What is the safest equestrian sport?
I played the guessing game with this for a while before looking at the answer.  I knew it wasn't jumping, or polo, or racing. But what about hunters, trail riding, or liberty work?  Boy was I wrong.  The safest sport according to my research is Vaulting!  This was shocking to me at first until I really looked at it, and how it can help me be safer in any horse riding I do!

First of all, it is rhythmical, at least for the horse.  The horse goes in a circle and the horse canters in a rhythm.  How can I apply this? How does rhythm fit in?  This is something I had not thought about, but really makes sense.  If we can practice with our horses, walking in rhythm, and make corrections if they change the rhythm without us, won't we have a horse more in tune to us?  A horse that is more relaxed because it has one job, go at this pace?  IT keeps us focused on the connection with the horse, not matter what we are doing.  It is easy to practice too.  Fast Walk 10 steps, SLLLOOOWWW walk 10 steps until it is really good then start doing it at the trot.  Imagine how responsive your horse will be to you.  Fast rhythm, slow rhythm.

The second thing that stands out is that it builds on what has come before, repetition.  The vaulters practice on their own, without a horse.  They practice a move until they are good before they ever mount.  They start small, getting on and getting off.  Over and over.   I have talked a lot about some of Warwick Schiller's principles and this falls right in line.  I get on and take four steps and decide to go back, get off, or go on.  Then I get to 50 steps and same questions.  It is repetitive.  If I have any issues getting to the 50 steps, I turn around and go back to the beginning.  A lot like playing a video game.  You start over and over and over and get really good before moving to the next level.  

Imagine what a relief it will be to our horses to know that we have them, that we expect them to be the best that they can be and will be the best we can be for them.  It will improve our confidence and our timing.  We will get better and better and most importantly, we will be safer!

If you are not riding yet, or want to improve your connection before trying the above, here is my free guide with some Ground Play examples!  Just click here!

What is the safest equestrian sport?   What did you think it was?


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