Almost daily I have someone come into my shop looking for that special saddle, bit, pad or perfect combination of tack to make their horse ride better.
I usually start off with the same question “How often do you ride?” Most of the time I find my customers ride a few times a month. I often wonder how much time they spend looking for a quick fix for an issue, instead of just working through the problems that may or may not even be there.
My Grandpa always said “you can teach a horse to ride with hay string and bubble gum if you ride them enough” and “the best trainer is wet saddle blankets.”
I think a lot of my customers spend too much time looking for answers instead of just riding through problems. Often I think they create more problems or issues by constantly changing what they are doing. With constant change a horse is often left wondering just what is expected of them.
A horse and rider are just like a couple on a bigger dance floor. The more time they spend “dancing” together, the more balanced their relationship will be. Both horse and rider will then learn what each other expects of them. This understanding of each other by the horse and rider allows them to learn to anticipate each others movements, actions and reactions.
A horse owner can buy all the gear they want to. However, in the end it doesn’t matter what is hanging in the tack room if your horse never leaves the pasture. So get out there and ride more and research less. Find out if there are any real problems before you just assume they are there, and let life get western.