Editorial thoughts: When do you actually start riding your horse?

When do you actually start riding your horse? That question was asked by this member of the editorial staff one day by her trainer. I thought about it for a while and replied a bit uncertain: “When I get on the horse.” But does is that really the case? I decided to take a closer look at my own behavior. Plus I read up on mental coach Rasmus Bagger’s wise inputs. This is what I found out about when your ride actually begins and when you actually start being with your horse.

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Let us get started: When does the ride begin? Good question! My thoughts to my answer were actually very simple. Because the moment I sit up on the back of my horse, a mental plan begins to unfold. I decided what the day’s training should consist of and what the next steps should be. I quickly review my last trip and think about the little things I need to address and work on.

But my trainer stopped me and said:

“Then you’re already late for it. For your horse the ride begins much earlier than that – long before you start riding you horse”

These words have subsequently stayed stuck in my head. Because she actually had a point. “Riding” is in fact not limited to the short time you sit on the horse’s back.

When you go to get the horse from the field, when you groom it, mug out and saddle up, you actually ride too. You might think this sounds weird, but here is the explanation.

Do you not already mentally start riding your horse when you see it in the stable or in the field? Photo: Archive.


The truth about horses is that they do not distinguish between riding, handling or just ordinary socialization.

In their world, any contact you have with them is first and foremost about a herd dynamic. So, whether you are aware of it or not, your horse has already begun a larger conversation with you from the moment you see each other. And in its world, this conversation is just as important to the horse as the one that takes place when you sit on the back of it.


The rider’s body and signals act as a contact element for the horse. Every time we are in physical contact with our horse, we will affect the horse with the psychological state we are in.

It also means that if the rider is absent in his consciousness and thus less present, the horse can feel it.

When we think of something other than what is going on right now and right here with the horse – for example, on the boyfriend, the job or the laundry – the horse notices that the rider’s energy is different

Mental coach Rasmus Bagger


The conclusion must be that it is about being present in the now when you are with the horse. And that your association with the horse begins the moment you are in visual or physical contact with each other.

I have subsequently asked my trainer the same thing: “When do you actually start riding your horse?” And her response came promptly:

“The moment I turn into the driveway to the stable and my horse has sees me.”

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