Do you ever wonder about serendipity in your life with horses? There have been many instances in my riding life of the right instructor, or the right horse, or the right article coming along, that totally accelerated my learning process. It's almost a wonder of the universe thing, where when you are ready to use the knowledge, it is presented right in front of your face.
Case in point, would be having an item about half halts pop up in my Facebook feed this past week. The article is by Conrad Schumacher, in Dressage Today, and contains nothing that I haven't heard or read many times before, but it struck me like a lightning bolt as I read the article. This is the missing piece, ran through my head! There is so much information to compute about riding and are so many different tracks to be working on, like what exercises to do with the horse, or what position reminders to do for the rider, or evaluation of present work, that it is easy to get lost in the weeds. This is why most people do so much better with regular instruction. Someone from the outside structures the lesson, gives feedback on horse and rider, and gives homework. Much more simple than doing everything on your own.
That said, I have always been one to do things the hard way. I have also been completely frustrated by conventional instruction at many times in my riding life. Don't get me wrong, I have had the privilege of riding with MANY talented instructors/horse trainers, but usually the biomechanics component of riding was thin or non-existent. I could always ride to the level of a decent amateur but really good professional level riding was just out of reach. This led to my journey down the bio-mechanics rabbit hole. Now that my biomechanics are somewhat together, I am starting to think more about the exercises, the ask for what, when, component.
Riding is a sport that challenges on so many planes, physical, emotional, financial, it is no wonder that many spend a lifetime figuring it out. Not a bad way to live though!