8 great pieces of horsey advice we wish we’d heard years ago

  • The equestrian world is crammed full of down-to-earth wisdom, often born of hard experience. Here are some gems we wish we’d heard a long time ago before we had to work them out for ourselves…

    1. Never ride faster than you know how to stop! (We’ve all been caught out by that one once or twice.)

    2. The art of riding is the ability to keep the horse between you and the ground. (If only it were always that simple…)

    3. When you’re schooling a green horse, try to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. (Most horses will take the path of least resistance, so make sure that’s the path you’d like them to follow.)

    4. While you’ll never be able to learn everything there is to know about riding, you’ll have some fun finding out what you don’t know! (More than in almost any other discipline, riders are always learning. The time you realise you don’t know something tends to be when you need it most.)

    5. Always the fault of the rider, never the fault of the horse. (This is an old piece of advice that you may still hear instructors give out, and acts as a reminder not to blame your mount for your own shortcomings.)

    6. Buy a horse for the rider you are now, not the rider you think you’ll be. (Another way of putting this would be, “Don’t over-horse yourself, it rarely ends well!”)

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    7. Just do it! (Sometimes all the advice in the world won’t help and the only thing that works is just getting on with it.)

    8. It’s supposed to be fun, so smile! (How often do we forget this one, especially around 6am on a cold winter morning or just after we’ve been dumped in a ditch on a cross-country course? If you’re not enjoying yourself, horses are an expensive way of being miserable!)

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