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Rider Psychology

Go with the Flow

There are three stages to learning a new skill. Don’t expect immediate perfection from you – or your horse, just go stage by stage.

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By: April Clay |

1. The Thinking Stage: When you are first attempting to learn a skill, the focus is on gaining an understanding of how that skill is to be performed. Your trainer or coach will explain, and perhaps even demonstrate, how to perform the skill. They are also likely to instruct you on how to “talk” your way through the skill sequence. For example, in order to get your horse to turn left, the instructions might be: “hold your right rein steady, and open up your left rein as if to guide him to the left. Apply pressure with your right leg to move him to the left.” This provides you with a series of step-by-step instructions that you can use to ‘talk’ your way through the skill performance. These series of instructions may at first be quite simplistic, as in the example above. In the initial stages of learning, remember to…

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