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Is there such a thing as a natural (horse) rider?

May 02, 2021
Is there such a thing as a natural (horse) rider?

Are some people 'born to ride'?

Is there such a thing as a natural rider? (meaning someone who was 'born to ride') - not in my book.

Of course, some people have more 'natural' balance/strength/agility/coordination, etc., so they tend to pick up riding skills more easily than others. But riding horses is not a natural thing to do in the first place, so it stands to reason there cannot be such a thing as a natural rider.


It is far better (and more liberating) when you understand that there is no such thing as a natural rider

Because saying that there is implies that if you are not a 'natural' or were not 'born to ride' you have no chance of ever becoming a good rider.

In fact, most people can vastly improve how they ride with the right training. Everyone can achieve their own brilliance if they do not measure themselves against others (which is the problem with competitive riding). I have no problem per se with competitions (and I lived and breathed them when young) as long as people do not feel like a failure if they do not win - because we do not all start off from 'a level playing field' in the first place! Everybody is different and has different challenges to face.


Why does riding well come easily to some but not others?

Riding well comes easier to some people; as I said, some people naturally have more balance/strength/agility/coordination, etc. but that does not mean that we cannot all ride better. In fact, I strongly believe that having other skills, such as a strong desire to learn and improve is far more important than having 'natural' skills.

So much is discussed and written about how important it is for a horse to be straight, supple, balanced, and relaxed. You need to ensure that you uphold your part of the bargain by working to be the best rider you can be. Whatever your riding interests, whether you ride just for fun or to compete (or both), it is important that you ride to the best of your ability.

It is all about achieving a combination of the best position and balance you can with your body. Everyone can strive to improve what they have to work with.


What can you do if you have disabilities or previous injuries when horse riding? 

So even if you have previous injuries and/or actual disabilities (which many if not most people do - especially as they age) there is usually quite a lot you can do to improve your riding and improve the welfare of your horse.

Position and balance when riding are extremely important if you want to become your horse's best possible 'passenger'. This does not mean becoming an inert body that your horse simply has to carry, but instead becoming as fluid but secure as possible, learning how to move with your horse rather than against them.

With the right training, you will practice riding correctly instead of incorrectly. This is a really important point because the longer you ride incorrectly, the harder it is to undo that behaviour and 'muscle memory' (not impossible mind - just harder).



At my riding school (that specialised in adults) new clients sometimes apologised for being 'self-taught' rather than having many past lessons. I saw this as a bonus, mostly, because unless someone has had the 'correct' training in the past, they have usually been drilled to do the 'wrong' things (such as force their heels down etc.) and this takes time to overcome.



Being trained correctly and constantly practicing the correct movements makes for a better horse rider

As new habits are formed, and the correct muscles develop, the rider's attention can be switched, in turn, to higher levels of skill that will benefit their horse and themselves.

Good training will allow you to focus on what you need to do now to make you a better rider in the future.

So find a trainer who makes you feel positive, keeps you moving in the right direction, and does not make you feel bad in those times when you are not.

Make sure you read the other Horse Rider's Mechanic articles - go to this page to view them all together The Horse Rider's Mechanic articles and videos Some are long and some - like this one - are short, so make yourself comfortable and get stuck in.



How can you learn more about rider biomechanics?

Sign up for this FREE 23-page PDF checklist 10 Common Position and Balance Checks for Riders. Start learning how to be the best rider you can be.


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