Making a winning run is all about teamwork. Teamwork starts at the foundation, making sure that your horse is broke well and you know exactly what the ‘commands’ are is a vital part of becoming a team. Each horse is an individual and each rider has a different set of hands and applies pressure through their hands, body and feet a little differently.
Many people overlook the fact that practice at home is not only for the horse but it is for the rider as well. All too often I see riders who practice one way and run a different way and they can’t understand why their horse performs and feels so different in competition than they do in the practice arena. Horses by nature want to be pleasers, but they look to you for guidance and reassurance in a run.
Becoming a team means riding the same every time you go through the pattern. This helps your horse to understand what to expect from you in different situations and you, in turn, can develop your horse’s knowledge of exactly how you want them to react as well. Immediately stopping and correcting a problem while practicing helps a horse to clearly understand where the mistake was and you can show them the correct way you want them to react. I call this perfect practice! It isn’t “perfect” because no mistakes are ever made and your horse works exactly perfect. Instead it’s “perfect” because you are building clear boundaries on what is correct and what is incorrect.
By using repetition of “perfect practice” eventually your horse figures out exactly what you want and you as a rider become more consistent as well and a winning team is created. Before long stopping and correcting happens less and less and may even become rare in practice and that is when you will see it really carry over to perfect runs in competition!
We all strive for that winning run not once, not twice, but as often as possible, but that all begins with how you practice. Do you practice perfectly?
Best of Luck!
To learn more about Jackie please visit her website at www.jackiejatzlau.com
Be sure to register for a FREE PAIR OF ICONOCLAST EQUINE SUPPORT BOOTS by visiting our website at www.westernlegacysales.com - The winner will be drawn on 3/31/2011