I am sure you will notice, there are many things a riding instructor will say over and over to many students. Most riders make the same mistakes, it’s natural and part of learning. The following quotes are my usual sayings:
“Release, Release, Release. If you don’t release that horse will ignore you.”
“Sit tall, and keep your heel down especially when you use your leg.”
“Don’t blame the horse. If your horse won’t do what you are asking it is because he found a hole in your riding. He is doing you a favor and giving you an opportunity to learn.”
“Enjoy the journey to becoming a better rider and give yourself a break.”
“It takes one year to train a horse, and five years to train a rider. If that rider doesn’t ride five days a week, it could take longer. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
“Some riders have natural talent, some have heart, some have both. No amount of natural talent will help a rider become great if he doesn’t have heart. It’s up to you to determine your ability.”
“It looks easy when I ride? It is now. I am still working you just can’t see it. I spent many long hours riding many horses sweating our butts off, or freezing our butts off, taking notes, journaling, thinking and rethinking learning how to ride. Always saying to myself, what am I doing wrong? You can reap those benefits too if you refuse to give up! All you need is lots more wet saddle pads and the determination to learn.”
“Learning to ride correct isn’t easy. Did I ever tell you it was easy?”
“Nothing worth having is ever easy. You will never truly appreciate something that came without a price.”
“Legs! Use your legs!”
On turning: “Look, leg, hand, in that order.”
“The kick is not the cue, the touch is the cue. The kick is punishment, so don’t cue your horse with a kick to walk, jog, trot, lope, or turn.”
“I’d stop saying the same thing if you made the correction!” I say this after a rider says “I know, you always say that!” Then we both laugh.
“As soon as you fix one problem, the horse will find another weakness of yours. Don’t be discouraged, enjoy the challenge. When the day comes that he can’t find any of your weak areas you will probably get bored.”
I hope this gives all you riders out there some inspiration. Remember, if you are doing your best then you are doing a great job. Keep it up!