Weekend Help: Pre-Ride Theory

I read a particularly great post before my weekend rides and want to share.   Go to Confessions of a Struggling Dressage Rider, and while you’re there, read her post about sport’s psychologists analysis on rider’s behavioral types.

I found it humbling (I have every behavioral type.  My goal is to be normal someday), useful, and inspiring.  But more importantly, I had a better ride yesterday.     Thanks Dressage Rider!

Reading her post made me ponder the things that help me pre-ride.  (Stop thinking about food!  That was a note to self, excuse me)

What helps you before you ride?  Physically, psychologically, emotionally, whatever is helpful.  Many times, hearing what other riders have say precedes a breakthrough for me.  It gives me a new take on (dang dang dang) situations I keep blowing.

Here’s my hopefully helpful experience for the day.  I was riding with ex-Olympian trainer, who had been giving plentiful and detailed instruction (sound and GOOD) and I was still struggling, trying to put it all together.  Finally she yelled:  ” just…RIDE!”

Breakthrough.  I was up there thinking, hesitating, pondering, putting together, remembering, following the motion; you name it. I was so busy focusing on trying to make myself correct, I forgot to, uh, actively RIDE the horse.

JUST RIDE changed everything.  Bingo. Instantly forward, connected, fluid, quieter, and a 360 in responsiveness on a lazy horse.   100% improvement in position and rider response.  Nothing changed but the way I thought.  Or in this case, stopped thinking.

It will take you all of 2 seconds to figure out what kind of rider is my basic type.

Happy trails…or circles.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Help: Pre-Ride Theory

  1. Yah! So glad that my post helped. I had that kind of ride yesterday too! I stopped thinking, dissecting, etc., and just rode. (My instructor was fairly quiet too.) Peace of mind brought peaceful horse.

    When I first starting riding with this instructor she told me “Trust yourself!” Major breakthrough moment.

    1. I’ve gone back and read your post three times. I’m sure I’ll go back again. I’m an over-analyzer (big shock, huh.). I’m determined to memorize and apply all that info you thoughtfully provided.

      After I diagram it on my white board, record it into my meditation tapes, and explain to my horse, trainer, friends, spouse and self. I’ll need to think it through…

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