Rider Confidence Part 3 - Don’t Push Yourself (or your Horse) too far!! 😬

In the first blog in my Rider Confidence series 5 Keys to Building Your Riding Confidence I looked at some key things you can do to boost your confidence levels with your horse. One of these was the topic of last weeks blog on Why groundwork is essential to building your riding confidence. 


So this week I’d like to move on to not pushing yourself or your horse too far.


For this blog mostly I’m going to concentrate on you, the rider...


We often talk about horses being prey animals and their flight instincts but what about the other half of this partnership - the rider?


Why is fear there in the first place? Why are you frightened? What’s the purpose? Well there’s a great saying (no idea who said it), ‘Your brain is there to keep you safe, not happy!’


In my experience there is usually a good reason that someone feels fearful, it’s not silly and it’s not something to be ignored or ‘just gotten over’. Fear is usually there for a reason. Your brain is trying to tell you that something isn’t right or needs to be paid attention to 🧐


If you ignore fear and try to carry on anyway, your brain has a mechanism to go ‘hey, you’re not listening’ and that’s to put even more fear there!! So in actual fact by getting on and doing it anyway you are not getting more confident you are actually making things worse!! 🤯


So what to do? 🤔


Firstly, I take a look at the horse and work out what’s causing the riders fear. Like a say, usually there is a good reason for it. Maybe the horse is spooky, in which case we can work on some strategies on the ground to help build the horses confidence. Maybe the horse is unbalanced and as he gets faster he runs off 🐎 so we can work on his balance at slower gaits until he’s stronger.