fundamental riding advice cowgirl magazine
Photo by McFarland Productions.……

If you ride horses, then you know the goal is to always evolve and get better – no matter the discipline. Expert barrel racer Sue Smith shared this post on Facebook detailing advice from one of the best modern horsemen and five-time Olympian, Bill Steinkraus. These are some great reminders as we head into the New Year!

This is fundamental advice regardless of the discipline in which you ride, I have built my method and career around all of this, if you study the greatest horsemen in the world you will see all of the points in action. This was said by one of the best modern horsemen Bill Steinkraus.

“No. 1. Get your tack and equipment just right, and then forget about it and concentrate on the horse.

No. 2. The horse is bigger than you are, and it should carry you. The quieter you sit, the easier this will be for the horse.

No. 3. The horse’s engine is in the rear. Thus, you must ride your horse from behind, and not focus on the forehand simply because you can see it.

No. 4. It takes two to pull. Don’t pull. Push.

No. 5. For your horse to be keen but submissive, it must be calm, straight and forward.

No. 6. When the horse isn’t straight, the hollow side is the difficult side.

No. 7. The inside rein controls the bending, the outside rein controls the speed.

No. 8. Never rest your hands on the horse’s mouth. You make a contract with it: “You carry your head and I’ll carry my hands.”

No. 10. Once you’ve used an aid, put it back.

No. 11. You can exaggerate every virtue into a defect.

No. 12. Always carry a stick, then you will seldom need it.

No. 13. If you’ve given something a fair trial, and it still doesn’t work, try something else—even the opposite.

No. 14. Know when to start and when to stop. Know when to resist and when to reward.

No. 15. If you’re going to have a fight, you pick the time and place.

No. 16. What you can’t accomplish in an hour should usually be put off until tomorrow.

No. 17. You can think your way out of many problems faster than you can ride your way out of them.

No. 18. When the horse jumps, you go with it, not the other way around.

No. 19. Don’t let over-jumping or dull routine erode the horse’s desire to jump cleanly. It’s hard to jump clear rounds if the horse isn’t trying.

No. 20. Never give up until the rail hits the ground.

No. 21. Young horses are like children—give them a lot of love, but don’t let them get away with anything.

No. 22. In practice, do things as perfectly as you can; in competition, do what you have to do.

No. 23. Never fight the oats.

No. 24. The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

~Bill Steinkraus