What comes to your mind when you envision the qualities and characteristics of a skilled horse rider?
Some people think that a skilled rider is someone who knows how to get the results they want by dominating their horse. Others believe that the number of trophies, awards, and titles determines whether a person can be classed as a skilled rider or not. But if we talk about the true essence of horsemanship, is this really how we should measure the qualities and characteristics of a skilled rider?
At Equitopia, we believe that a trait shared by all great horse riders is that they are committed to the horse-rider relationship, and they believe that becoming a skilled horse rider is an ongoing process. Do you agree with this– is there something else?
While there is no agreed definition of what a skilled rider is, there are some qualities and characteristics that most people can agree on. Do you possess any of these ? Do you think they’re important?
Ability to listen to what your horse is saying
A skilled rider understands his/her horse’s body language, temperament, and personality. They will always be empathic towards their horse. Empathy is the ability to understand the emotional state of others and it is not limited to humans only but horses also respond to the emotions of their rider. An example to show the keenness of horses towards their environment is that in the wild, they follow even the ear movement of the lead horse in a herd.
Stellar listening and understanding is the most basic quality of a skilled horse rider. Because understanding the psyche of a horse is necessary to build a deep-seated connection with him.
Openness to Keeping the “Whole Horse” in Mind
Keeping the whole horse in mind means taking a holistic approach towards horse care, health, and management. If one part of the body is not functioning properly, it can hamper the overall horse performance. A holistic approach is not an alternative approach, but rather, it means considering the bigger picture of your horse’s health.
To become a successful horse rider, you needed to spend time with your horse. While mucking out or performing other barn activities, you find the opportunity to know about the actual needs of your horse.
Understanding of Coordination & Balance
A skilled horse rider has an exceptional sense of coordination and balance. Yes, balance and coordination both in temperament and personality. We are not always born with these qualities but we can develop them with years of training.
Coordination is all about knowing the behavior of your horse, knowing the need of putting or releasing pressure on reins, moving the legs, sitting or standing on the saddle, keeping your core flexible and the list goes on.
Openness to Learning
Having a growth mindset is another quality shared by skilled horse riders. An skilled rider believes that there is no such thing as “knowing it all”. A skilled rider strives to learn new things and interacts with the equestrian community to share their knowledge. The skilled rider likes to take on new challenges, share experiences, and tries to recondition his/her skill set.
Perspectives on the Qualities and Characteristics of a Skilled Rider
If you want to be a skilled horse rider, why not explore with us what this actually means. Join us on 21st and 22nd June for our online conference . Hear the perspectives of our four experts on this crucial topic that should be of huge interest to everyone involved with horses.
You will also get the tools you need to find your flow as a skilled rider, to ‘read’ your horse by feel and observation and unleash your fullest potential as a practitioner and ambassador of true horsemanship.