6 Tips on How to Become a Good Rider

Here’s a summary of a post I just read on a horse forum.  The post was made by a beginner adult rider who started riding 3 years ago.  In that time she has:

  • missed 10 months due to a head injury (from coming of a horse)
  • has owned 3 different horses (2 different breeds)
  • has ridden with 3 different trainers
  • has tried several different horses (on trial to buy or in lessons)
  • has ridden in at least 2 different disciplines
  • is now looking to try another discipline AND possibly another breed of horse
  • gets bored if it’s too easy
  • wants to be challenged
  • needs to build confidence as well as riding skills

and she wanted to know how long it would take her to be able to ride a horse properly.   She describes herself as feeling ’embarrassed’  when 8 year old kids whiz by her riding the same horse she feels she could never ride.

Perhaps you recognize yourself or someone you know in some of what this woman is saying.  If so, consider the following tips.Consistency Matters

  1. No matter what discipline or breed of horse you choose to ride, it’s what you do consistently that makes the difference.
  2. Choose one discipline. Find a trainer you like and who is experienced with teaching beginner adult riders. Stick with that trainer and dedicate yourself to learning that discipline.
  3. Be willing to work through the ‘boring’ stuff as well as the challenging stuff.  This is what good riders do all the time.
  4. When your trainer agrees that you are ready for your own horse (one that won’t be too much for you and you won’t be bored off in a few months or a couple of years), have him or her help you find the right horse.
  5. Becoming a competent rider takes time – that means years – especially when you are starting out as an adult. How long it takes depends on:
  • your physical ability
  • your fitness level 
  • your commitment and dedication 
  • how often you ride and practice what you are learning in your lessons.

6.  Most importantly, take your time and enjoy the process. There really is no ‘destination’ when it comes to riding.

I have been riding for most of my life and am a professional trainer and coach. I am still learning and (I hope) improving.

The journey is worth it.  Please do share your thoughts on this post or your own journey in the comments section.

Watch for my book coming soon – “Confident Rider, Confident Horse: Build Your Confidence While Improving Your Partnership with Your Horse from the Ground to the Saddle”
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Written by Anne Gage, Confident Horsemanship (www.annegage.com).  
I would also appreciate it if you’d send me a copy for my media files.
Anne Gage
Confident Horsemanship
Facebook Group – Horseback Riding Solutions with Anne Gage
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2 thoughts on “6 Tips on How to Become a Good Rider

  1. I am riding since I am 3 and I am still learning. I enjoy what I learned last year and use it on my young horse Henry. We are making progress and think a lot of people would now think that they do not need lessons anymore, but I do. My friend Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff got the gold medal in dressage 1988 in Seoul and she still has a coach…nobody is ever perfect

  2. Im 15 and ive been riding 9 years this year. Im still a beginner, i cant do shows and i am only jumping 50 courses at my agistment. 5 years ago i was doing 70 courses on the different riding school horses and ponies.. feel like I’ve gone backwards :/ and no i cant do dressage or hacking either because they only did jumping

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