- Think of each ride as a step or an opportunity to building your confidence. Embrace it.
- Try and be as present as possible when you ride your horse. Our fears are usually from something that either happened to us in the past or something we are worried about happening to us in the future and by future, that is any time going forward which takes us out of the present moment, so this could be as little as seconds or minutes away. By staying as present as possible we allow ourselves to disconnect from our fears and hone into the confidence which can be found in each moment.
- Give yourself permission to go at your own pace, in your own time. No one can tell you how long you should be taking to find or get your confidence back. Everyone is different and everyone will regain their confidence in the time that is right for them.
Remember: Confidence issues are like a wound to the soul and your soul will heal when it is ready and when enough healing has taken place.
- Any little knocks which may happen a long the way try not to get hung up on them. Let them go. Just like if you dropped something you were carrying, it would be like “oops” and you would pick it back up again and carry on and not give it another thought. Do this with the things that try to set you back.
- Practice visualising yourself riding. See yourself as being a relaxed and confident rider, enjoying your ride. Feel how it feels to be this way. Feel and picture how your horse would feel beneath you. And feel the success you feel for regaining your confidence in yourself and in your horse. Keep doing this as much as you can so that you start to rewire your thoughts into becoming a confident rider.
- Learn or relearn to trust your horse. Spend time with your horse on the ground. Connect with them by touching them and learning to feel at ease when you are with them. Then begin to trust them when you are on board in the same way, by taking the time to connect with them, run a hand down their neck and get to know them again.
- Remember to see the progress. Always look for it, it will be there. So often riders who are trying to get their confidence back, are so hard on themselves and only see where they need to improve. But learn to look for the good in your ride and the way you have just ridden and learn to find the good in your horse too.
- Come up with a plan of action you can do which will make you feel safer in a tricky situation. It could be something like – okay if X happens, I am going to look up, hold my saddle and put my heels down. Visualise yourself doing this if something was to happen and see yourself coping with the situation the best you can. Then have this plan in the back of your mind so you can go to it if need be, at any point during your ride.
- Seek coaching from someone you trust, who is patient and knowledgeable and respects your and your horse’s limits.
- Give yourself permission to remember all of the good rides you have experienced in the past and will experience again. So often riders who are struggling with their confidence, can only think about the rides when it was not so good and this can keep them stuck in a loop of feeling the way they felt during or after that particular ride. Remember and put your focus on, the good rides.
10 Ways To Help Improve Your Confidence When Riding Your Horse