Month: December 2019

Month: December 2019

Category : Uncategorized

2019 was a special year for Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland as we celebrated fifteen years of working with riders to help them with confidence and mindset issues.

The year began with some lovely coverage in the Scottish Farmer magazine and ended with being invited to contribute to the ‘Ask the Expert’ feature for three consecutive months in Horse and Rider magazine.

From The Scottish Farmer Magazine

I have continued to work mainly with individual riders on a 1:1 basis and this work has been steady right throughout the year. Clients have come with a variety of riding related issues. Client confidentiality means that I can’t tell you much about them but one client, in particular, was kind enough to go public with her story and this was published as a guest blog earlier in the year.
Here is a link to Jennifer’s Story

Each client is different with individual experiences and goals and I really do love meeting each and every one of them. Preparing for a first session with a new client is very exciting, wondering what will they have to say and what has been going on which has led to them contacting me.

I have continued to work alongside trainers and coaches, giving talks at camps and workshops. As well as continuing to deliver some talks at the Equiteam camps at Lindores, April brought a Spring Confidence Boost workshop at Muirmill Equestrian in Ayrshire with Julia Kerr from Coaching 4 Confidence a fun and successful evening .

The Summer months saw me venturing south of the border into Cumbria for a series of talks at the Dannii Little Confidence camps at Greenlands Equestrian. These are great fun, an easy drive from Dollar to near Carlisle and we already have a date in the diary to return in 2020.

Each year I have a commitment to continuing to learn and, amongst other things, I enjoyed attending the Scottish Hypnotherapy Foundation annual conference. This was an opportunity to network with other hypnotherapist and to learn from the presenters who gave interesting and stimulating talks. I have subsequently been accepted to join this organisation and look forward to learning more from them in 2020. There have also been regular meetings with my supervisor which give me an opportunity to discuss, in confidence, any concerns from a professional point of view.

With two retired ponies of my own I continue to find opportunities to ride when and where I can. Regular lessons at Kilgraston Equestrian keep me learning masses from the great coaches there. February brought a fab ride up in Kingussie and then there were lots of rides over the Summer, closer to home, on the Exmoor Ponies owned by the vet school from Edinburgh. I have booked a super exciting riding holiday for 2020, I’ll tell you more about that in the New Year.

On a personal note 2019 has been tinged with sadness as we said goodbye to my lovely mother-in-law in September. We miss her greatly but were privileged to have her in our lives for so long, she would have been 98 just a few weeks after she passed away. When she was fitter she regularly joined us in Dollar for Christmas, so her absence is felt especially at this time of year.

Nancy Wall my mother-in-law

So, as Christmas approaches and 2019 draws to a close I would just like to thank all of my clients and the coaches I have worked with this year. It means so much to me that you are prepared to put your trust in me and allow me to help you to fulfil your goals and overcome your fears. Thank you and MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY 2020.

Tiger the Therapy Cat


Month: December 2019

Category : Uncategorized

There have been a few occasions recently when people have told me that they don’t really like goal setting and, in fact, have found it to be demotivating rather than the intended, confidence boosting motivation.

I think there are a few reasons why this could be the case and perhaps, by looking at goal setting from a slightly different point of view rather than the, commonly used, S.M.A.R.T. goals which involve writing things down , measuring progress, checking back and regularly reviewing, might help people to feel that they can use goals more effectively.

Perhaps people who don’t like goal setting have been focussing on unachievable goals or on purely results driven goals and, I agree that these approaches can both be demotivating.

I believe that goal setting in equestrian sport is essential for anyone who wishes to ride for anything more than the simple pleasure of being on the back of a horse. So, if you are learning and wish to learn more and if you are competing and wish to push yourself to improve then using some form of goal setting is the way to go.

When thinking about your goals, always make sure to focus on what you DO want to happen rather than on what you don’t want. Your brain is very clever at focussing on what you tell it so it’s important to tell it what you really want to achieve.

We can look at three types of goals in sport psychology:

  • Process Goals are the way of measuring and executing the training process in order to enhance your existing skills and gain new ones. These might include how many times per week you intend to ride and how often you have coaching and attend training clinics. They might also include enhancing your mental skills as well as your riding. They are your day to day and week to week training plans.
  • Performance Goals are a way of tracking your overall improvement in the sport. They include developing consistency in performance and things such as fitness and stamina. Performance goals are a way of measuring your progress.
  • Outcome Goals are the results you gain from consistently working on your process and performance goals. This is where you keep your eyes on the prize and look forward to winning some rosettes and trophies.

All of the above are important looking for at outcomes in any sport but they aren’t all equally weighted in their effect on your performance as a rider.

The critical ones are the process goals as they are the groundwork you need to do to learn and make progress. Without these basic plans you’re not going to achieve any outcome goals.

Performance goals need to be realistic and challenging enough to make sure that you keep on improving. Your performance will show improvement if your processes are in place and carried out consistently. If your performance goals aren’t being achieved then it’s important to return to the process goals, re-assess and change them as necessary.

Outcome goals might be seen as the most exciting, and by making sure that your have been working on your process and performance goals then they will take care of themselves and results will follow.

You will have a lot of control over the process goals and also a significant amount of control over the performance goals. Outcomes are less easy to control as there are so many variables and so much which is completely outwith your control as an individual rider. They are well worth having as it is exciting to dream about a big win and to imagine that wonderful feeling you will get as a winner and how proud you will be of all of the hard work.

So never stop dreaming and by setting up your processes needed to help you to get there then you’re giving yourself the very best chance you can.