What to Check Before Riding A Horse
Looking back at my accident, and watching videos of other people's accidents, I started to put together a few thoughts.  They didn't all have to happen, and the rider was the one that could have prevented the accident.  This is POWERFUL.  Especially for those of use with fear and anxiety.  If we knew getting on our horse that we would not get hurt, our fear would melt away.

Let's create a pre-ride checklist for our horse so we know they are ready to ride and let's create one for us, the rider too!  (I have some created for you as a sample if you would like, Click Here!)

First, know your horse.  Spend some time writing down what your horse does right before he spooks.  There are usually signs leading up to the actual spook.  Figure out what his neck feels like when he is stressed and what it feels like when he is relaxed and eating.  Get to know the difference.  The key is to look for the subtle things, not just the big blow ups.  We want to create a checklist so as we are grooming our horse, we can check to make sure they are starting out relaxed.  As we are working through building our checklist, we can also play with ways to get them through the tension and relax. There are techniques like tapping and making muscles tense and then relax so the horse learns to not hold tension.  Build this checklist and keep it fresh so that it will keep you safe.

The second thing is to know you.  Make your own checklist.  Take a moment right now and just feel your shoulders and how they feel.  Then shrug your shoulders really tight up by your ears and hold for 10 or so seconds.  Now relax your shoulders completely.  Is there a difference between how they felt before and how they feel now?  This is a great way to find relaxation and can be part of your checklist.  Are you relaxed?  Include on your checklist making sure your mind is relaxed and figure out things to do to relax your mind.  If you have a lot of tension in your mind, your horse will feel it.  Build your list with all the things you need to make sure you are the rider your horse wants you to be when you mount up.

I would love to know what you put onto your checklists if you would like to leave a comment on the blog!


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