Starting with the basics in order to build confidence

Starting with the basics in order to build confidence

Starting with the basics in order to build confidence

What this episode is all about & how it can help you:-

  • Understanding the importance on being clear about what you want to achieve
  • Learn to rather aim for refinement than perfection
  • The power of choosing two exercises that you know you are able achieve
  • The importance of consistency when building confidence

Confidence is one of those big “buzz words” when it comes to riders and equestrians all over the world.  In this episode I want to go into how you can use a few basics in your riding to build your confidence every single day.

So, what is confidence?  I really think that confidence comes down to feeling capable about your own abilities in the saddle. 

A lot of people say that confidence is not feeling afraid and not feeling nervous.  I think that fear is a good thing, it keeps us alive!  However, sometimes we do have to rein it in a little, otherwise it can tend to run away with us.   I believe that if you feel capable in your ability to do something, while understanding and being aware of what may or may not go wrong – that is true confidence.

The added bonus of this is that when you feel capable, your horse picks up on that and is more likely to follow your lead.  My personal opinion is that we need to grow as riders each and every day, and that is why I would suggest you start building confidence in you own capabilities and in your own abilities.

Firstly you have to get really clear on what you want to make happen; both long term and short term.

A lot of riders, particularly those where confidence is a little bit of an issue, have no real clarity, and are kind of stuck at a certain point, and they don’t know what they want past that point.

There is no clarity around what they are looking for, why they want that and what doing that is going to get them, or how it will make them feel – and that is what it all comes down to – it’s all about feelings. 

I advise you to become REALLY clear on your goals, both long term and your goal for the end of each ride.  What would you like to be doing in 6 months time and what do you want to have achieved by the end of your next ride?  The answers to these questions are what you need to focus on. 

It is also important that what you want to do is actually what YOU want to do. 

Sometimes that is actually the issue in itself with the confidence – where people start to lose confidence in their own abilities because what they are doing is not aligned with what they want to do.  So get really clear on what YOU want to do, and then start aiming for that each and every time you get into the saddle.

The next important point is that rather than thinking about perfection, I want you to start thinking about refinement.

You can really work on refining your technique each time you ride.   This applies to everything – how you are feeling, the mood, your attitude, your performance.  Everything when it comes to riding.

A great way to do this is to work on the basics in the saddle.  If you have an idea of what you are looking for, I am sure there are lots of basic exercises which will allow you to work on just that.

Many riders make the mistake in over complicating things, but the basics – and particularly where confidence is concerned – can start off as simple as getting a nice transition between walk and halt.  It can even start off as simple as asking your horse to stand while you mount.  What is important is that you are working on refining it a little more, each and every time.

Finding two exercises that you know, with a little stretch, you can make happen.

I suggest that the exercises you choose should be as basic and simple as possible.  The point is that you should be able to ride them, and feel confident about riding them.

The key is to have a specific goal around the two exercises; they are related in some way.

The exercises should be basic enough that they allow you to focus on really refining your aids and your communication with your horse.  Improving, and later mastering, those basics will build your confidence in your capabilities, which will give you the confidence later to increase the level of difficultly

Finally; rinse and repeat – consistency is everything.

There is no point in going out and being so focused, and diligent in what you are doing one day if you are not going to follow it up the next day  – and the day after that…

In order to build a solid rapport with your horse, you must be consistent in how you ‘do’ things in the saddle. Inconsistency will not only damage your relationship with your horse, but it will also reduce your confidence in yourself.  

Working on the basics is a perfect way to develop your physical mental and emotional strength, which is essential for all riders in moments where things don’t go to plan.  Confidence is being able to handle yourself in those moments…

Happy Riding


Links mentioned in the episode:-

Other resources that will help you to dive deeper into this topic:-

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