Ever heard of the phrase “Two heads are better than one”? The same applies to riding. Yes, horseback riding isn’t a team sport. It’s more of a partnership between you and your horse in which you use a language only the two of you know. Honestly when you’re on your own sometimes it’s hard to keep yourself motivated. This is why having a riding buddy is a great idea.
Having a riding buddy is a great way to stay on track and push yourself towards your goals. They’re someone who can hold you accountable and learn from whenever you work together. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind when looking for a buddy or working with one that you already have:
1. Someone you get along with.
You want to have a positive working when you’re training. So make sure you surround yourself with people who will keep you on track and won’t discourage you. I have two wonderful riding buddies H and S. Both are warm supportive and positive people. When I’m feeling discouraged they lift me higher and push me back towards my goals. These are the kinds of quality you want to look for when finding someone to ride with.
2. Learn from each other.
Find someone you can learn from. Riding with both S and H regularly expands my knowledge of horse training. S is the proud owner of a Polish Arabian, named Jasper, who has lot’s of personality! From watching her I’m able to see how much a little bit of love and a lot of patience can take you. Her tenacity as rider is completely inspiring. She never gives up, even when Jasper spooks, she always finds a way to successfully work her horse and get results. This is something I greatly admire, respect and learn from every time I ride with her. Watching their progress over the past year and a half has been a complete pleasure.
H owns a National Show horse, named Fable. The two of them are the perfect example of where discipline and hard work can get you. I learn a lot from watching their partnership. H seems to meld right into Fable. Their synchronicity is breath taking at times. They are a excellent example of what one should be working towards with their horse. Seeing H’s dedication inspires me as well. She always keeps me motivated and encourages me when I hit a mental block in my training. I absolutely cannot wait to watch them as they continue to grow and become even better at what they do.
3. It’s great for your horse.
Riding with other people is great for your horse, especially if it’s green and hasn’t had much experience around others. It gives you a chance to see what kind of personality your horse has around others, or in a busy environment. Does he get nervous? Territorial? Or is he unaffected? All of these are questions that you will have to answer or deal with if you’re at a horse show or clinic. And why not answer them when you’re in a comfortable environment? This way if there are any problems you can deal with them right then and there without the situation escalating to a dangerous level. Test your horse in these situations, find their limitations, and then figure out a way to expand them.
4. The best way to have fun with your horse.
When you ride with your buddy or buddies don’t forget to have some fun! Work on new exercises and push yourself. Maybe switch horses and figure out exactly what your friends are dealing with. If you create a positive and encouraging environment with these people you’ll see your training progress so much more than you would by yourself. Your buddies should both bring out and push you to your absolute best.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find a buddy for you and your warrior, and watch your training accelerate to the next level!