“We all need someone who inspires us and teaches us beyond our abilities”
In our last post, we discussed the importance of setting goals for you and your horse and laying out the baby steps to achieve those goals. I hope you have made your PLAN!
Who is included in your plan? What coaches and professionals are you reaching out to?
A wise person once told me “you should always have someone leading you and someone learning from you”. I am an admitted believer in teams working together to push each other to be better. Riding is a team sport. What makes it uniquely different, more complex, and more challenging than other sports is that the two components of the team have different anatomy, roles, benefits, and challenges. You and your horse must work together to be successful. To do this well, you must work on your horse’s conditioning and training as well as your conditioning and training. Teams are only as strong as their weakest link, you must identify your own and your horse’s strongest and weakest points. To grow in your plan, your team must include people pushing you as a rider to be better physically and technically and a team assisting you with improving your horse physically and technically.
Often only one side of the team is evaluated and focused on. This is especially true in my perspective as a veterinarian. I am not a riding coach in any way, it is not my role in the team. When I see a horse having a performance issue, I will look at it from my perspective, my rule outs, and my options to make the horse better. I see a horse being short- maybe it needs a stifle injected. I see a horse not lifting its back- maybe it has kissing spine or pelvis pain preventing that lift. These may be the issues, or it may come from another reason. Does your horse have one sore stifle because you sit to one side? Does your horse not lift its back when it works because you don’t have the ability to train the horse to do that? This is where the team becomes crucial. I can address the horse’s lameness or performance concerns then consult with your riding coach and other supporting team members to make a unified plan to help you and your horse. This approach allows for a more complete assessment, proper treatment, and working plan going forward.
As you work on your goals and the details of your plan, I encourage you to look at the team of specialists you have working with you. You should surround yourself with people who are excited to be working together to help you!