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Skills, Lessons, and Relationships
Most people regard horseback riding as a simple concept: you get on, you go. Sure, there’s some other important details: stopping, going, turning, but how does one accomplish those things?
Within the Warm Beach Horsemanship program, we organize our instruction around essential themes that relate to a rider’s life: communication, trust, timing, patience, exploration, balance, feel, preparation, and gratitude. While these are all critical components of riding well, they are also critical to a person living a whole-hearted life. Riders help develop their horse, and in turn, horses also help develop our riders.
Riding is a relationship: when done well, it’s a conversation between two highly sensitive and intelligent beings. The priority is to bring riders along not only in their riding skills and discipline, it’s also to provide an environment that facilitates thoughtfulness, kindness, and perseverance.
Each of our lesson themes relate specifically to a riding skill and how that skill relates to life. Communication is important everywhere and all the time: how do we make ourselves heard? How do we listen to others? Trust is an integral part of relating to others: why should my horse do what I ask? How do I develop trust with people in my life? Having patience with ourselves allows us to make mistakes without judgement: how do I keep going when I want to quit? What do I say to myself when things don’t go as planned? An attitude of gratitude brings joy, hope, and an opportunity: How do I appreciate what my horse offers when it isn’t what I want? How do I appreciate circumstances when things are difficult?
People ask so much of horses and they offer us a willing spirit and huge tries. They don’t HAVE to listen to their rider, they choose to. The goal is to guide and provide opportunities for participants that result in a relationship based on mutual respect between horse and human, where both of them benefit. Horses are partners and we work with riders in the same way.
Please join us on our journey of horsemanship!
-Laura Schonberg, Volunteer
Warm Beach Horsemanship