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Rider Insider: Room for Improvement

What is the first thing you would like to improve on as an equestrian?

October 7, 2013

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Autumn Working with horses is full of challenges. Even the greatest rider in the world has something to improve upon when it comes to horsemanship skills. After all, perfection is an unattainable goal, but one every rider strives for.

Do you have a long-standing fault that you are determined to fix? Plenty of riders spend years working to stop themselves from jumping ahead of their horses. Others know they need to be more assertive in keeping their horse walking in that final stretch from the trail to the barn. Habits on the ground are sometimes just as hard to fix. Ensuring your horse leads properly at your side rather than allowing him to saunter along behind you could be one goal. Devoting the time to correcting your horse's aggressive feeding-time behavior is another.

Your goal could be something more minor, like fixing your tendency to ride with so-called "piano hands" or allowing your posture to deteriorate into a casual slouch mid-ride. Maybe you just want to be more diligent about putting your tack and gear away after every ride (your barn manager will support this goal.)

Noble EquineAs we head into the colder months and look toward 2014, think about what your primary goal as a horseperson is. If you could devote all your energy into fixing one flaw or perfecting one skill, what would it be? Click "Submit a Comment" below and share your thoughts. Some of the editors' favorite responses could be featured in a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

Noble Equine is sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize for the selected featured response. This month's prize is a Show Ready Garment Bag. If you'd like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the comment form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

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Reader Comments

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

4/18/2014 10:43:46 PM

My goal is to get back to riding again!

Sam    Nashville, TN

1/12/2014 12:58:19 AM

I really need to prefect sitting still at the lope. My riding is at a plateau until I can sit still, not jump into the lope as i ask and then "pump" with my body driving my horse faster and faster. Right now I start at a lope and end with an in-hand gallop because i drive in the saddle very badly and once i can finally fix that I will reach a whole new level

Jenna    Stark, NH

11/10/2013 7:39:10 PM

Well, when my filly and I showed this fall, whenever we set out on the jog she always went faster than she should've, so I tried to tug on the reins and ended up jerking my hand on the hands so badly the judge came over to tell me to steady my hands. I just wish I could get in the habit of truly doing that all the time.

Madison    Bruce, WI

11/8/2013 1:53:56 PM

I've always dreamed of owning my own horse, and a few months ago that dream came true! I know I've probably got a bunch to work on, but I'd say building my confidence at a lope has to come in first on my "to learn" list. Your articles have helped me in so many ways in building my skills as a rider!

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