Lightbulb Moments: 15 More Takeaways to Bring Clarity to Your Riding

Lightbulb Moments: 15 More Takeaways to Bring Clarity to Your Riding

Have you ever had a 'lightbulb moment' while riding or taking a lesson? Maybe your trainer worded something just right and it really stuck, or you tried something new and the feeling of doing it right finally clicked.

We asked, and you answered. Now, we've rounded up all your responses to help someone else achieve their own lightbulb moment. Click here to read the first edition. 

  • Nikki Fuller Adams: “The jump is nothing! It is all the details getting there that make the ride.”

  • @kllarkin Kaysee Larkin: Lightbulb moment 💡 Distances. My nemesis. I don’t have the greatest eye and used to panic when the distance wasn’t ideal, start pulling & adding to nothing, or worse - pull up/circled out if we were at home. Back when it was still a new relationship, my trainer once said to me in a lesson, “If the distance is only a *little bit* wrong, then it’s still an OK distance!” and it clicked - a little deep, a little gappy, if my leg was on then my horse was leaving the ground.
  • @ohandaugust Lynn Mueller: When my trainer told me I looked like I ride in the fetal position (I oddly slouch, actually not sure what's going on up there, haha), I started sitting up straighter. I also lengthened my stirrups by 1 hole and magically everything started to line up.

  • @hayleyanders Hayley Anders: One of my very favourite light bulb 💡 moments for me was my first year of lessoning my coach was teaching me a lead change, I finally got it after she said that it was multiple motions all at once, a squeeze on the rein of my new lead, my outside leg back and a scoop with my seat. From this day on when do a lead change if I’m doing one correctly it’s hard to do it wrong!

  • @noelle.equestrian Noelle Chandler: A major lightbulb moment for me was using my seat bones to assist with holding my horse straight on the diagonal. This resulted in better long approaches to a single diagonal. Set it up through your turn by bringing your inside shoulder back, holding your inside leg forward and outside leg steady behind the girth. This results in a slight haunch in and keeping your lead and track. Voila! Also helps with counter canter and lead changes 👍

  • @mientkiejabuka: I have heard somewhere that reins should push a horse towards the bit not pull it back. I have a horse that's very delicate and likes to hide behind the bit and this little change in thinking improved my riding a lot.

  • @jaclynpittenger Jaclyn: My moment that clicked: relaxing my hips through bounces. I had been staying in two point. This made such a big difference to my feel and connection through the bounces, as well my ability to sit up and ride the corner after the line with control.

Related: Simplify Your Riding with Isabell Werth

  • @heather.osgood Heather: I was told that a horse needs to be a rear-wheel drive and not front-wheel drive. Of course! Lightbulb moment for sure.

  • @ceciliapalmer Cecilia: My horse can be quite highly strung and naughty. We finally found a ‘reset button’ when instead of pushing him harder when he acts up, I walk him for a few strides and then continue what I was doing. This way I learned to anticipate when he was going to play up and I could stop the behaviour before it even started.

  • @zandradoucet Alexandra Doucet: One of my friends who did the big eq explained leg position to me like this: Imagine water is flowing down the back of your leg from your hip to your heel. Now instead of shoving my heel down, I stretch my entire leg and my position has completely changed!

  • @chlojoyy Chloe MacEachern: My most recent lightbulb moment was just  a few weeks ago. My coach has always told me I needed to soften my hands so my horse could be soft and carry herself. Of course I was stuck in the mindset of ‘must hold my horse in a frame’ until I finally did soften. Turns out soft hands really DO make a soft horse. 😅

  • @halthehaflinger Esduhal: When I was learning to canter, I always got in trouble for pumping my upper body. The more still I tried to sit (by moving with the horse’s motion) the more I rocked in the saddle.  My ‘lightbulb’ moment came when I was riding a rocking horse and realized I needed to let the horse move underneath me, not try to rock along with the canter!

  • @roxanesmind Roxane: Hi, here is my « lightbulb story » I was jumping with a horse that wouldn’t jump a ground line on the floor with other people (many people told me so but I have never seen it). The first time we jumped, he stopped in front of an oxer and I almost fell. I was so scared for the next 3 jumping lessons. One day, I realised that if I just sit back, look far away and not my fence (which was a big problem in my jumping) and let him do his stuff, he would just go for it. Since then every jumping lesson is amazing. He is amazing.

  • @chloecummings27 Chloe: My trainer, Ryan Sassmannshausen, was recently teaching me and discussing ways to “attack the jump” even when you have a hot horse. My horse sometimes surges towards the jumps and I have a tendency to soften and try not to “ride up” too much to the jump. But, Ryan explained that there are other ways to “attack the jump” with impulsion and connection without letting a hot horse get away from you. It was definitely a lightbulb moment for me.

  • Sarah Vaselenak: I had one recently that I wanted to share: growing up doing the hunters, I constantly heard from coaches that I need to "stay still", and though I tried very hard to abide by this direction, I could never quite achieve the level of "stillness" that my coaches were looking for. Only recently did I realize that appearing still in the saddle actually means MOVING WITH the horse ... since making that realization I've focused on keeping my hips supple and loosening my knee to follow the rhythm of the canter, and wouldn't you know I now not only appear to be in better sync with the horse, I feel it too.

Read this next: Pressure Proof: 5 Tricks to Master Your Mind And Enjoy Your Ride

Do you have your own lightbulb moment? Let us know in the comments or email us at with the subject line Lightbulb Moment. 

Submissions have been edited for clarity. 

Written by Editorial Staff

Brought to you by a pack of horse-crazy creatives across North America... and all of their rescue pets.