Motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins
Consistency is a wonderful quality to develop as a dressage rider. Since horses are creatures of habit, smart riders use the same aids in the same way every day as part of their systematic method to train their horses because it minimizes confusion and quickens the learning process. A half halt on Monday should be the same as a half halt on Tuesday and if a balanced, straight and square halt was insisted on when riding Wednesday, you must enforce the same rules for Thursday. Reliable and constant aids help us to communicate effectively, thereby allowing our horses to respond in a uniform and correct manner.
But consistency means more than just utilizing the same aids to engage our horses in a conversation about lateral suppleness or lightening the forehand. Consistency is one of the secrets of good horsemen and one of the major differences between serious dressage equestrians and casual riders. Developing a consistent daily riding routine that seeks to improve your horse’s physical and mental well being requires devotion to both your horse and the sport of dressage. Healthy lifestyle expert and author, Holly Mosier, says, “It’s like anything else. If I want to tone muscle, lifting a 10-pound weight a few times every day will move me toward my goal much quicker than hoisting a 50-pound barbell once a week. Yes, it really is true: Slow and steady wins the race. Just try a little, every day. You’ll see.”
Trying a little more every day is the secret in dressage – and maybe in life too? We are what we consistently practice, so if we want to succeed in developing a graceful, balanced and beautiful athlete then we need to practice our dressage exercises daily. Keep a riding log to record your long and short term goals, your daily plans and actual daily accomplishments. Make certain that you include both your fabulous achievements (“first clean flying change from right lead to left!”) and your continued challenges (“needs to be more uphill, still tense through his topline during down transitions”). By keeping a daily log, you will be recording your journey forward and developing the habit of consistently schooling your horse every day. Try it – you’ll like it!
Susan Moody,IEO President