You may have witnessed a horse rider with complete control of the technical skills needed, but at the moment of the competition, they suffer from stage fright or don’t have the results they were hoping for. Or maybe you’ve seen a less experienced horse rider stepping up to the challenge during riding lessons or horse shows. The truth is that your equestrian performance depends on your abilities on the saddle and your mindset. Your self-resolution can make or break your routine, so here we share some insight on how to ride a horse with more confidence.
Spend Time With Your House Dismounted
At first glance, it may sound counterintuitive to focus your efforts off the saddle, but the truth is that you need to bond with your horse outside of any competitive scenario. When you’re not familiarized with your animal and get too worried about what may go wrong while riding, you’re already not receptive to the horse’s cues and signals. Start by hanging around horses with calm personalities in a relaxed environment. Concentrate on grooming them and watching their body language to understand them better. You’ll soon feel more confident around them, which will be clear the moment you get into the saddle. This will also help you decrease your chances of suffering an accident while horse riding, which can be a big safety concern for most riders that can mine their confidence even if they’re not aware of it.
Troubleshoot With Your Trainer
Let’s picture this: you’ve been training with your horse for a while, but after a minor mistake in training, you ended up falling from your horse. It’s very common that after an incident with your horse you may feel less confident to try a jump again or get back into riding lessons. But the truth is that you’ll need to face your fears with the help of your trainer to pinpoint exactly what’s stopping you from stepping up your game and fine-tuning your abilities.
You should also make sure that you’re using the right equipment with your horse, especially if you’re planning to participate in competitive events. The manufacturers at Ayr Equestrian suggest getting appropriate equestrian gear to ensure a comfortable experience while horse riding, particularly professional-quality leather riding boots that have a tight fit around your legs. If you’re feeling uncomfortable with your horse, try to identify whether it’s because the gear you’re using isn’t right for your complexity or the animal isn’t the right partner for your riding style, for instance. Troubleshooting each angle of what may be causing a negative impact on your performance will ensure great results in your confidence in the long run.
Work With Mindfulness
What you may have guessed by now is that confidence comes from the mind. If you’re feeling insecure, worried, or self-conscious, your performance will be negatively affected by these emotions. Make a point of leaving any worries and distractions from your daily life as soon as you enter the barn. An excellent way to start changing your mindset is to learn more about meditation techniques. Research has shown plenty of benefits from practicing mindfulness every day, and you will soon perceive changes not only during horse riding but in other aspects of your life too.
Another thing you should keep in mind while working to improve your confidence is to release any tensions from your body before getting up on the saddle. Breathing exercises are the easiest way a nervous rider can take control of their confidence, especially before a stressful scenario like a competition.
Be Patient With Yourself
if you’re not making progress as fast as you were hoping for, don’t be harsh on yourself! These processes take time, and there is no magic formula to ride a horse with more confidence in a single day. Create a daily schedule if possible where you visit the barn and take some time to work on your weak points, but you should always be kind to yourself whenever you make a mistake.
Horse riding is a delightful discipline that requires a lot of practice and dedication. Like any other exercise, most people will find themselves in difficult situations where they’re not progressing as fast as they want or have faced an accident. In any case, you can build your confidence with several approaches and don’t hesitate in asking for help from others, but you shouldn’t forget that your mind is your biggest ally and opponent here. Your attitude while horse riding will make a great impact on your performance.