Happy New Year! We’re fresh into 2015, and now is the perfect time for change. This month we’ll be showcasing a series of “New Beginnings” blogs, each of which will give you a look at a potential area of change in your life with horses. Today’s blog focuses on a change that can be both exciting and intimidating: choosing a new discipline.
Sometimes we need to shake things up a bit, or a fresh start altogether. If you find yourself feeling burnt out when it comes to riding, trying something different with your horse, like taking up a new discipline, might be the way to put some life and enjoyment back into riding. Thinking of trying a new discipline? Follow these tips to make a smooth transition.
Find Expert Guidance
Possibly the most important task you’ll face when you make the decision to try out a new riding discipline is to find someone who is experienced in that discipline to guide you. A trusted friend can act as a mentor, helping you to make the transition. Additionally, you may want to enlist the help of a trainer to avoid bad habits or poor form as you begin your new discipline.
Consider an Experienced Horse
While you may want to explore a new discipline with your current horse, riding a horse who is already experienced in that particular discipline can allow you to learn more quickly and determine whether that discipline is one that you want to seriously pursue. Rather than splitting your focus between training yourself and your horse, you will be able to hone in on your riding and learning.
If you do want to make the transition with your horse, then be sure to evaluate the physical demands that the new discipline will place on him. If your horse is up to the task and you have a trainer who can help you to teach him the new skills he will need, then both you and your horse might give a new discipline a try.
Look for a Barn with the Right Facilities
In some cases, the leap to a new discipline may be so drastic that your current barn does not have the right facilities for you to use. For instance, a dressage rider who opts to try cutting may need to change barns entirely. The same can be said for a transition to eventing, particularly for the cross country course. If this is the case, then you will need to find a new barn that offers the right facilities for you to train.
Utilize Regional or Local Groups for Your New Discipline
Taking up a new discipline often means lots of questions. Thankfully local or regional groups dedicated to that discipline can provide guidance and resources to keep you on track. Joining a discipline-specific group can provide you with a wealth of information and advice.
So, what do you think? Will you be taking up or trying out a new riding discipline in 2015?
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Original Source: New Beginnings: Choosing a New Discipline