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Better Riding Archive

Why Fear is Meant to Help You, But How to Tell if it’s Holding You Back

You’re out on a trail ride, walking through the grass along the fence line when your horse spots it – a big piece of plastic caught on the fence and flapping in the wind. She stiffens and snorts, then starts dancing sideways. You know you have to get past this plastic to get back to

“Stop overthinking and just ride!” – Tips to Get Out of Your Head

You’re about to go into the canter. Your instructor has asked you to trot to the far side of the arena and then ask for canter in the corner. Your mind races with thoughts: What if my horse spooks at that bush… Sometimes he really jumps into canter, I hope he doesn’t do that this

How to Get a Stable Lower Leg

A stable lower leg position is what all riders strive for. We know that having a “good” lower leg will make us more effective and clear in our cues to the horse and help us to feel secure in the saddle. “Keep your leg still” is certainly common advice in riding lessons, but how do

Finding “Flow” In Your Riding – Creating Peak Performance

Think of a time when you were completely immersed in what you were doing. You lost track of time and you had no awareness of other thoughts or sensations, just the activity you were immersed in. For many equestrians, this feeling is of one of the greatest thrills of riding – getting lost in the

Holding and Switching Your Whip While Riding

When holding a whip while riding, where should you hold it? Right at the top, in the middle of the handle, or even further down? What’s the best way to switch your whip from one hand to the other? If you’ve ever felt a bit awkward riding with a whip, you’ll appreciate the two simple

What Does it Mean to “Open Your Hip”?

Have you ever received the riding instruction of “open your hip” and not sure what it meant? Or have you been accused of leaning forward, but when you try to sit more upright, you feel as though you are constantly losing your balance toward the rear of the horse? In this video, I am going

Better Use of Your Back Riding (with the exercise ball)

A stable, supple back position when riding means increased freedom in your hips to go with the movement of the horse, the ability to give precise cues with your legs, and a soft upper body so your contact can be steady and your rein aids clear. But what is the difference between the terms that

Comparing Horse and Rider Anatomy

As humans, we look different than our horses. Obviously. We walk on two feet, they stand on four hooves. They have long necks and big heads, we have short necks, and well, still rather big heads. But if you look at our most basic anatomy, our skeletons, we are surprisingly similar to our horses. Besides

Inspiration & Advice from Riders Just Like You

If you are feeling stuck, there is often nothing as inspiring as hearing from someone else who also experienced challenges, but was able to work through them. It is inspiring to learn from others who have experienced challenges, made progress, and can share what worked, and what didn’t… Because there are certainly unique challenges in

How to Choose a Great Riding Instructor

You put a lot of faith in your riding instructor. Especially when you are just starting out, you trust their knowledge and judgement to choose a safe horse for you, and to find the balance between pushing you to improve and yet not asking you to do something outside of your skill level. You are