Learning to ride has more to do with developing our communication skills so that we can have a healthy relationship with our horse, than seeking a thrill or winning ribbons in the show ring. When working with horses we must learn to leave our egos and agendas behind in order to foster deep understanding and unity, which comes from a deeply felt inner communication with our horse. At it's best, horsemanship is a deeply spiritual experience.
Before our relationship can reach that place of spiritual union, losing our sense of self, we must learn the technical skills of communication with the horse. This is done through keen observation of the horse at rest and play, understanding how the horse feels, what are his needs, and fears. Then perfecting our communication skills with ground work on the lunge line. Its important to have a relationship built on trust and cooperation, rather than force, so we let go of our need to control, move to a place of interior silence so that we can hear with the ear of the heart and react from a place of authenicity, our true selves, by passing our egoic mind. Once we have a positive relationship on the ground we can move on to riding, coming back to ground work whenever necessary.