Riding horses. In theory it's so simple. Easy some might say.
We've all heard the rage inducing comment from non-horse riders;
"Don't you just sit there?"
Someone once likened it to buying a lottery ticket, just pick the right numbers and you'll win. Sounds effortlessly easy, however we know it's anything but.
Breaking down a problem that feels complicated when you're trying to fit all the parts together is a technique that good trainers use. It allows you to build back up when you're on your own, which helps to create an independent focused rider. There's no point having endless lessons if you can't do the job when your trainer isn't on the ground with you.
In a recent lesson, this is how jumping was broken down for me. There are three essential elements that you need as your building blocks;
3. Be energetic
These three things, which appear to be no trouble at all on paper, in reality take focus, commitment and a lot of energy to achieve!
Whilst Archie is learning to change his way of going and work in a more balanced uphill canter, I am having to work harder. When he understands what I'm asking I hope that he will be more responsive to my aids, allowing me to be the one working a little less hard. At least that's my goal! But it's a conversation that we are having, where often I need to have little more authority, following our motto of "Be More Yorkshire".
Flying round the cross country is exhilarating and exciting but it can be easy to make the mistake of flying flat out between fences and then asking for focus and attention when the fence is approaching. This is a mistake many of us amateurs make, as we compete and train much less frequently, but one that can be easily rectified.