Why I Started Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland

Why I Started Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland

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Welcome to the second in a short series to tell you a bit more about who I am and what I do.

In the early 2000’s I was looking around for a career change and wondering what to do. I had been a community midwife and left that for all sorts of reasons and had a bit of a break but then I missed working with people. I had been doing some psychology studies and the teacher suggested that I might make a good counsellor so I looked around for some suitable courses.

None that I found seemed to appeal until a friend told me about a course in hypnosis and psychotherapy which was accredited, thorough and a good challenge so I found out more. As soon as I read the syllabus I knew that this was the course I’d been looking for, so I applied and was accepted.

While I was doing the course (which took two and a half years to complete) I started to apply what I was learning to my own riding and almost immediately I noticed an enormous change.

I had never been the most confident of riders but very quickly I noticed that I was pushing myself more, worrying less and enjoying everything I did with a new found increase in confidence and self belief. I felt GREAT!

Using what I was learning I quickly became comfortable hacking out alone.

So, when I came to the end of the course I decided to see if I could use my new qualifications to help other riders and popped an advert in a freebie horse magazine to see what would happen.

This was 2004 and I was almost immediately inundated with riders saying “HELP!!” and my little business was born!

Initially, riders were a fairly small proportion of the clients I was seeing and the rest were people with various other issues like general anxiety, phobias, stress related conditions etc. However, over the years, the number of riders I was seeing was growing and these days I only see a very small number of non-riders and focus more or less entirely on helping riders with their anxieties and mindset issues.

As well as working alone I have enjoyed making connections with other equestrian professionals and collaborating with coaches to offer sport psychology and confidence boosting techniques alongside the riding skills training offered by the coaches. There is huge scope in the equestrian world for education and rider development through teaching the mental skills needed in order to fulfil goals and simply worry less.

I’m a great believer in lifelong learning and, over the years have done many more courses which help me to help my clients. Recently I have signed up for the APEC Advanced performance psychology course run by Centre 10 which starts soon and I can’t wait to get going with that and see what I will learn.

I hope I never stop learning.

A few years ago I was driving home from giving a talk at a local riding camp , smiling to myself after a great evening and filled with the warm glow of realising that my career had brought me to a place where I felt I was meant to be and which I totally loved. It’s a very good place to be.


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