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Training: Five Biggest Barriers to Success!

5All riders have their strengths and weaknesses, here we explore the most common challenges and look at how to fix them to help elevate riding to the next level.

FEAR: Fear of hurting ourselves (or our horse), or fear of failure are most common. This is a challenge that affects many riders on some level but can be overcome with training and practice. Banish the convenient excuses of why things go wrong such as “…he’s never seen a filler like that!”, “he hates doubles (maybe you hate doubles)”, or “there was a horse in the warm up that upset him and after that he switched off!” and focus on the positives, then train to improve the weaknesses. Be confident your horse is capable of what you’re asking, ask yourself if you’re ready to jump a bigger course or is it to early for you/your horse? Understand why you want to do what you’re doing.

Remember we all have limits (a natural human instinct) so be reasonable with yourself and seek help with more established mental blocks. Most can be overcome!

CONSISTENCY: Along with fear this is probably the most significant barrier to a rider’s success. Be consistent, especially with young horses, and remember progression takes time to achieve. Have a good plan and stick to it, it’s critical to remember that sometimes you need to take a step back in order to move forward with improvement. Be positive and consistent, if you are on the right track results will come!

STIFFNESS IN THE SADDLE: Look to professional riders and learn from their positions! We must not be static in the saddle or our horse will become stiff too! Work on balance, core strength and mobility. Improving flexibility off the horse will help. Tip: Remember to maintain your improved position when you enter the ring, so many riders look great in the warm-up then stop breathing and stiffen up when they enter the ring.

BAD HABITS: We all have them and we need to work hard to be conscious of them so we can reduce their effects. Tipping forward, looking down, not allowing the weight to stay in your heel are all common. Your instructor will pick these up quickly so regular lessons will help improve bad habits. Tip: Work on one at a time until it becomes second nature, then move on to the next!

CLOSED MIND: Remember that each horse is different and what has worked on other horses you’ve ridden may not work on the next. Be open minded and ready to adapt to a different personality, movement, reactions, etc. Always listen to your horse and remember there’s more than one way to skin a cat! (Please note that no cats were harmed in this exercise).


Follow ReadySupp on social media and via our newsletters for useful (and interesting) articles on nutrition, training, events and equestrian news from our experts. ReadySupp Co-Founder Didi Verdina is our ‘training’ expert, she continues to teach in her spare time, competes, and she is qualified to BHSI level (Italian equivalent). Visit our homepage to subscribe.

If you have any questions on equine supplements, and want to improve your horse’s health, performance, or attitude give our friendly team a call 01672 541 157 for advice. We won’t try and hard sell you anything – we promise.

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Posted in General, Riding Tips, training
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