Run a “Safety Briefing” on the horse before you start riding!
Before starting an airplane, you go through all the safety tests, to make the travel as good and pleasant as possible. This is of course so that you don’t crash or that mechanical faults occur during the journey.
It is no different when riding, then you should always check the horse and the equipment before you get on the horse. Some do it per automatically while others “forget” it.
It is of course important to do so and even more important if you are a little scared to get on the horse.
Checking the equipment means checking whether the bridle fits correctly, if the bit is in the mouth correctly, if the horse behaves in any way differently than usual. Perhaps the horse is more reluctant to take the bite than usual, raises its head, or yawns several times when you have put the bridle on. Does it avoid the saddle, does the skin twitch when you saddle, does it sag in the back, or wag its tail?
Maybe it usually does things like this, but then you as a rider should also know what is normal for the horse and what is not normal. You have to feel if the horse seems irritated or unusually lethargic. If you pay attention and check all these things, if you grooming for a long time and spend a little longer with your horse before riding, you can avoid many misunderstandings. If you are in a hurry and just throw on the saddle and jump up, the horse can react immediately if there is something wrong and it can end in disaster.
As riders, we have to pay attention to the horse 100% as it is the one we have to cooperate with and depending on the status, you get better conditions for a good ride.
Imagine walking several miles with a stone in your shoe. Not particularly pleasant, and the horse must be allowed to protest if something is wrong. Try your hand if you are unsure where it is best for the horse to have the bit, etc. and check and feel how it reacts. It can’t talk but it can show if it is happy or not.
When we are stressed and don’t have time to get to know the horse, it is often when there are misunderstandings.
Focus on the horse is necessary and don’t be surprised if you forget these things, the horse might tell you about it in a way that might not be so popular!