How does who we are affect the way we ride?
How does our personality determine how our horse behaves for us?
When I was young I loved confrontation. A “Warne” family saying is “I’m not arguing with you, I’m just proving to you why I’m right!”
When dad died I had to make everyone ok, everything ok. If I kept everything ok it wouldn’t happen again, no-one would leave if everything was good.
Today, I still have to make everything ok. I will excuse a lot of things and avoid confrontation, because I don’t want to upset anyone.
I will typically let things go on until it gets to a point where the person will still believe everything is fine, yet I’ve long since lost all my respect for them.
On Batialo, this is exactly the same! I try to keep everything calm and avoid having a “discussion” with him, and he will get away with the tiny things until all of a sudden I’ve lost his respect and I am having to have the huge confrontation, that I could have avoided if I’d set up the boundaries in the beginning.
If you think your personality doesn’t affect your riding, or doesn’t affect your horses personality…you are wrong!
A tense rider equals a tense horse, a relaxed and happy rider, well, you can see the horse enjoying it. At least I am aware of my floors. Self awareness is the single most important thing in a horse rider, not position, nor strength. Until you know your own limitations, you will never understand what you pass onto the horse.
Batialo is the funniest horse I know, who just loves everything about his life. This for me is a great reflection of who I am, but I know that in order to gain his respect I need to get a little bit back to the “Warne” girl I used to be.
I don’t want to argue with Batialo, I want to explain to him why I’m right before the argument even begins. I need to set up a boundary where he knows his limit, he can play sure, but there must be a line that he cannot cross, and I need to make sure I am clear about where this line is.
I must do the same with people.
If you are a nervous rider, you need to somehow accept it, and then make sure you can “bluff” your horse into believing you are strong.
If you have a temper you must learn to control it, as violence, or anger is never the way to earn the respect of anything, be it human or horse!
Then, I must be aware that my horse picks up on everything that I think, and feel. Horses always know when you aren’t really there, even in the instant that your mind wonders off. They know when you are not ok, when there are other outside distractions that are taking your attention.
Not many humans can do this.
A quote that I never forget is…“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” Buck Brannaman
Sometimes it’s good to notice what we don’t like to see, so we can begin to change it for the better!
Today I rode with a new strength, because I no longer have any doubt in my mind as to what I want. Sometimes doubt is what leads to fear, and vice versa. You have to eliminate one before you can the other. Batialo bucked in the first 20 seconds, and I didn’t react, and he didn’t bother trying it again.
I’m also no longer afraid to ask for help, and to seem weak because of it. Today I didn’t even need to ask, my groom followed me to the arena and watched me the whole time. It meant a lot to me, just having someone there.
If it’s anything I’ve learnt this year it’s that you just can’t do it alone. Even if its moral, or physical support, you eventually need someone you can rely on, or even a few people.
Horses I have always found to be far more honest with me than people, but it’s amazing to know , that if you strip away your pride, and your determination, just for a second, and tell people honestly how you feel…Well, as it turns out they can be pretty bloody amazing really.
To Valdeni, and Frederico Pinteus, who have helped with Batialo, THANK YOU!!