Maybe you’re new to the world of horses or maybe you’ve been around the block a time or two and are looking for ways to improve, either way we have advice for you. Some of these may be harder to give up than others, but all will improve your relationship with your horse and help you to become a successful horseman.  

1. A Negative Mindset.

Negativity in your riding can stand in the way of your goals. Kicking a negative mindset and filling you head with positive thoughts isn’t only great for your riding goals, but for your overall health. When you think you’ll never be able to accomplish a maneuver or a goal don’t be hard on yourself, instead develop a learning mindset and reach out for help.

[RELATED: SAY 'NO' TO NEGATIVITY IN YOUR RIDING]

2. The Need to Fit In.

Don’t go broke trying to keep up with the latest trends just to fit in, horses are expensive enough as it is. We’re horse owners because we love horses, not because we need to make friends and be “cool.” If you can’t afford the fanciest tack, it’s OK. People care more about how you take care of and treat your horse than whether you can afford a $5,000 saddle.

3. Multi-Tasking.

Most of us aren’t lucky enough to spend every hour at the barn. Horses are our hobby and we typically only spend a few hours a day with them. Make the most of the time you spend with your horse. When you’re riding it can be fun to listen to music, but take the headphones out and enjoy the ride—you can listen to your horse and can maybe detect medical issues, such as breathing complications, early on.

4. Believing in Quick Fixes.

Whether it’s a training tool or the hot, new miracle drug, stop believing in quick fixes. There aren’t shortcuts to success and while these tools may aid you along your journey, they aren’t the golden ticket that will help you accomplish all of your hopes and dreams. Work with your horse as often as you can to make continual improvement to achieve your end goal.

5. Setting Unrealistic Goals.

Goal setting is an important part of making progress with your horse. But when you set your goals make sure they're realistic for the timeframe you've set. Don’t be afraid to focus simply on the day at hand, rather than long-term goals sometimes, too. Goals are important, but if you can’t get over an obstacle don’t keep pushing forward or that obstacle may become a deeper issue later on in training.

[RELATED: GOAL-SETTING ADVICE WITH FALLON TAYLOR]

6. Excuses.

It’s time to take responsibility. You may have encountered a few hurdles along the way, but don’t allow them to be roadblocks for your future. The hurdles you’ve overcome shouldn’t be excuses, but rather steppingstones for your success. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a trainer, started riding horses later in life, had an accident, don’t have time, or lack funds to compete—you can find a way to turn these excuses into motivation. 

Related