"Think rhythm. All good things for horses happen rhythmically: chewing, walking, breathing. All bad things come with a break in rhythm: bucking, bolting, spooking." Anna Blake, Equestrian and Author
My summer vacation this year was spent returning to my roots in Prince Edward Island, Canada. One of my earliest and fondest memories is sitting on a footstool as a little girl, listening to my grandfather expertly play Irish reels on his fiddle while my grandmother accompanied him on their piano. I have a few cousins who carry on Granddad’s tradition of playing at various ceilidhs in the province, and I had the pleasure of hearing them perform last week. It’s all such happy music and my foot automatically tapped in time, as it did all those years ago with Granddad’s fiddle. You can hear him, my Aunt Cynthia and their friend Angus in a video at the bottom of the following webpage:
When I got home this past weekend and took Sportie out for a ride, the reels still played through my head. Sportie must have some Irish blood in him also because his ears perked up when he heard me humming. He had been stumbling somewhat lately, but the music seemed to keep him focused and more attentive. His trot kept perfect 4/4 time with “The Irish Washerwoman.” When we were ready to canter I switched to "Amazing Grace," another of Granddad’s favorites, and timed the 3/4 waltz cadence to his stride. He didn’t trip once.
Music unites, mellows, lightens hearts and that makes any ride as close to perfection as possible. You can pick your favorite songs to accompany your ride, and your horse will not critique you. Let your mind be the metronome and hum or sing as fast or as slow as you want your horse to be.