The following is a list of some of the values that are critical to achieving excellence in equestrian sports:
- Hard work and persistence even in the face of challenges and obstacles
- A commitment to staying in top physical condition
- A commitment to continuous learning
- A desire to nurture excellence in the individual horse and the partnership with the rider
- An appreciation for detail
We may not all be competitive riders. However, we can all learn from the list above.
Our riding values affect our riding behaviour. For example, if we value the welfare of our horses we will treat them with respect and care. If we value continuous learning we find it easier to attend regular lessons with our riding instructor.
It’s worth making an inventory of your riding values. Then see whether you are able to live each value. I’ll give 2 examples below – one for a competitive rider, and one for a non-competitive rider.
Example of some values and behaviours for a competitive rider
(Fill it in as though you hold the value and put in examples of the behaviour carried out or not)
|A commitment to staying in top physical condition||Ride, do gym, keep weight at right level|
|Desire to win||Try and win at each show unless I am training an inexperienced horse|
|Commitment to learn||Have lessons with coach three times a week|
|Appreciation for detail||Not managing – must work on!!! Somehow can’t keep focused.|
|Example of some values and behaviours for a non-competitive rider(Fill it in as though you hold the value and put in examples of the behaviour carried out or not)|
|Spending time with horses||Spend time grooming my horse, riding my horse, holding my horse while he grazes, feed him carrots|
|Enjoy learning||Have lesson once a week, watch my friends’ lessons, read magazine and internet|
|Want to improve||Identify areas for improvement and work on them|
|Doing what I love and am passionate about||Anything to do with horses|
Identifying our values helps us identify what we want out of riding. For example: Do we just want to be around horses? Do we want to just hack? What do we want from lessons? How seriously do we want to compete?
But riding also demands certain behaviours, even if our values are not aligned. For me, there are certain non-negotiables – behaviour regarding the safety and well-being of the horse and rider are most important.
“The blog is the personal opinion and views of the author. It contains general information and may contain inaccuracies. You should always seek the advice of a professional horse riding instructor on your own specific situation and circumstances.”