Review of the Year

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As we approach Christmas and 2018 draws to a close I thought it was a good time to review the year for Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland.

I have enjoyed the work I’ve done in 2018 enormously, have met some wonderful and inspiring people, made connections in some new areas of Scotland and have attended several courses and workshops.

As always, the core of my business is 1:1 clients who I see here in Dollar.  The  majority of these clients come for help with a riding related issue with only about 18% of this year’s new clients having a non-riding issue.  I’ve seen a few school age riders and the age of clients has ranged from 10yrs up to well over 60yrs showing, once again, that anxiety can challenge us at any age and stage of our lives and riding careers.  Riding issues have generally been anxiety related and most of the clients have been pleasure riders or those wishing to compete for fun.

It has been gratifying that I am seeing an increasing number of people make 1:1 appointments after having been to one of the talks or workshops I have been involved with and word of mouth or social media have been the way clients have found out about the work I do and the service I offer.

Talks held this year have involved a few trips to the west of Scotland and I have enjoyed collaborating with both yard owners, riding clubs and other professionals in the equestrian business.  At the end of February I travelled to Wemyshill in Lanarkshire, in  April to Sunnyside Equestrian near East Kilbride and in June to Lochgilphead to talk to the members of Argyll RC. Wemyshill Equestrian

 Sunnyside Equestrian with Lauren Semple of Equestrian Fitness Scotland

I am thrilled to continue to be involved with the amazing work done by Equiteam Confidence Camps held at Lindores in Fife and have attended numerous camps and day experiences throughout the Summer months to talk to the riders and offer them help, advice and support with the mindset side of riding and confidence boosting motivation.  Plans are afoot to develop this work and bring in some new ideas and content for 2019 camps.

 Day Camp at Lindores with Equiteam

In October, together with Anne Currie Horsemanship, we held our fourth “Ride in Harmony with your Mind” day workshop.  These days offer the opportunity for riders to bring along their own horses, to hire a RDA horse for the day or to come as non-riding participants.  This year’s workshop went very well and will hopefully we will run another similar workshop together next year.  The facilities available at Sandyflat RDA are fantastic and the staff there are hugely supportive and helpful.

 Ride with Harmony in your Mind Workshop

 Ride with Harmony in your Mind Workshop

 

As always, I am committed to continuous professional development and have attended several workshops on sport psychology as well as an update on some hypnosis techniques and a major certificate in Timeline Therapy which I did in the Autumn.

I continue to work with some riders on a sponsorship basis and love this aspect of my work.  Eventer Jodie Neill has had a successful year moving up to 2* on her gorgeous horse Clover with lots to look forward to for 2019.   I have just recently taken on another sponsored rider, Jodie Campbell who competes in dressage and showing and we are both excited to see what 2019 brings for Jodie and her horses.   The sponsorship of the young riders of Team KA came to a natural end with riders moving and the yard developing a new focus but I enjoyed the work I had done with the team.

On a personal level 2018 has been a year of highs and lows.  I continue to enjoy the riding I do at Kilgraston equestrian now that my own horses are retired and we had a fantastic safari holiday to Botswana in July but we also said goodbye this year to my wonderful father who would have been 88 on Christmas Eve and have had to help my lovely mother to settle into a care home in Newcastle.  We all miss Dad enormously but are grateful for his long life and I dedicate the work I have done this year to him.

 

 


Time Line Therapy ®

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Any of you who follow my social media pages, or know me well, will be aware that I am a great believer in CPD (Continuing Professional Development).  In fact both of the organisations I am registered with demand that I keep a CPD record and commit to attending courses, study days, reading and learning in order to continue my registration.

Each year I make sure that I attend study days and lectures where possible and find that doing this keeps me interested and stimulated and allows me to offer my clients the best possible care and therapy that I can.  It had been a while since I had completed any form of new certification or learned any specific new techniques to add to my tool box so this year I was on the lookout for something suitable.

Then I came across Tracey Cole, in a Facebook group I’m a member of, and I liked the look of what she does.  Tracey and I chatted a bit online and I realised that she most definitely could provide me with the training I was looking for.  We both offer a similar service to our clients which  I saw as a good thing, as the training would also give an opportunity to compare notes and chat about our approaches and experiences.  Fortunately the timing was good as Tracey was running a course which included Time Line Therapy ® and I was able to attend purely for this element of the full course.

