Monday, March 17, 2008

Questions and Answers

Misha commented my one day event post and I thought I might answer it as a post here since its a relevant question for all horse riders. If you have any more advice stick it in my comments :)

Misha: That's awesome that you have so much fun riding! Don't you ever worry that you'll fall? When I go trail riding the thought of falling barely enters my mind, but I've never jumped before. I would like to learn how to jump someday, though. That sounds like a really super ultra amazingly awesome day! lol-that's alot of adjectives!

Hey Misha

Thanks for your comment. I believe that having a healthy fear of riding is a good thing. Horses weigh hundreds of kilograms, are fast, agile and strong and worst of all… they have a mind of their own. It’s dangerous not to have some kind of healthy fear, call it respect if you will, of horses. I’ve experienced fear many times on the back of a horse. Fear of falling being one of them. But really if I let the fear of falling get to me, I’d never get on the back of a horse again. As Katherine Patterson once said (I have no idea who she is) ‘To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you and swing you around by the tail is another.’ Which is totally true.

And so ‘Risk Management’, as I like to call it, comes into play. You’ve probably heard of the old barrier at the top of the cliff, ambulance at the bottom analogy. My barrier is my balance and independent seat when I am jumping and also riding in general, which will hopefully keep me in the saddle rather then on the way to hitting the ground. For my ambulance I, as a rule (which is only seldom broken), jump wearing a helmet and back protector. Back protectors were the norm at my previous pony club and competitions in Auckland although I seem to be one of the only ones to wear them down here. But really, I would rather be safe then worry about whether I looked cool or not. I also think the horse you are riding can boost your confidence a million percent. My old horse Red was a terrible show jumper in competition and as a result I went into the show jumping round on Ghost feeling worried but I needn’t have been. She flew around like it was nothing and I felt secure the entire time.

If you want to learn how to jump make sure you get in contact with an experienced instructor that will be able to teach you all the basics. An experienced, safe horse is also a must. I hope this answered your questions and one day you have lots of fun jumping too!


misha said...

Wow, thanks! I didn't except such a great answer! I've never heard of back protectors before, so maybe I can check that out.

I guess the horse you are riding can help you fell more or less confident as well, and a good instructor would help ease fears too.

Thank-you SO much for taking the time to answer my question!

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly sensible reply. Thanks for posting this.

And BTW, I'm glad you have found a partner in Ghost - she looks lovely!

Katie said...

no worries! it was lots of fun!

glad you both enjoyed it

Anonymous said...

The most important thing is to learn balance. Ride a lot without stirrups and just gie it a try!

Anonymous said...

The most important thing is to learn balance. Ride a lot without stirrups and just gie it a try!

emma said...

I love the quote! Very wise! I have been swung around by fear a number of times ;)