What one thing distinguishes good riders from not-so-good riders and fearless riders from fearful riders? It is their mindset. You may have seen a less talented rider do better than a very talented rider in a competition, in a lesson or just riding down a trail. Your mind set either pushes you forward or holds you back.
Here are 7 tips to help you develop a more positive mindset whenever you’re with your horse.
- Be here now. Stay present and in the moment by focusing on the cues from your horse and your body. When you pay attention to what is happening now in this moment, you become pro-active rather than reactive. You can prevent things from falling apart – even if it’s only falling apart in your mind.
- Stop worrying about the outcome. Focus on building a solid foundation and taking each step that is needed for you and your horse to be able to perform well whether that’s on the trail or in the show ring.
- Let go of what others might think about your performance. Stop trying to read other peoples’ minds. People who care about you will support you. The opinion of anyone who doesn’t care about and support you is not important. Let it go.
- Leave distractions and stresses from your life at the barn door. You really don’t want to take them along for the ride. If you really want to, you can pick them up on your way out of the door. Or you can also just decide to leave them there permanently.
- Let go of striving for perfection. In riding (as in many things in life) there is always room for improvement. Recognize where improvement is needed without beating up yourself (or your horse). Refer to #2.
- Avoid over thinking or analyzing what you’re doing. Being too much in your head takes you out of your body. Riding well requires not only awareness of your own body and your horse’s body, but also being able to make a connection between you. Think less. Feel more.
- Make it a goal to have fun. When you take things too seriously or only focus on results, riding stops being fun – for you and your horse. You aren’t having fun if you are judging how well you did on every transition, turn, movement or jump. When was the last time you just enjoyed being with your horse?
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What’s your greatest mindset challenge when it comes to riding or handling your horse? What ways have you found to improve your mindset? Leave your answer in the comments. You can also ask me your most important question there as well.
Enjoy your journey.My book is now available on Amazon.com! “Confident Rider, Confident Horse: Build Your Confidence While Improving Your Partnership with Your Horse from the Ground to the Saddle”. Click here to order.
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You’re welcome to use this article in your newsletter or blog as long as you notify me and include my credit information: ~ Written by Anne Gage, Confident Horsemanship (www.annegage.com).
Anne Gage ~ Confident Horsemanship – Putting you and your horse in good hands.