How Does your Horsemanship Measure Up?
by Dr. Mike Guerini, Ph.D. (www.dunmovinranch.com)
2015 is here and it is time to start a new year of horsemanship. How did you do last year? Did you meet all your goals? Do you recall what your goals were for 2014? How did you measure your progress throughout the year and from ride to ride?
Here are five ideas that will help you keep track of your 2015 Horsemanship successes and measurements.
1) Keep a Journal. Keep track of your daily rides and look back each month and see where you have been and where you are going. Here is a great resource from the team at Equine Hydro-T for tracking your horsemanship throughout the year. Click HERE.
2) Use Video to check your progress. Take videos at the beginning and end of each month. Sit down and watch the videos and review your progress. In addition to your own personal review, submit a video to Coach’s Corral www.coachscorral.com and get a coaching review of your riding. Once you have learned how to video yourself and work on areas you want to improve upon, check in with me and I promise to share with you some of the options available for Virtual showing.
3) Measure your horse’s stride. Are you working on extensions or rhythm, balance, timing, and cadence. Rake off a clean area where you ride then walk, trot and lope and measure the length of stride. Make sure you know how long a stride is normal for your horse. Maybe your horse has not stretched out…measure and keep track and see if your current plan is helping your horse improve.
4) Time your circles. Are you working on that perfect 20m circle. Take a stopwatch and time how long it takes you to ride each 20m circle (helps if a friend does the timing). A consistently sized and shaped circle where the horse is moving with the same timing — will always have the same time show up on the stopwatch.
5) Chart your show progress. If you are involved in Dressage, keep track of your scores and look for trends of improvement on certain aspects of your ride. Pay close attention to the comments section of the tests and see if you are getting dinged for the same errors or problems. If you are into reining, cowhorse, or trail — take the time to get your score sheets (if available) and review them after each show and each month.
Welcome to 2015 and make sure that you set yourself up for success by measuring how well you and your horse are doing.
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Dr. Mike Guerini is a clinician, author of multiple Horsemanship books, co-inventor of the Equine Hydro-T and specializes in western performance based instruction and you can learn more about Dr. Mike and his 6 C’s of Horsemanship at www.dunmovinranch.com. Dr. Mike is also part of Coach’s Corral (http://www.coachscorral.com/), an online Horsemanship Coaching program that specializes in video coaching and the 5 Ride Program. Dun Movin Ranch is also home to the Equine Hydro-T (http://www.hydrot.com/).