Updated: Apr 7, 2022
On the wall at my daughter’s old horse-riding barn was a sign that said: If you climb in the saddle, be ready for the ride! I always thought how true that was—why else climb in the saddle? Would you expect to sit on the horse and not move? That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. You climb in the saddle because you expect to go for a ride, whatever the ride will bring—a calm walk, a more challenging trot or canter, maybe going over some jumps?
Over the years of watching my daughter ride, I have learned a few things from the sidelines. The most important part of riding is how you get ready for the ride. First, you need the right equipment: a helmet, boots, long pants, and riding gloves are just the basics.
Once you get on the horse, the next thing you must learn is the correct position for riding: Where are your heels? How do you hold the reins? How do you sit in the saddle? Without these basics, you are not going to have a good ride and won’t progress in your skills.
Even as my daughter started cantering and jumping horses, her trainer always stopped her if she didn’t have the right position on the horse. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the trainer say, “Get organized!”
Being “organized” is what makes you a good rider. It means you are aware of where your feet, knees, and hands are; how you sit in the saddle; how long or short your reins are; and even where you are looking. A good position also prepares you to stay in the saddle if the horse suddenly spooks or gets upset by something. It is easy to fall off a horse if the horse turns or stops abruptly, takes off, or kicks out his or her back legs. “Being organized” keeps you in the saddle!
The new year 2022 is here. As you look at the possibilities that are open to you this year, what rides are you getting ready for? What goals or obstacles are you preparing to jump over? How will you be prepared and organized for this ride? What basics do you need to know to stay in the saddle and ride out the bumpy parts of your ride?
Who will be your supporter, coach, trainer, or mentor on this ride reminding you to “get organized?”
You may have certain goals or milestones you know are coming up this year, or you may not have many plans, waiting to see how life will unfold for you with all its unexpected stops and turns.
Either way, are you ready for the ride?