I know I've written a note before about fear while riding or self-doubt. What with the new year starting and new years resolutions and all of us wanting to ride and compete, I thought it was about time I discussed this again.
One of the most rewarding things about my job as a riding coach, is helping nervous and frightened women back into the saddle, there are many reasons why we lose our confidence when riding, many women were once confident brave riders, but after having children seem to have lost that initial confidence and are now fearful. This is quite a logical fear now that your a mother you have people relying on you, small ones, The maternal instinct is so strong. Maybe like myself you're had a accident or two, that has made you sit back and reassess your ability and your confidence. How you look at the accident will dictate how your confidence returns. But that's another blog, or come riding with me and I'll tell you how I got over my fears.
The first thing we need to remember is, being brave is not about not feeling fear, but being afraid and doing it anyway. That is real courage. That said, how while being very afraid do we do what frightens us?
I have found the first thing is self talk, only talk to yourself in a positive upbuilding way. Talk to yourself how you would like others to talk to you, do not except abuse from yourself in your head.
Congratulate yourself for small victories, celebrate small victories with that special cup of coffee at your favourite coffee shop.
Learn to laugh at yourself and those funny small mistakes, we all make mistakes and we need to make them to grow.
Check out your attitude, before we ride, attitude not aptitude determined altitude.
Is your problem really fear or is it self-doubt and lack of self belief, you will need a different strategy if this is the problem.
I have found having strong rituals while getting ready to ride, and while warming up have really helped me overcome fears caused by riding accidents. These rituals doing everything the same way in the same order have a very calming effect and let you be in control of the situation, remember the only thing you can control is yourself and your horse, you cannot control anything externally.
Last but not least find a riding buddy, somebody who is positive and cheerful and courage is to move forward, if you don't have a riding buddy or someone who has a positive outlook on life you can always come to a riding confidence building clinic for women.
Remember knowledge is power, so give yourself the power to overcome your fears, and join me riding and laughing and having fun on our horses.
See you in the arena.