Lost Your Confidence? Need Motivation? Do You Put Off Riding?
I don't believe there can be a more debilitating obstacle for equestrians than loss of confidence. Your horse may be a grand champion, you may be an Olympic level rider, but if you've lost your confidence those things are meaningless. You may be experiencing riding jitters due to:
Experiencing a Riding Accident
Witnessing a Riding Accident
Age or Health Issues
New to Horse Riding
Returning to Riding after a Long Period
Or, you may not know the reason. Maybe you are an accomplished rider but you tense up, even become ill, at shows. Maybe you have been trail riding all your life, but you've had a recent mishap that left you injured physically, emotionally or both. Maybe your age or health leaves you doubting your riding abilities. You may have become afraid to handle your horse at all. Whatever the discipline or situation, I have attempted to bring together, on this site, all the tools you need to overcome all these fear issues and am continually looking for new ideas. In dealing with my confidence issues with my own horse, I found that there is a wealth of powerful, innovative information available to us. There is so much more we can do than just "dust ourselves off, suck it up, and get back on." But, it was an article here, a book there and the research took a great deal of time to find all the tools available. I would like to introduce you to what worked for me. I personally have used all these methods and found them invaluable in restoring my confidence. As a bonus, I am a much more confident person in all aspects of my life. I have developed a level of self-confidence that gives me the courage to pursue many of my dreams I previously thought were reserved for someone else.
Understandably, fear of physical harm is common in equestrian activities. You have to ask yourself if your fears are truly justified. For example, if you are an inexperienced rider on a young, flighty, inexperienced horse, you may have to resolve that this is a poor match. Or, you may have to send your horse to a trainer while you, yourself, take riding lessons. Whether your fears are justified or not, you will benefit from the support you will receive here. Everyone here has experienced the same feelings you are having now.
Since equestrian activities involve two living creatures, horse and rider, lack of confidence from one greatly deteriorates the confidence of the other. So, it goes like this. Horse sees something he cannot identify in the woods and raises his head, wide-eyed. The rider then picks up the reins and tenses in the saddle, and stares in the same direction, trying to locate the tiger. The horse feels this tenseness through the saddle and knows that his leader is greatly concerned about the scarry thing in the woods. His fear then feeds off the rider's fear, and starts to jig forward, causing more fear in the rider. . . and the cycle continues. This is just one example of the importance of rider confidence
You've probably already gotten all kinds of great advice from your friends. They may have said, "Go back to your comfort zone and work from there, take small steps, work on your breathing, improve your riding skills, watch someone else ride your horse and see how relaxed they look.", etc. It's all very good advice. And, if you haven't already tried these suggestions, you should. But, sometimes these just aren't enough.
Here, you will find all the tools I have found truly beneficial gathered together in one place. You may choose to use one or all of them. You can and will regain your confidence, if you decide now to make a change. You've already taken the first step.
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
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