Lessons Learned from Equestrian Season in Wellington FL

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Happy Benson.

Things I learned my first season in Wellington Florida:

  1. I learn the most from a difficult ride.
  2. Dressage trainers are welcoming and generous towards the up and coming youth.
  3. I can live with less. Much less.
  4. We are never too good to muck a stall.
  5. Love the one I am with.
  6. Only memorize quality riding, and have a kind eye towards a learning rider.
  7. There will always be barn drama. Handle lightly at a great distance.
  8. The horse will hold a mirror to my strengths and weaknesses. I can hide nothing from him. Take those lessons and be a better human.
  9. Be content. There are others with more, resist coveting.
  10. Be positive. Celebrate the progress in the journey towards improved riding and horsemanship.
  11. Be a thinking rider with a sharp brain and a relaxed body.
  12. Choose to be confident and calm at every mounting block.
  13. Take walk breaks in the arena and in life.
  14. Make rider and horse fitness a priority.
  15. Observe the horse carefully to make sure something isn’t hurting. Don’t be quick to blame the riding if performance declines.
  16. Ride to improve the quality of the gaits, the throughness, the suppleness, and the responsiveness. Don’t ride for a score.
  17. Be playful with my equine partner.
  18. Cross train with variety in the training schedule to keep him inspired and happy.
  19. Don’t work harder than my horse, let him carry me and remind him to do so with a whisper.
  20. Express relentless gratitude. To your horse, trainer,  barn mates,  vets, supporters, the  farrier and the grooms.
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