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You Can Be A Confident Rider

confidence Feb 18, 2024

We all want to enjoy our riding time and sometimes things happen that knock us off course. When we start to lose confidence even if it’s just for a moment, this can then raise doubt in our mind and the uncertainty then adds to our concerns. The good news is that Confidence is a behaviour and we can take steps “get our confidence back.”

So you might think that a pep talk will do the trick. It might, your horse believes in you and so do I! We do need to look at other things that might be impacting on how you are feeling about your confident rider story. What is the story you are telling yourself about yourself? For example, if you have got into the habit of writing or saying that you are not a confident rider, then a part of you has that belief and it’s time to challenge this limiting belief.  Do you have other evidence that you are in fact riding confidently at times? What impacts how you feel? For example perhaps you are a rider that has a lot on, you like to feel prepared to ride and have a routine for leaving work and then riding. Are there times when everything feels a rush and you feel disconnected from your Rider Headspace? 
What do you do in those moments? I like to have a few go to exercises and patterns that my horse and I enjoy riding. I have a consistent warm up routine that gives us both the time to feel connected to each other.  
The familiar favourites help me remember that my horse and I can do this together. It’s not because we can execute these moves perfectly, it’s because we communicate and the process helps me bring my mind to the here and now with my horse.
In the past I have ridden some very sharp and awkward horses and my strategy then was to find my way to shoulder fore as soon as possible to give my horse a connection where we could communicate and a way to communicate the need to “stay with me” and “on my aids” rather than behind or in front of them heading to spook zone.
Now this was not always fun for me especially on the “Ride 1” after time off and I had to fight my inner voice that questioned all my choices. I also recognise these feelings from sitting Coach exams so what I’m trying to say is that I operated in my “stretch/ strain zone” and had ways to prepare myself mentally to respond to the situation with more confidence than seemed possible at my alarm call. Now I would not want to feel this way every day and I want to say that if you are in a situation where everything feels beyond possible please talk to a Coach and ask them to help you unravel the strands. There are no medals for riding when it’s not fun and there are ways to take steps to change things.  
I certainly am enjoying riding Salvation who has better things to worry about than the things that might move! Riding Salvation has given me a new appreciation for the “challenge zone” where we are both comfortable with stretching ourselves in training and competition. 
You can be a Confident Rider when you have a clear process for preparation and training, when you believe in yourself and your horse and you take the time to nurture your rider headspace. 

 

 

 

 

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