Trivia Challenge: Are You Guilty of These Riding Flubs?

Challenge yourself! Have fun and test your knowledge of horses and horsemanship with Horse&Rider’s Trivia Challenge, featured in The Ride newsletter.

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. Repeatedly asking your horse for the response you want is known as…

A) problem-solving.

B) smart cueing.

C) nagging.

2. True or false: When your horse responds correctly, if you hold the cue just a brief moment or two longer, you reinforce the lesson for him.

T / F

3. Your horse trots into his lope instead of striking off cleanly from a walk as he’s been trained to do. What should you do?

A) Let it go. He does it correctly most times.

B) Go back to a walk and ask again.

C) Smack him—he knows better.

4. Riding every horse the exact same way is called…

A) the horseman’s approach.

B) truth in consistency.

C) cookie-cutter riding.

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. C is correct. Cueing over and over (e.g. bumping repeatedly with your leg or rein) is nagging and you’re only training your horse to tune you out. He becomes resentful and less responsive. For better results, make what you want clearer, ask for compliance right now, then reward your horse when he responds.

2. F is correct. Timing is critical, and failing to release the cue the moment your horse responds prevents the lesson from coming through. That’s because your horse is unclear on what exactly he’s being rewarded for.

3. B is correct. Insist gently but firmly that your horse respond as he knows how to, each time you cue him. Being inconsistent just trains him that sometimes it’s OK to ignore your cues.

4. C is correct. Don’t be a cookie-cutter rider. Instead, take every horse’s individual needs and characteristics into consideration. Then provide an approach that’s tweaked as needed to enable whatever horse you’re on to learn at his best.

[DON’T STOP! Check here for more on avoiding errors that hinder your horse’s learning.]

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