.

Trying to collect the horse up could result in a run-out or cause him to crash through the second and third fences of the combination, so Spooner does what is so difficult to do while riding: He lets go and lets the horse totally take charge.

Take a look at what happens.

Spooner's decision paid off big-time: His horse righted himself, completed the combination, and went on with the course with Spooner on board. There was no fall involved, though there could have been if Spooner had choked up on the horse and tried to fix things himself.

After spending years and years in the saddle, riders sometimes develop a sort of sixth sense about how to handle sticky situations. In addition to needing lightning-fast reflexes, riders often need to act before they even have time to think when things go wrong. Being able to make the right decision, as Spooner did here, can often be the difference between a serious incident and coming out of the event unscathed.

Want to develop a sixth sense of your own? It takes time, and countless hours in the saddle. So saddle up and enjoy the ride in the meantime.

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Richard Spooner Demonstrates What a Rider's Sixth Sense Looks Like