Getting Back To It
Category : Uncategorized
Have you had a break from riding and are re-starting or looking to re-start soon?
There may be many reasons for your break. Perhaps you’ve recently had a baby or maybe you used to ride a lot in the past and life then took you down a different path for some time but now you have the urge to ride again. Perhaps you’ve had a break because you had no horse to ride for a while and there were no other opportunities available for you.
Whatever your reason I hope that you feel excited about re-starting this wonderful sport and are looking forwards to having many new experiences on horseback.
There will, undoubtedly, be some riders who simply get back on and ride away without giving it a second thought but, I suspect, there are many more who experience some feelings of anxiety and self doubt at this stage of their riding life and this is perfectly natural. So if that’s what you’re experiencing then you’re most definitely not alone.
There are two main things that I would like to focus on in this article. Firstly your past experience and secondly looking at where you are right now as you begin riding again.
When you’re thinking of riding again it’s common to think and feel that you’ve lost your previous skills both mental skills and technical riding skills. However, this really isn’t the case. All of your past riding experience is still there, much of what you do will be almost instinctive due to muscle memory and having developed an unconscious ability to know what to do on and with a horse. Of course you may feel pretty rusty and have lost some physical strength and balance but that will return pretty quickly once you get going. Do give yourself credit for all that you have done in the past, it may be a bit hidden at the moment but when you scratch the surface you’ll find that it’s still there.
One of the most useful things to do at this stage is to work out where you are now i.e. today or the day that you get back on a horse. Looking at your strengths and challenges is a useful exercise and I suggest that you write these down as this will help you to clarify where you are now and what you need to work on.
For example your strengths might be the you have many years of experience, a nice horse and a supportive family. Your challenges may be limited free time and a lack of physical fitness. So you can see what will help you and what you need to work on in the short to medium term.
Giving yourself credit for all of your previous riding and deciding where you are right now will help you to avoid the feeling of “I can’t do it any more” or “But I used to be able to do it”.
Our lives are dynamic and constantly changing and that is part of the fun of life. With a bit of hard work I’m sure that you’ll be enjoying your riding again very soon.