Dear Horseback Riding Instructors, STOP chasing us! It is not the answer!
Updated: Apr 17
When I first started riding, I was excited but absolutely terrified and nervous. Slowly I became more confident and as I moved up with my skills I started to get more advanced and tougher horses, at least that's what my instructors said. In reality these were horses that had stronger personalities, that hated their monotonous jobs and did not want 10 different people riding them every week! So ya they were rightfully loosing their minds!!
Many times these horses would refuse to go forward. And of course that's when the dreaded chase would begin!
My instructor would pull out the whip and start to use it while I was right on top of the horse to get them going. AND OMG I HATED IT! And of course the horse hated it too!
As soon as the whip came it struck fear in me and the horse! I was afraid the horse would bolt or buck and the horse was afraid of getting hit! It was absolutely dangerous!! The instructor would just start cracking it and chasing us! It wasn't until after I few times I was scared shitless that I finally said "Stop!" and just let me figure it out with the horse!
And that time of me just figuring it out myself gave me so much more confidence and understanding of each horse I worked with!
So to all the instructors out there that have horses that don't want to go forward or are hard for your riders, do not chase them with whips! It is dangerous no matter the horse, because they could overreact and everyone including the horse could get hurt! Give the horses time off and change up the lessons every time so they don't become bored!
Confidence is built slowly and steadily over time! Once you add in fear, trust is broken and hard to get back fully.