Three Good Things About Todays Ride

I want to start writing this little list at least once a week to counter my tendency to be negative with my riding. I can be very hard on myself and today it was too much - Rogo is doing much better in so many areas and instead of being happy and pleased about that, I zeroed in on what wasn't working as well and almost let it ruin my ride. This is wrong from several perspectives:
  1. It blocks my ability to ride well and learn
  2. It can be draining to the teacher who is putting so much intense focus on helping us improve
  3. I miss the good points, and the opportunity to praise and encourage my horse
  4. I suck all the fun and enjoyment out of something that I love
So, here goes, the first of what will be a regular feature - What Went Well In Today's Ride:
  1. Rogo's contact was steady most of the time
  2. He lengthened stride nicely in trot, while staying round
  3. His canter work was much, much better than even a week ago - transitioning onto the correct lead when asked each time, carrying it well and doing his figures, rounder
One area for improvement - sometimes he gave a little hop when we were trotting. I need to make sure I'm not too strong with my inside rein when he is doing this, and push him out with my inside leg.


Oak Creek Ranch said…
Oh, Carol, join the club! Its much easier to be negative than to celebrate the progress. Why is that??! I'm as guilty as you on this one.
Story said…
Funny I was thinking of doing a post just like this! I don't think I've ever had a ride with Dee that was entirely negative but you'd think they all were from much of what I write.
There's an art to assessing our riding with clarity - celebrating our accomplishments while acknowledging what needs improvement. :)
Anonymous said…
Mark Rashid always says to focus on shaping the behavior you want and letting the rest go, as it tends to go away on its own. And he always asks - "what did the horse do right?" when people start in on a list of what wasn't right.

We're all guiltly of this, I think.
TBDancer said…
Just when we "get it all together" during our clinic, training or show test, "the horse takes another step" and things can go south very quickly. Our goals in riding should be to ride every stride--without forgetting to reward when the horse is "together" and we are on the same page--and to FEEL a problem and fix it before it gets to the point where we think, "Well THAT movement sucked, but oh look: Here comes another one." Good thoughts on the GOOD things that happen during the rides. And always "quit winners," even if it's that the horse stands quietly when we dismount. Baby steps ;o)
This is such a great idea! I think every dressage rider is guilty of this. What is it about this sport that inspires such negativity?

^ That's a rhetorical question. I can think of a whole list of reasons for the negativity! But, I love that you're taking a stand against the negativity with this list!
It's always best to focus on the positive. You can't ignore the stuff that needs improvement but it's a good idea to end on a good note. Not only for horses but ourselves too.