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Gosh it’s almost a month since I posted Part 1, time has flown recently!
Anyway, better late than never and here is Part 2 which completes the alphabet.
N is for NERVES. Feeling nervous at times is an absolutely normal part of being human. learning to accept and acknowledge the phusical and mental sensations of anxiety and then work with them instead of trying to deny them and force them away will help your confidence enormously. It takes practice but it is so worth it.
O is for OMG! Let’s face it we all have those moments when we ride. Times when you get a fright, fall off or something unexpected happens. What we need is the mental resilience to learn from any mistakes we’ve made, accept whatever has happened and then put the event behind us and move on. This isn’t always easy but it is important to develop the mental skills necessary to be able to learn and move on. If we don’t do this then the effects of an OMG moment can interfere with our enjoyment of riding. Once these skills have been learned then confidence increases and therefore riding confidence soars.
P is for POSITIVITY A huge part of my job is helping riders to understand the importance of focussing on the positives rather than the negatives. learning to change your thinking really does change your life. Identifying what you are saying to yourself, and therefore believing, is the first step towards making these important changes. So why not spend some time noticing your thoughts and the things you are saying to yourself, then challenge them if you need to. At the end of the day a useful exercise is to write down three positives fromyour day so that you can end your day feeling good about your achievements. Try it and let me know how you get on.
Q is for QUESTION if you need help, then ask. If you don’t know how to do something then ask. If something doesn’t make sense to you then ask again. Find people who’s opinions you respect and who have your best interests at heart and ask away. Can you help me? Can you explain how? I don’t understand, please can you explain? Admitting that you need help isn’t a sign of weakness, it is simply an acknowledgement that you are prepared to learn. Asking the question can be the first step to making changes which will help your confidence to grow.
R is for RESILIENCE Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. I can’t promise any rider that they will never fall of or find tehmselves in a tricky situatiion. However, I can help you to develop techniques to learn from these situations, move on and put them in the past where they belong. Developing resilience will help you in all areas of your life and once you discover that you have the capacity to quickly recover then your riding confidence will soar.
S is for SUCCESS Success is the achievement of goals. Be proud of every single success, great and small. Every success is made up of thousands of small ones and is the result of many hours of hard work. So be proud of all of your successes.
T is for TIME It takes time to make changes. Time is precious and we all have many different demands and commitments so sometimes we really need to plan out time effectively in order to make these changes. A bit of time management planning will help any feelings of being overwhelmed and will help us be more efficient in the use of our precious time. When we feel more in control and less overwhelmed then confidence will grow.
U is for UNDERSTANDING Often the first step to making changes is to develop an understanding of what is going on and why. If you need help with this then it is important to consult someone who can understand the issue and has the expertise to help you to work out the necessary strategies to deal with it.
V is for VICTORY Victories may be tiny or they may be enormous, they may be achieving something for the very first time or winning a huge international event, Behind each victory is a huge amount of hard work, detemination and ability to overcome setbacks. So celebrate your victories large and small. What victories have you had recently?
W is for WILLING Are you willing to learn? Are you willing to make changes? Are you willing to work hard? Are you willing to accept help? Making changes can be very challenging and begins with an acceptance that in order to fulfil your riding goals it may be necessary to change the way you are doing things. If you are having difficulty and are willing to learn then please do get in touch.
X is for X-FACTOR We can all come up with our own interpretation of X-Factor but what I mean at this moment is the feeling we get when everything is going well whilst riding a horse. That feeling when the boundary between horse and rider is blurred, giving harmony and total absorption in the moment. Can you think back to a time when this has happened for you? They are moments to treasure. It doesn’t have to be spectacular, perhaps out on a hack, galloping along the beach or achieving a clear round. treasure these moments and remember them when times are more challenging.
Y is for YET Such a small but such a powerful word. Instead of saying “I can’t do something” try adding the word YET onto the end of the sentence. it immediately changes the meaning of what you have said and implies that youare moving towards being able to do it in the future. try it and then see how you feel.
Z is for Zzzzz We’ve come to the end of the alphabet so it’s time for a rest. But this can be a metaphor for riding too, it doesn’t all have to be about goals, progress and making changes. Sometimes it’s good just to simply rest, have a break, spend some time simply watching your horse in the field, have some fun with your friends. Then after your rest you can pick up the reins agiain with renewed vigour.
So that’s the end of this list for the moment. I could start again from A and come up with 26 different words related to riding confidence and I may well do that in the future as this list certainly isn’t definitive.
Thanks for reading and, as always, any comments are very welcome.