• Abi Kroupa

4 Steps To Being A More Confident Horse Rider

It takes both physical and mental skills to be a successful rider. You can train and lesson every day, but a key aspect of riding that is often overlooked is self-confidence. You have to believe you are good enough and be confident in all that you have learned.

When horses get nervous or excitable, they need to trust in their rider’s ability to give them a positive direction. Studies have found that horses can not only pick up on a person’s mood, but they have a “memory for emotion” that guides their future interactions with an individual. Research has also shown that an increase in a human’s heart rate affects the heart rate of the horse they are riding or leading.

But how do you get that calm confidence when you are just starting something new? Maybe you are dealing with anxiety or nerves in your riding? Or maybe you are struggling with something in your personal life, but are letting it affect your time with your horse?

Sometimes the difference in whether you succeed or you don’t comes down to one thing - BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

Have the willingness and certainty to believe in yourself. Know that your skills and what you have to offer is valuable to your partnership with your horse, and can also be applied to other areas in life. Think about it for a minute....Have you ever seen a maybe less skilled rider get better results than someone with more technical skills in a competition? Or maybe it’s a very skilled rider who rides well at home but falls apart at a horse show or at a clinic. 

The big difference is self-confidence. Self-confidence is having the mindset of believing in yourself. A positive mindset pushes you forward while a negative one holds you back and can even sabotage your ability to move up in your riding.

You can start your mental riding training and build self-confidence by following these 4 simple steps:

1. Establish short- and long-term riding goals to aim for.

2. Get up each day, learn, and train to work toward those goals.

3. Learn from your failures and move forward from them.

4. Have a coach and team surrounding you that encourages and believes in you.

By reaching for your goals, learning from your mistakes, and having a team that encourages you, you’re going to develop your own self-confidence fairly quickly.

Believing in yourself is a critical step on the path to riding success. One thing I have learned, you have to believe and have confidence in your own abilities in order for your horse to trust you as a leader.

The ability and willingness to believe in yourself applies to pretty much everything you do. You walk or run without much thought because you believe you can do it. Why can’t your skills in riding be just as certain to you?

Study: Animals Remember Previous Facial Expressions that Specific Humans Have Exhibited

Study: Investigating horse-human interactions: The effect of a nervous human

#confidenthorserider #beingconfident #mentalhealth #mentalriding #horsesandhearts #beyourbest


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