Going Back to basics – are you taking a step back in your learning? Not at all! Many riders go back to basics in their training on a regular basis and recognise there is always room for improvement and want to be the best rider they can be.
Going back to basics is particularly helpful if you are feeling nervous about a particular element of your riding or if you feel you have done something many times before but it just isn’t going to plan.
You may feel like you are taking a few steps backwards but in the long run it will be a win-win situation. Your basic riding will be stronger than ever and you will have worked on your relationship with your horse. The key is, to practice these basics little and often, as after all repetition is the mother of all learning.
You should however, remember that if you change the way you ride, sit, use your aids, your performance with your horse may seem to actually get worse before it starts to get better as you re-educate your mind and body and your horse gets used to your new riding style and better position. Of course, the horse may at first be shocked that you are using your aids differently to how you have previously done, and although this may be frustrating, if you do not give up, your horse will soon settle to your new and improved style of riding, and from here this will enable you to make much better progression than you would have before.
Moral of this story is that all riders, even the best, have to do this, so do not get frustrated at you or your horse. You may think that you have done simple exercises a million times before, but is there such thing as too much practice? Going back to basics occasionally can only make you a better rider! And what’s not to like about that!!