Let’s Talk About It…
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Let’s talk about it…….
Riding and being around horses is good for your mental health isn’t it?
Well, yes it is until you start worrying about riding more than you enjoy it and I know that there are a lot of you out there for whom this is the case.
What we want is for the time we spend around horses and riding them to be relaxing, fun-filled, exciting, great exercise, a source of friends and sharing experiences, a sense of achievement and success, “me time” away from work and family pressures….and so much more.
I can recall a several times when I was feeling especially stressed, but after a good ride in the sunshine, on a beautiful horse, in the company of lovely people my stress levels fell to a much more manageable level and I felt re-energised, calmer and more able to tackle the issues which were causing that stress.
However, sometimes due to a huge variety of reasons riding and working with horses can become the very source of stress which has the opposite effect to all of the above.
This could come from fear and anxiety, from the pressure of competition, from issues on the yard or from concern about the welfare or health of your horse. Or perhaps it might be due to pressures in other areas of your life such as work or relationships which prevent the time you spend with horses from being as relaxing as you would like.
This week brings World Mental Health Day on 10th October and I think it’s a day which is more important than ever given all of the enormous challenges which 2020 has brought. Please do know that if you feel you are struggling with low mood, anxiety, energy levels, feeling that you aren’t coping or feeling overwhelmed or just “not yourself” in any way that it is absolutely OK to ask for help.
Personally, I am always happy to chat or listen and I’d like to draw your attention to the amazing new resource for riders which is Rider’s Minds. “Riders Minds is an online bespoke resource dedicated to supporting the mental health and well-being of all horse riders.”
NB: If you ever feel as though you are in danger of harm because of your own personal mental health issues or if you are in psychological distress then please contact your GP or The Samaritans Tel:116 123 and try to make sure that you are in a safe place with the company of another person.
If riding is causing you excessive worry or distress then please do seek help. Rider anxiety is extremely common and there is a lot which can be done to help you deal with this and return to being able to enjoy riding again.