So, last week I headed off to Staffordshire which is a new part of the country for me.  I did go to a 21st birthday party in deepest rural Staffs many years ago but that is another story and I can remember very little about it!!!  I decided to go by train and had a pleasant journey down even though it involved several changes.  I did have to do a little bit of therapy on myself en route when I realised that I had left my mobile behind and had no phone or internet access – EEK, DON’T PANIC!  It wasn’t a disaster and I just asked a couple of random people if I could borrow their phone and without exception they were kind and generous and I managed to get messages through to people who needed to know where I was and what was happening.

I spent a lovely couple of days studying, having fun, making friends and talking about horses and came away with a certification as a Practitioner of Time Line Therapy ®.

The course was held in a lovely cottage on a livery yard in rural Staffordshire, we also stayed in the cottage which was warm, homely and had beautiful views over the surrounding countryside.  Tracey is a wonderful teacher and delivered the coursework in a relaxed but stimulating manner.  There were lots of opportunities to practice the techniques on each other and we had a lot of fun and some interesting insights whilst doing so.

You’re probably still wondering what this new therapy is as you may not have heard of it before.  Time Line Therapy ® is a powerful therapeutic process derived from NLP and using aspects of hypnotherapy so right up my street in therapeutic terms.  I couldn’t wait to get started.   The process was developed by Tad James  

in the 1980’s and is based on the concept that the unconscious stores our memories in a linear way, like a metaphorical timeline.  Using a variety of techniques the therapist will help the client to let go of negative emotions and limiting beliefs leading to longstanding fundamental changes.  I think that it will be hugely applicable to my horse riding clients, particularly those with long standing anxiety and a difficulty in “letting go” of negative past experiences.  It allows the client to learn from past experiences and move on from them.  Sounds like a “win-win” to me and I can’t wait to start using it and to see the results for my clients.


So what actually IS Hypno-psychotherapy?

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I recently did one of those ‘Ask me anything’ posts on FaceBook and one of the questions asked was ‘What is Hypno-psychotherapy?’  At the time, I gave a brief reply and promised to write something more detailed about it.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the person who asked the question but hopefully they will see this and see that I keep my promises and always try my very best to answer questions.

So, this blog post is kind of a shameless piece of advertising but hopefully it will make interesting reading for those of you who would like to know more about what I do and how I do it.

I trained with the well respected National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy www.hypnotherapyuk.net in the early 2000’s qualifying in 2004 with a Diploma in Hypnosis and Psychotherapy and the colleges website explains very well what this actually means so I can do no better than to copy and paste from their site.  I am now registered with the college and also with the National Register of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

 

                              

 

 

What is the difference between Hypnotherapy and Hypno-Psychotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is the clinical application of hypnosis to assist clients to resolve problems arising from habits, maladaptive behaviours, pain (under medical supervision) and psychosomatic medical conditions. It can also be used to assist clients in maximising potential in settings such as work and sport. At the time of writing hypnotherapy has developed a system of Voluntary Self-Regulation through the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council and as such hypnotherapists will be trained to a minimum of a level 4 NVQ equivalent standard. Hypnotherapists are not trained to deal with deep psychological issues or psychiatric illness.

Psychotherapy is defined by UKCP (2009) as a process “to help clients gain insight into their difficulties or distress, establish a greater understanding of their motivation, and enable them to find more appropriate ways of coping or bring about changes in their thinking and behaviour. Psychotherapy involves exploring feelings, beliefs, thoughts and relevant events, sometimes from childhood and personal history, in a structured way.”

Hypno-psychotherapy is the clinical application of hypnosis to enhance psychotherapeutic interventions. Hypno-psychotherapists should be trained at master’s level and are trained to deal with deep psychological issues and psychiatric illness.

(The above definitions are credited to the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy.)

As well as completing the training mentioned above I have gone on to complete further certificates such as the Practitioner in NLP cert and a Specialist certificate in Anxiety as well as attending numerous study days covering all sorts of related subjects. I consider myself to be an expert in helping clients with anxiety issues.  At the end of this month I will be doing some more additional training and will tell you about that in due course.

So the next question might be ‘How does Hypno-psychotherapy help horse riders?

Over the years I have developed a speciality in helping riders at all levels overcome anxiety and develop a strong mind-set to the extent that virtually all of my clients are riders.  My training allows me to see my clients as a whole person and help them to understand and overcome their fundamental anxiety issues, treating them as individuals who come with their own unique personalities, experiences and lifestyles.  Each rider is different and the beauty of the training I have done means that I have a large tool box of techniques and approaches to draw from depending on the rider’s individual needs.  A nervous novice who may be worried about even getting on their horse has very different needs to, for example, an eventer who is looking to step up a level in competition and may have concerns about that.

