Ignorance is indeed bliss.
I've never really put thought into this expression until recently. The more research and reading I do, the more scared ****-less I am to get on my own horse. Not because I am afraid of him, but rather I'm afraid of ruining him. This may seem a tad melodramatic, and I guess that I will ride anyway. But I needed to talk about this.
When my first and current horse entered my life.. I was equipped with all the intelligence of my Horse & Pony Encyclopedia and few rare, but precious rides. However I have been blessed with a ravenous appetite for knowledge and I have always wanted to do the best possible for my horse. So.. to the internet I go! Now don't assume that I take every article, pdf file, or YouTube video to heart. I tend to question everything and anything unless I've seen what it does, how it works, or have been able to try it myself. Over the last two years I feel I have greatly expanded my knowledge of the Equine. Both of the horse itself and how to properly work with a horse both on the ground and in the saddle.
I can say that I have vastly improved in my seat. I no longer bounce (well for the most part ;) I can confidently say that I can indeed sit a trot! I'm slowly learning to post correctly too. Cantering is a whole different story though. I won't be attempting to do that "correctly" for a long time!
Anyway I'm rambling! The point I'm trying to make is that although knowledge is a great thing, it can also make you miserable. I say this because although I see and understand the higher and more advanced concepts of riding, I have no way to apply them to well.. me. I feel stuck. I'm by myself. I have no instructor. I won't settle for just any "Trainer" either because I've found that half the time I know more than they do! (small town Kansas here.. so yeah.) Or I completely disagree with how they want to go about teaching something.
I don't know if I'm looking for answers here or what. I feel like it would be impossible to teach myself. What if I'm doing something wrong and don't catch it? Then I end up with a horse who has a behavior or an ill response that I have accidentally created. The main article that caused this tirade/rant was this ::: Sustainable Dressage - Collection & Its Evasions - True Collection - What It Is and How to Achieve It :::
I so badly want to be able to achieve that, but don't know how.. So now I am stuck with this knowledge but am unable to apply it! I look forward to someday have an excellent instructor that will teach me these things!
Thank you very much for reading this entire thing! What is your opinion? Is ignorance really bliss? I will say though that knowledge has done so much for my horse and I and I don't count it as an evil thing. I guess what I hate is having knowledge but no way to use it.
How easy is it to tighten the cinch so little it droops of the horse, pound on a horses' back because you don't realize what your are doing, or use a curb on tight contact because know no better. It's bliss to think that everything you do is correct or has no fault, but think of how much pain a horse goes through (or you if you fall) because you know no better.
But think of how much easier it is once you know how to do things properly. And even if you can't use knowledge, I guarantee you that a time will pass by that you will need to use it and you will be one of few that know what to do!
I feel your pain. I look back on my riding back before I knew what I know now and marvel at how stupid I was for thinking I knew what I thought I knew (if that makes any sense). Now I just pray for forgiveness from the horsey fates that be and patience from my horse.
The following words from a horsey friend have given me much solace however: "It often doesn't matter if you're doing it "right." So long as you know what you mean and your horse knows what you mean, and neither of you are getting hurt, you can pretty much get by however you like for now, until you learn to do it better. And learning to do it better and muddling along as best you can is really the fun part anyway." I may have misquoted her in part, but that's what I heard. :)
I hear you loud & clear! Ignorance is indeed bliss in many ways... if only for us, not the horse! I just suggest you keep looking for people - be they trainers or just fellow horsepeople - that have a similar(same is like searching for Mr Perfect!:wink:) attitude to you, as I think being on your own is the hardest thing - having others to support you, to bounce ideas off, get other opinions, just be there for like minded company is a huge help.
Thank you all for the reply's! I'm glad I am not the only one who has been or is going through this!
We all have to start somewhere,none of us win at the Olympica in our first month of riding. You've already done some riding...what do you like to do? Trail ride? Do you want to compete? At what? Western, English? Jumping, Drill? Do you want to haul your horse a lot or just ride close to your home area? There are so many avenues & also many levels of competence. Some need lots of specialized training, others you can do a lot on your own. So many questions...
I have been around horses for many a year - riding now has become a lot more technical and in that, complicated.
I would say that 90% of people ride for pleasure. I am not saying that they do not want to improve or do not compete in a few lower level shows but mainly their riding is purely for the enjoyment of the horse.
Nowadays people are taught to sit ram rod straight, heels jammed down way below what is natural, as long as they look the part that is all that matters, the fact that they are stiff and perched on the horse does not enter into it.
Go and ride your horse, stop worrying about not doing things right. Ride as much as you can on different horses as well as your own. Learn the point of your balance, learn to ride relaxed, especially bareback. Stop thinking about very advanced things before you or your horse are ready for them.
Just go out and have fun. Relaxed and enjoying it you will be a better rider for it.
Personally I don't have any asperations to go to the Olympics, however that would be incredible! What I want is to just be the best rider I can be. To me that means not only riding as correctly as possible, but being connected to my horse. I don't want to cause him pain or discomfort when riding. I want to be able to sit the canter, transitions, etc. I would like to someday learn some dressage and jump a little!
I just want to find the best possible way to communicate with my horse.
When a child we rode mainly bareback and charged around everywhere. In lessons we were encouraged to do all sorts of things, jumping without stirrups or reins, taking our jackets off as we went up grids of fences.
Cantering around the arena and removing the saddle as we did so.
Yes, we were told to keep our heels down and to sit up but the emphasis was on A) Confidence, B) Balance, C) Co-ordination, D) Relaxation no matter what.
Riding at a riding school we rode a different pony most weeks so we learned the idiosyncrasies of many different types.
We learned to fall by falling frequently. These were a source of teasing and laughter.
As we got better we were allowed to compete. The horses and ponies did everything from gymkhana games to jumping, fox hunting in the winter and cross country whenever there was an event. For this we generally had a pony allotted to us for the season.
We had a lot of fun in learning. We made mistakes and I am sure there were times when we were rough on the ponies but, to much and they taught us a hard lesson.
As we rode so much without stirrups or bareback we all had very secure seats. WHen we had trotting races we would lean right back, shove our feet forward and no gripping with the thighs so we remained sat hard. When it came time to sit deep in the saddle with stirrups we knew from experience what part of our butts to sit on and it translated well.
I have taught many children the same way in that most of their learning has been just going out on rides and doing things that in the arena would be more difficult.
Give me the rider who can sit deep and has balance with the horse although they might have many faults with their position and I will turn them into decent riders who can ride through anything rather than the person who sits correctly but has no balance therefore no independent seat.
I know exactly whta you are talking about. everything was fine until i tried to learn how to know if a saddle fits. suddenly it didnt fit. until i found out a few infos about some illnessess, about bits, about training,.... the more you know, the more bad things you see...
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