Do you find yourself wanting to give a new discipline a try? Making the leap to a new discipline is an exciting, and sometimes stressful, time. If you’re toying with the idea of changing to a new discipline, here are some ways to help make the transition go smoothly.

Evaluate Whether Your Horse Can Go With You

Do you dream of trying a new discipline with your horse? Depending on the discipline and the level at which you want to participate in it, your horse may well be able to make the leap with you. Cross-training is an excellent way to develop both a horse’s physical and mental strengths, so changing to a new discipline can actually be beneficial for your horse.

In some cases, you may find that a new discipline is simply too much for your horse. Some horses aren’t naturally suited to particular disciplines, such as a Tennessee Walking Horse attempting a hunter course. Other horses may have issues with the physical demands of a new discipline. If your horse can make the discipline transition, though, remember that the new discipline is new to him, too, so he will need additional training before he’ll understand what’s being asked of him.

Find a Reputable Trainer

A good trainer is your greatest ally in trying a new discipline, and he or she can help keep both you and your horse safe during this new adventure. Work with a trainer who is experienced in the new discipline, and who can act as a resource to guide you through this new world of riding.

Remember That You’re Starting at the Beginning

You may be a highly experienced rider, but when you make the change to a new discipline, you’re starting at the beginning. It may seem logical that your riding experience would mean that you could quickly compete at the higher levels of the discipline, but remember that you will still need to learn the basic discipline-specific skills that every rider has to acquire. Be patient, learn thoroughly, and enjoy the fact that you’re learning new things about horses.

Establish Important Connections

Along with working with a trainer, establishing other relevant connections will help to make your transition to a new discipline a smoother one. Look into whether there are local clubs or organizations dedicated to the discipline. There are countless clubs and organizations listed online, and joining one of these will mean that you’ll have access to great amounts of information, as well as other members. If you’re truly serious about your new discipline, you might consider moving your horse to a barn that focuses in that discipline to totally immerse yourself in that world.

Changing disciplines can be fun, and it’s something that you can do at any time. Want to give something new a try? Make the leap to a new discipline and see if it’s something that you enjoy.

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Original Source: Making the Leap to a New Discipline

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