Parents play the most important role in developing young riders. Parents do much more than haul their sons and daughters to lessons, arrange rides to and from the horse show and provide necessities. They are more than cheerleaders or providers, they nourish and shape children in their fold. Regardless of their level of involvement, parents are often the driving force behind a young rider’s ability to handle the pressures of competition.
It is wonderful to see parents take an active role in their child’s horse hobby and encourage their son or daughter’s progress. However, parents walk a fine line between encouraging their children to achieve and pushing too hard. If you are an adult with influence over a child’s riding and showing, here are some tips to improve the experience.
Everyone experiences horse show jitters at some point in their riding career. It is only natural to feel some anticipation and excitement before stepping into the show pen. In fact, it is the rush of showing that gets you out of bed at 4 a.m.
But if you are going to be truly competitive, you will have to learn to get a handle on your nerves. Acknowledging your nerves is the first step to overcoming your nerves. Here are some tips to help you master your nerves.
Do you ever get on a horse only to wonder if you are the teacher or the student? Sometimes the horse poses such an interesting challenge that you may feel as if you are listening harder than the horse is; trying to figure out how to make the horse understand you. Other times, we are so sure of ourselves, so sure of our plan and approach that it takes a drastic move from the horse to make us realize we do not have all of the answers. In fact, you realize you missed the question all together.
That is the lure of riding horses – the never ending search for the perfect ride. In reality, we know there is no such thing. It is the journey, the pursuit that pays dividends. Only the best riders can bring out the best of each individual they are privileged to sit atop. But the quest is there for all to enjoy and nothing feels better than when you and your partner get on the same page.