Using hypnosis is an option which enhances the psychotherapeutic processes and can hasten positive results by accessing the, sometimes hidden, strengths of the unconscious mind. It can be very powerful and help the client to make changes or it can be used to help the client simply to feel more calm, more relaxed and more confident.  We don’t always use hypnosis and only after full discussion and explanation of all techniques.  Hypnosis is a very safe therapeutic intervention and the vast majority of clients say that they love the feeling of being in a trance.

Sometimes people contact me with the question ‘Do you think that you can help me?’.  My answer to this is that to have got in touch with me they already have a belief that I can help them. In our training we are taught that hypnosis is effective to the extent that the client wants, expects and allows it and therefore all hypnosis is effectively self-hypnosis. In any psychotherapeutic approach there are never guarantees but my experience show me that the majority of riders who seek help can make significant and long lasting changes.

I am always happy to chat to anyone who wishes to contact me and any initial contact is completely free of charge and can be the first step towards regaining your enjoyment of this wonderful sport.

Any thoughts, comments or questions are very welcome and thank you for reading this.

 


Daisy’s Story

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With my new website up and running it seems like the appropriate time to put more focus and energy into my THROUGH THE EARS blog.  So as part of the re-launch here is a very special blog for you.

You may have come across the How Very Horsey  blog written by the lovely Daisy Smith.  Daisy is a talented writer and horsewoman, comes from a long line of well known equestrians and has been very open and honest about her own struggles with riding confidence. Daisy has kindly agreed to write this piece for me to share with you.  When I first read it yesterday evening it brought a tear to my eye and made me think of so many of the riders I have been privileged to work with since 2004 who have similar stories to tell but prefer them to remain private.  The sharing Daisy’s story here is intended to give YOU hope and inspiration and if YOU need help then please do just get in touch and take the first step towards helping yourself to recover your enjoyment of this wonderful sport.  THANK YOU DAISY.

DAISY’S STORY.

A year ago, I was a bit of a mess. The combination of a bad riding accident, a traumatic birth and associated PTSD and PND, and a few weird years of riding horses I didn’t know or trust, left me with zero confidence. Less than zero, actually. I was at the point that, for the first time in my 20 years of riding, I actually considered giving up. Not even because I wanted to. More because I thought I had to.

I got to the point that I was having such anxiety just driving to the stables that I had to frequently pull over just to breathe. If a horse so much as moved an ear unexpectedly, I would get off. To put this in perspective, a few years ago I was competing at 1.20m level and had previously ridden for England and won BSPS Rider of the Year. Last year, I couldn’t trot around an arena.

What helped me? Blogging. I started my blog when I was pregnant and unable to ride. It was a way I could stay involved in the horse world somehow. I said when I started it that if one person read it and enjoyed it then that was fine. I had no idea of the true impact my blog would have on me though.

Writing honestly about how I felt and what I was going through, firstly, helped me to see it more clearly but it also opened me up to a world full of advice. A world full of people in the same boat or people who had been there. And an amazing crowd of previous strangers who were suddenly invested in my story and cheering me on.

What I would like to share with you guys though is this: People will tell you it will get better, people will tell you that you will be fine, people will make lovely comments about how good you were and how they are sure it’s just a phase. As lovely as these people are trying to be, it will not help.

What will help is this: it can get better.

Last week, I jumped my young, sprightly 17.1hh horse at a county show and won. Tonight, I jumped round a course of fences at home with a smile on my face. I am looking forward to riding tomorrow. It can get better.

 Daisy enjoying riding the lovely Jack

What you need to find is what will help you. Real, practical advice of how to find that confidence. It will not be an instant fix. Confidence is built up through consistent, positive experiences over time. Set yourself up to have those experiences, surround yourself with people who understand and are sympathetic, but at the same time are cheering you on, actively work on changing your negative mindset if you can. I now walk the course and say to myself “This will be fun to jump. What a great feeling it will be!” I am still nervous but it helps me.

 Daisy and the famous American Pie, now a sprightly 23 yrs old.

I can get better.


Life Changing

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Hypno-psychotherapy has helped many of my clients, with many focussed on horse riding.

From confidence building to accident recovery, click through below to learn more from others’ positive experiences.


How we can help you?

Category : Front Page Services

There are many areas of your life in which this type of therapy can support you, these include:

Emotional and behavioural difficulties, excessive worrying, obsessions, insomnia, phobias poor concentration, digestive problems, confidence issues, performance anxiety and sports development, where Jane can particularly help in Horse Riding.


