This week I thought I would talk about the importance of connection with your horse, something I have been reminded about often.
In the past, when I moved my horses to a farm, I had been so busy with work that I had not had as much time as I had previously to play with and ride my lovely Millie. Snatched moments of time here and there were all I managed.
When I did ride her I was attempting to hack her round the farm and I found she had lost her confidence which, in turn, brought feelings of apprehension up in me. What I then remembered is how important our connection is for both of us, to know we are there for each other and are working as a team of two. What did this mean for us?
I went back to basics, I needed to be able to ride in the fields (no arena), starting with a smaller one and advancing to a larger one as our connection was re-established. We both needed to be calm and relaxed and listening to each other first at walk, then trot and on into canter. I needed to feel confident that Millie would listen to me and respond to requests for transitions, preferably with just using my energy, breath and seat. Millie in turn needed to feel confident I was listening to her concerns and being respectful of how she felt.
After working on all this the feeling we had out in the big field was amazing, it was worth taking the time to re-connect, taking it slowly instead of rushing to hack out. We were a team of two again and able to progress.
What did I learn?
My questions to you is how connected do you feel to your horse? If the answer is anything other than 'very' what are you going to do about it? Lessons with a good instructor or maybe some natural horsemanship games on the ground or in the saddle would be a start. I promise you the more connected you feel the more confident you will feel so take the time it takes.....
To you and your confidence
Caroline Andrews - Horse Rider Confidence Specialist