Do I need to start with lesson one?
I always like to go back to the basics whenever I have the opportunity to learn. Each time I attend a clinic or a lesson I appreciate the new delivery of information, even if it is a review to me. Our lessons are intended to be progressive to ensure that the rider is communicating well with each advance in skill level. To me, the development of my seat and the softening of my hands is a life long endeavor. Each of my lessons addresses the true feeling of these concepts, simultaneously taking some of the mystery out of how we perform the skills and improving our communication with the horse. You may purchase the lessons out of sequence based on the titles that appeal to you, however following from the beginning will allow you to gain the most benefit from my program.
Do I need an arena to use the Riding Horses program?
Some of my greatest achievements have occurred with the least amount of equipment. I have worked in what I describe as simply a “riding space” with plenty of success. A fancy riding arena is not necessary nor is it the key to success. However, riding in a safe area is always important.
My husband is an arena specialist who builds both high dollar and very modest riding arenas. We often work with budgeted clients to find their best option for an affordable riding space. The factors we take into consideration are location, soil type and the horse/rider relationship. Often innovative solutions can be used to create an arena. A combination of PVC pipe and cinder blocks in a rectangle shape, similar to a dressage arena, can easily be made on a flat surface at home. Barrels or cones can be placed as four corner boundaries to create the same effect. If your riding area has poor footing sometimes the existing soil can be simply turned up to create a more level surface.
The most important question to ask yourself is, “Can I safely ride my horse in this area?” Keep in mind, some horses may require a secure fenced riding area to ensure safety.
Can I apply this riding program to any of my horses?
My program focuses on the rider and improving communication through the correct use of your seat, legs, hands and aids. I believe a good rider can bring out the best in any horse. However, what the horse’s best is depends on the horse’s level of training. It is important to understand how to improve, and then apply, your riding skills to training horses. Every time we ride we influence the horse. In that way we are all trainers.
One of my favorite challenges is helping riders improve their horsemanship skills while correcting difficult horses. If your horses are safe and willing to learn, you will find many ways to apply my instruction to work with any horse. As you Learn to Ride, problems you may encounter will be addressed in the Learn to Train section. Each section builds on one another. The Learn to Train section is intended to safely and correctly correct misbehavior while applying your communication skills acquired in Learn to Ride. Learn to Train will teach you how to control the common pitfalls that discourage many riders. Although this section will assist in the training of a young horse, it is primarily intended to support the rider working on horsemanship in their backyard. The program’s concept comes from years of experience assisting riders with the hurdles they have encountered in their quest to enjoy the pleasures of horseback riding.