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This realization in my riding did not occur overnight. I spent a long time trying to learn to ride like I was solving a math problem or following a recipe.
As most of us learn to ride we are met with left-brained, step by step instruction. This piece by piece approach is a necessary part of the learning process but it also has limitations. Paying too much attention to individual body parts can interfere with the coordinative functions of the brain. This has often been called "paralysis by analysis."

"I just relaxed, rode and recorded. Obviously there is more to riding than that but that one moment opened my mind to other possibilities."

I LOVE this article!!! I consider myself an "advanced beginner," and I am a very analytical person. I know a lot of people who work very hard at trying to get their bodies to "look right and do everything right," and I would probably have fallen into the same trap due to my nature, except for the BLESSING, yes blessing, of NOT having a horse of my own until recently! Because it took so long for me to get her, I am enjoying every minute I can with her, and while I am working on developing my seat and hands, etc., I mainly just try to make sure we BOTH HAVE FUN on every ride.

And it seems to be working really well so far! I can feel improvement in almost every ride in some area, and I feel that it is because I am "relaxed and recording" her responses as you state above.

I am glad to see an article emphasizing having fun and lightheartedness simultaneously with improving skills!



I really enjoyed this article. I wish schools had the resources to help students learn in a more organic way.

Learninghorses (Jerri)

In sales, public speaking, instruction (whatever), when you are required to explain things to people it is imperative that you be able to cater to the different ways people learn. Is this person analytical? Does this person feel emotive? Does this person understand analogies? The better you can understand this and identify the need of a student (no matter what you teach or need to explain), the better off you will be. Study classical rhetoric (socrates, plato) and you will these ideas are not new. Sadly, the study of rhetoric is dying in favor of information absorbtion and rhetoric has a bad name. But masters of rhetorical theory know how to communicate and persuade, period.

Unlike you I am a left brained thinker, so time on my horse to just ride often sets me back. Nit picky repetitve instruction (even 15 minutes) can be a GREAT advancement for me. And I probably don't (no, I KNOW I don't) take enough lessons and you may have taken too many. Funny isn't it.


I have got to get that book, The Natural Rider. All this time and I never knew this was my problem. Good post.


I don't know if I'm right brained or left brained but I do know that once I quit the negative talk in my head everything got better, not just my riding, my life.


I think I'm a right brain person but the natural rider seems a very interesting read. Equestraincupid.com is a wonderful place to meet fellow horse lovers. Whether they are a left or right brained or not! Well written blog and an interesting article. Keep up the Good Work



An excellent blog.
This information gells perfectly with my knowledge of Pilates. Look at www.appliedpostureriding.com.au a book on Pilates for horses riders.
An info blog is in the makings.
cheers A


GREAT entry! I am severely right brained as well and didn't know that could be attributing to the frustration I've had over the years with my riding! After reading your article which sounds a lot like what I go through with the negative thoughts and little instructor in your head I feel so much better about myself already. I mean dang...I know what I'm supposed to do but getting myself to do it is a whole other matter...LOL! Thanks for sharing this post and the books...I'll have to look into them!!


im not sure whether im a right or left brain person, but i do no that as soon as i stopped blaming myself my riding dramatically improved. i learnt to ride at a riding school and was taught that if the horse didnt do what i wanted, it was my riding error. this was true for a 6 year old learning to canter, but it stuck with me for a long time. everytime a horse i was riding did something wrong, bolted, knocked a pole etc i instantly analised my riding and where i went wrong, and what i should have done. the problem was i focused on these to much and didnt focus on the good aspects of my riding. this made me slightly depressed as i was convinced i was an awful rider. one day in a lesson my horse wasnt going quite on the bit and i just got so angry at myself for not riding him properly. my instructor then said, 'percys being a right arse today isnt he hannah'. i was shocked, thinking it was my riding fault. so now i aim to be more positive and not dwell on the problems i face. because of this my riding has emproved dramatically and my horse responded to my change in character aswell, i didnt over analyse myself coming into a jump anymore, giving him a better chance to get his feet sorted and clear the jump, rather than me fiddlying about with his stride!!

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There may be something you need.And they are cheap and high quality.You will like them.


Great, I like it....

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