We Don’t Have a Magic Wand to Make the Perfect Rider

Fredi and I were having this conversation, and I think it bears repeating.  We were speaking about horses and riders.  When training a horse, sometimes things get worse before they get better.  They have to.  When a horse is learning something new, there is a time of resistance and the horse doesn’t understand.  In order for the horse to understand what you are asking from him you have to speak louder.  Not with your mouth, but with your cues.  As the horse learns, the cues become more subtle.  It’s a wonderful thing when a horse has a breakthrough and takes it to another level.


So the horse gets the breakthrough, and a rider other than Fredi or myself, gets back on the horse.  The rider does not know how to train a horse, and the horse isn’t fully trained in the area of the breakthrough.  This becomes a problem, because the rider is retraining the horse wrong.  It is the fault of the rider, but the rider cannot be faulted for what he or she has not yet mastered.


I always want my riders to put in the amount of effort that I do.  Some riders only want to do a pony ride.  Pony rides are fine when you don’t own your own horse, but I want there to be communication between a horse and rider.  I am interested in the rider being happy, but what I really want to do is what is best for the horse.  I want the horse to be ridden with a balanced rider without getting his mouth ripped around.  I don’t ask for a rider to be perfect, I just want them to try their best.  I feel it is a horse’s job to put up with a rider who is learning, after all the horse is being provided with a very cushy life.  But, a horse also deserves a rider that does their best to learn how to ride correctly.


I don’t have a magic wand for this, nothing takes the place of hours in the saddle.  Not just hours though, you can do a lot of damage to a horse riding incorrectly for all those hours.  Those hours have to be thoughtful and progressive.  A little bit better each time.  If your riding is not getting better, please find a trainer who can help you for the good of the horse and rider.




About Deanna Castro

Deanna Castro has been training horses and riders professionally for over 18 years. She trains riders in Horsemanship, Western Pleasure, Showmanship and Trail Riding. Deanna is married to Native American Horse Trainer Fredi Castro and she is the author of "Six Weeks to a Better Horse".
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7 Responses to We Don’t Have a Magic Wand to Make the Perfect Rider

  1. Mrs Mom says:

    Great post Deanna! Nothing bugs me more than someone who is extremely unskilled, and who apparently does not care what it is doing to the horse.

    Keep ‘em coming!

  2. Sabrina says:

    GREAT blog entry!! Wish we were closer to ya guys…would LOVE to have ya train my boys…and me!! :)

  3. dcastro says:

    Thanks Sabrina, too bad we’re not all someplace warmer ;)
    I would love to train you guys and meet the horses!

  4. dcastro says:

    Thanks Mrs. Mom! I will definitely do my best to keep them coming.

  5. Sabrina says:

    Oooooo…someplace warmer…that sounds soooo good right now!! Getting incredibly sick of winter…bring on the 80/90 degree temps and humidity…LOL! These below zero/single digit/low teen temps are driving me CRAZY!! Alright…I’m ALREADY crazy but seriously…this weather isn’t helping!! LOL!

  6. photogchic says:

    Deanna…finally got your site updated. Just had a breakthrough this week teaching Maddy to sidepass towards me on the ground. She would get agitated, then flustered, then back up, and when she finally got it…it is her new favorite game to go away from me then back towards me. So fun to watch her in her concentration.

  7. dcastro says:

    This weather is ridiculous Sabrina! I am sick for the first time in YEARS! I never get sick from a cold or flu ever.

    Photogchic, glad you got the site updated and even more glad to hear you had a training breakthrough! That’s quite an achievement to get her to sidepass toward you, great job. I think that it’s so sweet when they try so hard to do something, just like kids.

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