Flashback: Cantering around the ring, counting strides, you aim for the jump, and before you know it…you are on the ground. There is a pain in your chest, and fear, hurt, and confusion in your heart. Raise your hand if you have been there… I know that I have!
Today we will be discussing ways to regain confidence horse riding. Your pride may be shaken, fear may be in your heart, but the love of horses remains. Rest assured, you are not alone!
You are freedom bound!
When overcoming a bad fall, you often re-live the scene in your mind. We all know that equestrian sports are dangerous, and after a bad fall… the fear can control us. We need to learn to overcome it.
One of the best things you can do when overcoming the mental web is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of remembering the fall, remember all of the good times you have had with horses.
What made you fall in love with horses in the beginning? Make a list of all the things you love about being an equestrian. You can even make a pros and cons list.
ANTS. What do ANTS have to do with anything? ANTS is an acronym for automatic negative thinking. To overcome ANTS you need to be diligent to cast out those negative thoughts.
As soon as a snapshot of falling off your horse comes to mind, replace it with a positive thought. Imagine a successful and peaceful ride.
By diligently replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones, you will soon overcome the mental trap.
With time and effort, you can regain confidence when riding.
It is important to let our body heal after a fall. In many instances, the injury will be minor. It is important to recover and regain your strength.
Contrary to popular belief, it is okay to take time to heal. Often we need to overcome mental and emotional barriers before trying our hand in the saddle again.
Listen to your doctor’s advice, and when you are healed you will be ready to ride again. In the meantime, there are many things you can do to heal while waiting for a recovery.
If it is approved by your doctor you may want to try muscle stretching exercises or work on gentle yoga.
Eating a healthy diet filled with natural food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein can go a long way in aiding recovery.
Omega 3s have many benefits and some studies purport they can even help with depression and anxiety. A diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can go a long way in physical and emotional health.
Take time for yourself and work on you. By healing the body and mind you will be well on your way to being freedom bound.
Equestrian Aide- Finding Knowledgable Help
Accidents happen…they are not called on-purposes for a reason. While many equestrian falls cannot be prevented if you have a feeling that your horse is more than you can handle there is no shame in getting the proper help.
Often, our feelings can lead to a deeper understanding of the actual problem. If you have felt your horse is too much for you or it is a situation that goes above your level of knowledge find quality help!
I have been there if you would like to learn more about my experience, feel free to read the About Isabelle page. Often a qualified trainer can go a long way in helping us understand our horse and making us safer in the saddle and on the ground.
As equestrians, we can assess the situation and get help when it is needed. In my opinion, it is the BEST CHOICE one can make when dealing with horse behavior problems.
Strategies For Overcoming Anxiety
You head out to the barn, but the fear soon overtakes you. You feel that sickening feeling in your stomach. You are conflicted…you want to be at the barn, but are still dealing with fear. We are here to provide you some strategies to help temper down your anxiety.
- Replace Negative Thoughts With Positive Ones- As soon as that negative thought enters your mind replace it with a positive one.
- Calming Music- According to Melanie Curtin, studies have shown that listening to calming music can calm anxiety by up to 65%.
- Seek Proper Horsey Help- If your horsey problem has become greater than you can handle it is important to seek the proper equestrian help. Utilizing a qualified horse trainer can greatly reduce your stress, as you will learn tools to help you with unwanted horse behavior.
- Essential Oils- Lavender, Ylang-Ylang, and Roman Chamomile have all been used to treat anxiety. There are even car diffusers that can be used on your way to the stable.
- Seek A Mental Health Professional- Many mental health professionals specialize in equestrian sport psychology. Seeking a qualified professional can go a long way in lessening your anxiety. They will equip you with the tools needed to prepare for your return to the saddle.
- Mighty Omegas- The human brain is made of 60% fat. As such, supporting it with Omega 3s (high-quality fatty acids) can go a long way in lessening anxiety. According to Harvard University, the biggest reduction in anxiety is seen when people take 2,000mg a day of high-quality Omega 3s.
There are many factors when it comes to overcoming anxiety. At Natural Equestrians, we believe in a holistic approach to regaining confidence in horse riding.
At times the road may be long, but you can overcome it.
On The Road Again
There is no shame in needing time to recover. Equestrian sports come with risk. It is important to take the time to heal mentally, emotionally, and physically.
By seeking the proper help, whether horse help or health professional, you will be much more equipped to return to riding and regain confidence.
We hope you have learned some good strategies to help you overcome mental and emotional obstacles. Equestrians are a tough breed, and even though you may doubt yourself…you can overcome.
We truly hope you become freedom bound.
We hope to hear from you in the comments below.