How To Be An Effective Rider In The Saddle? - ForTheHorse

How To Be An Effective Rider In The Saddle?

Every week, we speak to so many riders who want to be an effective rider in the saddle. 

And these are riders who genuinely care; they tend to be sometimes a little bit over invested in doing things correctly with their horses, but they're still not getting the results that they're looking for.

So what's happening here?  Why aren't riders getting what they so much desire from their time with their horse?

Is it that your horse isn't listening to you perhaps?

Is it that your horse isn't ready to do what you're asking?

Is it that maybe you're asking too much?

What exactly is it?

How to diagnose the right issue is a huge part of getting closer to being an effective rider in the saddle. 

We've learned this from not only doing it ourselves with our horses, but also helping many of our students and incredible riders along this journey as well.

And we've put these components that we've learned over many years and horses and students into our Harmony For The Horse Program.  It's a system for riders where they can learn for themselves, once and for all, how to be an effective rider in the saddle.  

CLICK HERE to discover more about how we can help you to become a more effective rider in the saddle,so that you can have the freedom, achievement, oneness and joy that you most seek with your horse.

The other day I wanted to bring my horse up to the indoor.

But the conditions are incredibly dangerous for the journey from their pasture to the indoor. We've had warming trend that has melted snow, and then at night, it freezes. So, there's a sheet of ice.  I had to actually lead her step by step. But I knew where the ice was because I've been walking those paths frequently.

So, I had to guide her.  I had to lead her step by step pretty much along the way precisely where I crossed the path that was icy. 

My horse had to have an extreme connection with me to be able to do that.

So how do we nuture that connection so that we can become an effective rider in the saddle?

The journey to being an effective rider in the saddle is like a doorway.


It's like opening a door into where you can find the connection with your horse that comes from clarity.  You're opening the door for you and your horse to go through the doorway into that place of clarity where you have everything you need...

  • Support
  • Guidance
  • Strategies
  • Techniques
  • Partnership

#1.  Guide Yourself First


Be an effective guide of yourself, and then an effective guide of your horse, and an effective rider in the saddle.

Most riders have no idea on how to guide themselves, with respect and understanding and love.  

This is a process that we take you through in our Harmony For The Horse Program.

And so, as you guide yourself and your horse, the thing that you need to do is practice discernment.

#2.  Use The Process Of Discernment

Discernment for me, is having the insight or understanding to be able to choose. Is it my riding technique? Is it my horse isn't ready? Is it that my horse isn't listening?

Observe, evaluate, use the process of discernment...and then you can choose how to make your next move, and the next moves, happen.

Have you ever heard the saying, "being at the controls", as a pilot is at the controls?

This is what I sometimes think about ... that I'm at the controls as a rider. It's not that I'm controlling. I'm just at the controls. I'm guiding my horse, through a conversation, with the controls...as a pilot would be or as a director in a play would be.

You're providing inspiration and you're providing lead utilizing the Process Of Discernment.

A lot of riders we talk to get caught up in the perfectionism of things. And perfectionism is difficult because yes, we do want to learn how to do it. We want to know, we want to get the best that we can be and do it right for our horses...

But sometimes, if you get caught up in the perfectionism that does not allow you to have discernment, just like if you get caught up in emotions, that does not allow you to then access discernment.

It's a balancing act.

If you're too much into the side of perfection, to the point where you're not enjoying it, then that doesn't make sense either.

#3.  An effective rider knows how emotions come through us


The way down to the pasture from the indoor, the story was different. 

We had to go down a hill. And as we went down the hill, all of a sudden the hill blocked the line of site for my horse.  It's like behind her was completed gone and she couldn't access that area of her awareness, so she started to worry.  

And when that emotion of worry comes in, that's when I need to hold her through her emotions, I need to be there with her. 

Things were going through my mind because she started to bounce around like crazy, rear up, and go sideways down the hill.

So, at that point in time, I have an emotional reaction.  My horse was having an emotional reaction to the situation..."What if something big comes down that hill and I can't see it coming and I won't be able to do anything about it."

At that point in time, that's when our partnership really kicks in, she trusted me to guide her. 

She's a 1400-pound horse. If she didn't trust me, she would have just broken away and taken off towards the herd of horses. But she didn't. She stayed with me. I trusted her that she wouldn't jump on top of me. She trusted me that I would be her guide throughout this.

So, we have the partnership, the trust, the companionship, then when emotions get into the scene, like they did with my horse on the other day, and there's fear, we as riders need to be the guide, and not fall into the emotions, not falling into her story of fear.

And this is exactly what we do in my program, we have a process that shows you how to be your own effective guide so that you can then be your horse's effective guide and rider.

CLICK HERE to discover more on how to BE AN EFFECTIVE RIDER.

I'm acknowledging her emotions, but then I'm still guiding her.

I still walked down the hill, no matter what she was doing, bouncing in the air going sideways down the hill, I still walk down the hill.

"It's okay, I'm here for you. We're going to walk into the forest into the deep snow to get home."

That's what I mean about being a guide. It's not a dominating leadership.

We're going to have emotions, we're going to go through difficult times with our horses, but how do emotions go through us? How do they get stuck? How do we unstuck them? How do we get emotions going through, so then we can access the ability to evaluate and have discernment?

1.  Have a process for before you get with your horse, helping you with emotions, helping you with being able to access discernment, so that you're well prepared for when these situations come around.


2.  And then have a actual process for during the times that you're riding your horse so when you're with your horse, and you really need to access discernment, that you can access it quickly and access it easily.

And this is what we do in our program!

We strive to learn the very, very best that we can to be for horses.

At the end of the day, you have to get out with your horse and ride.

We can talk about it and discuss, but you have to do your preparation, you have to do your homework, do the time away from your horse, and then just get out with your horse and do it and not be pondering everything that can go wrong.

Open the door, keep it simple, have processes of preparation, and have a process that's effective when you are riding...that helps you be an effective rider.

If you would like support in this way, click the link below and we can chat about how we can help you with your process...how we can help you to get to the point where you are an effective rider and effective at being able to access discernment. Because discernment can be just one little thing.

It can be just one tiny thing that needs changed with the way you're working with your horse, the way you're riding, the way you're seeing things and the way you're perceiving. But you're not able to see it ... you need help with that. And that's what we do in my program.

CLICK HERE to schedule a call with us!

About the Author Chris Adderson

Chris Adderson teaches riders and horses how to move with ease and grace to create astounding results and lifelong relationships of their dreams. She teaches valuable skills and educational strategies to get more results, quicker and faster.

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