Jane Brindley

Category : Front Page Services

Jane Brindley is an experienced therapist working from her base in Dollar in the Ochil Hills.

Being a full member of the National Register of Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists (NRHP) Jane is fully insured and adheres to the code of ethics of the NRHP.


Recovery After an Accident. 1. Carol’s Story

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We all know that horse riding can be a risky sport and will, no doubt, have friends or acquaintances who may have been injured.  In my line of work I meet many people who wish to regain their enjoyment of riding after such an experience.  It’s not always easy but with time, effort and teamwork it is perfectly possible.

I recently asked on facebook for volunteers who are prepared to share their stories and will be publishing a couple of these over the next few weeks.  I am sharing these, not to scare you but to show you that there is hope and that recovery is definitely possible.

Carol is someone who I have worked with and she has kindly volunteered to mention that in this piece.  Thank you for being prepared to share your story Carol, and I commend you for your honesty, bravery and hard work.

CAROL’S STORY

Summer 2015 is when everything changed for me, circumstance and bad advice led Owain to spook whilst being given a bad leg up causing me to land hard on his back, he bolted and swerved sharply to the side causing me to fall. I tried to land on my feet rather than hitting my head on the fence, as soon as I hit the ground I knew something very bad had happened.

I was transferred to Glasgow where I was horrified to learn the extent of my injuries, on my landing my ankle had dislocated, then my knee causing my femur to crash right through my tibia, I had over 30 breaks to my leg and not much left of my tibia itself it was crumbled, my surgeons likened it to a head on collision car crash or a motor bike crash it was so serious I was told I might never walk on it again and could possibly lose it all together if surgery didn’t work.

I had 6 hours of surgery, 4 weeks in hospital another six flat out recovery, I was told not to even think of riding for at least 2 years I was devastated, I have 3 large plates ( they had to make them specific) partial knee replacement and 26 screws holding my leg together now.

It was during my recovery I started to let the thoughts in …. the doubt whether I was capable of riding Owain, looking at stronger bits , reading up on calmers for him all sorts of things, I was very lucky to have a excellent instructor who assured me I was more than capable of riding him but the doubt set in.

Much to the horror of many people I wanted to ride Owain and 14 weeks after my surgery I managed wearing a brace on my leg to climb on only for a few minutes but I was on.

I had to start riding again or give up.

I started having lessons on him again every week just walk small bit of trot as I couldn’t still walk properly, i felt good at first but always made sure someone always held Owain and never left me alone, I felt sick getting on always thinking of the what if. Over the months I was riding more and more but still felt sick and apprehensive getting on and off because of the what if … what if he spooks again … what if I fall again … my guts churning, I always had to have someone beside me. I was growing more confident I even had a fall after an enthusiastic jump over a muddy puddle but I seem to put that away but getting on really still haunted me. I would think about the what ifs constantly before riding and end up going to the loo, feeling sick dry mouth … I knew I was a capable rider but always thought the worst before hand.

 

I seeked help from Jane about my confidence and the going’s on in my head, I knew I could ride him my instructor instilled that in me but my head told me I couldn’t. Jane taught me to change the way I think,to look at things from a different perspective to not let spooks grow arms legs and tentacles…. deal with it ride it and put it away, never dramatise it that’s when the arms legs tentacles grow.

I’ve fallen twice since my accident and managed to have a good laugh about it, we all fall it’s just how we deal with it in the end.

It’s now over 3 years and don’t get me wrong I still have the odd nervous feelings but generally now I just get on and enjoy Owain and we are achieving things now I could only have wished for before thanks to my wonderful friend and instructor Karen and Jane for helping me with my demons , and of course my lovely welshie Owain who has looked after me faithfully since that terrible day.


A to Z of RIDING CONFIDENCE (Part 2 N-Z)

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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.


A to Z of RIDING CONFIDENCE Part 1 (A to M)

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I recently completed an Instagram challenge, which I had set myself, which was to come up with an A to Z of Riding Confidence.  I enjoyed the challenge and was pleased to get some lovely positive feedback and also that some other people joined in.  On finishing I promised to collate the A to Z into a blog so here goes….. I’ll do it in two posts so that hopefully you can enjoy reading each whilst having a coffee or a relax.

