What’s your ride?
I will never forget what my friend Stacy said to me when I asked why she was selling her horse. She’s just not my ride. That really caused me to start thinking about what exactly is MY ride?
Everyone seems to have a particular ride that they like best and feel most comfortable on. The more experienced you get, the easier it is to identify. My ride…. hahaha… somewhat phlegmatic with decent gaits, a generous spirit and a tractable mind. Size, breed, sex are unimportant… it’s just a certain feel. You know that feel, you toss your leg over and within minutes you are like yup, this one is for me. This does not in any way, shape, or form mean that you can’t or won’t ride a different kind of horse. It is just that your level of enjoyment and connection will be different. It is, in fact, good to ride lots of different types of horses because each one teaches you something about your riding and yourself. I don’t like riding hot, forward horses. So, of course, I have one. But, she is smart, brave and careful and I adore her. She is teaching me a lot about my riding and this is actually helping me with the phlegmatic horse by resetting my inner tempo so that I demand a more forward gait from her. I also don’t like mares … which is why I have two of them????
Once you have identified your type, you can start to deconstruct what it is about the different types that you are not as fond of. If you don’t like a horse with a particular type of movement, then you can either learn to ride that type of movement or learn how to improve it. If you don’t like a spooky horse, you can learn what makes it spooky and learn to ride through the spook, avoid the triggers, or run up your stirrups and hand it off to someone who is up for the challenge. Believe it or not, some people like a hot ride, some like a kick ride, and others like a bit of an attitude.
It’s ok to decide that a perfectly nice horse just isn’t for you because “it’s just not your ride”.