 

A TO Z OF RIDING CONFIDENCE PART 1

 

A is for ATTITUDE.  Your attitude towards something is the way you think and feel about it and it shows externally in your behaviour.  So what is your attitude towards riding?  Do you ride purely for fun or are you a serious competitor or, infact, somewhere in the middle?  Are you prepared to work hard to achieve your goals and do you accept personal responsibility for your progress?

 

B is for BELIEF.  If you believe that you can do something then you are most definitely well on the way to being able to do it.  Conversely, if you believe that you can’t do something then you will struggle to achieve.  Changing your thinking (belief) will help you to change your behaviour and this is something that you most definitely can do if you set your mind to it and ask for help if you need it.

 

C is for CALMNESS.  A calm mind and a calm body will help you to focus, ride in a confident manner and achieve your riding goals.  It will help you to get rid of unnecessary tension which, as we all know, your horse will pick up on.   Calmness doesn’t necessarily equate to relaxation it is simply an ability to be comfortable in your body and in your mind without excessive concern or worry.

 

D is for DETERMINATION.  Decide what you want to get from your riding and be determined about working towards getting there.  Derterminedly working towards achieving your goals will help to boost your confidence.  Determination is the quality you show when you have decided what you want and you won’t let anything stop you.

 

E is for ENERGY.  Spending time worrying will sap your energy, anxiety can be exhausting.  So when you are feeling more confident then you will have more energy to put into your riding.  When you give more energy to your riding your confidence will increase.  WIN WIN!

 

F is for FUN.  Fun is what it’s all about, or at least I hope it is.  What do you really enjoy doing with your horse?  What makes you smile?  What makes you laugh?  Can you have a laugh when things go wrong rather than taking it all very seriously?  Have a think about the times when you have had most fun with horses and make sure that you do them again.  Simply having fun will boost your confidence.

 

G is for GOALS.  Setting SMART goals will help you to move forwards and out of your comfort zone.  Ticking off short term goals and then re-setting is such a useful way of pushing yourself and measuring progress.  The by-product of goal setting is an increase in CONFIDENCE.

 

H is for HORSE.  Having the right horse for you and for the activities you like to do with your horse is so important.  You can feel as though you can conquer the world on one horse and on a different one may feel that a canter is too far out of your comfort zone.  If you are worrying about riding your horse then it’s important to ask yourself the difficult question “Is this horse right for me, given my current level of skill and experience?”  Being ‘over-horsed’ can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation.  if you are worried then seek advice from someone who’s opinion you respect and who has your bst interests at heart.  Then once you are riding a suitable horse your confidence will return and you can continue to make progress towards becoming the rider you wish to be.

 

I is for INSPIRATION.  Who are you inspired by?  What is it about them that you admire?  is it their horsemanship, their devotion to their craft or to their horses, thier mental strength?  Can you apply these ideas to your own riding and identify areas to work on?  Recognising your strengths and challenges will boost your confidence.

 

J is for JOY.  A bit like F is for FUN!  It’s not all about making progress and setting goals.  When did you last do something with your horse and experience pure joy?  Whether it’s simply watching him in the field, giving him a cuddle, going for a quiet hack or having a crazy gallop do whatever brings you pure JOY

 

K is for KINDNESS.  I urge you all to show kindness towards those around you.  We sadly often hear accounts of unkind behaviour in the horse world and surely this has to be unacceptable.  Differences of opinion can be resolved by good communication and compromise. if you see someone struggling with their confidence then why not kindly offer to lieten to them andassist them to find the appropriate help.  Kindness makes the world a better place for all of us.

Of course, kindness towards our horses is a must and there is never an excuse for ill treatment of these beautiful animals.

 

L is for LIFE.  How do you fit riding into your life?  Or is it how do you fit life into your riding?!  Do you plan your riding time into your other commitments or do you feel as though you are constantly chasing your tail and are never able to focus on one thing at a time because you have so many demands?  If life is chaotic then why not make some time to do a bit of planning?  mark off those times to ride and then get on and ride at those times without distraction.  Time management will help you to focus on what is really important to you, help you to be more mindful and ultimately help your confidence.  Give it a go!

 

M is for (riding in the) MOMENT. Being mindful and rising in the moment is enormously helpful for confident riding.  Avoiding trying to anticipate what could happen in the future and making sure that you aren’t unnecessarily holding on to past events is so important.  If your horse is moving in the direction of your choice at the pace of your choice at any moment in time then everything is OK.

it takes time and practice to fel comfortable riding in the moment but it really is worth the effort.

 

So there we have A to M and I will finish the alphabet in my next blog post.

 

Thanks for reading this and please do get in touch if I can help in any way or feel free to comment.