What is Stopping You From Riding More? Part 2

What is Stopping You From Riding More? Part 2

What is Stopping You From Riding More? Part 2

So many riders ‘say’ they want to ride more.  But making it happen is an entirely different matter altogether.  Identifying why you are not riding more is key to overcoming this.  And by ‘identifying’ I mean going deeper than those initial reasons or excuses that simply scratch the surface.
This is Part 2 of exploring this topic for you and your riding. If you have not already, make sure you go back HERE and listen to Part 1, which is focused more on external factors.  In today’s episode, we will dive into more specific internal factors that may be causing you to complain that you’re just not riding anymore…

 1. Wrong Horse & Rider Combination

This can be a tough one to admit to.  And then, once you have admitted it, taking action can feel mentally and emotionally uncomfortable for many riders. I think we often become conditioned to believe that if we create a partnership with a specific horse, that partnership must last forever.  We have all come across the term ‘forever horse’.
However, if we think about relationships, partnerships, and friendships that we have with other people in our lives, we will see that only the rare few will truly last a lifetime. The majority will work for a period of time until either one of the people or the circumstance changes.  And we are, for the most part, okay with that happening.
Often intentionally allowing a particular relationship to change and breakdown is a good thing as it creates space for someone new and more aligned with present-day you to enter the picture.
If you have become aware of a lack of alignment between yourself and your horse, and it’s begun to prevent you from getting into the saddle and riding, maybe it’s time to reassess the partnership.
This does not have to always mean ‘selling’ your horse. However, by acknowledging this and then actively looking for more suitable partners for both of you, things can begin to move forward for both of you again. Both in the training and simply riding as well.

 2. Lack of Confidence

When new riders join the Daily Strides Podcast Online Community, I ask them a few simple questions – just so that I can get the lay of the land and where they are at in their riding. One of the questions is about naming the biggest challenge currently in their riding.  Hands down, ‘lack of confidence’ is the biggest issue.  And while I sometimes feel that this is more of a symptom pointing to the above point, about ‘wrong horse and rider combination’.  I also see that it can also have its roots elsewhere…
In the previous episode, Why Are You Not Riding – Part 1, I touched on facilities often being a factor.  I mentioned the challenge of having arenas that are too large or too small.  And if your horse is at a boarding yard or barn, often the majority of riders who will be at the farm will suit the arena.
When we are talking about the arenas being too large and open for you to feel confident and safe, the constant presence of riders who are further along in their riding journey can begin to erode your confidence.
Acknowledging that you are struggling with confidence is a key step.  From there, begin looking at how you can better support yourself and your horse to overcome this and move forward in your riding.

 3. Boredom or Repetative

This is the reason I initially started Strides for Success and, specifically, Daily Strides Premium.  I was seeing and hearing from riders who simply had no idea how to keep things interesting day in and day out with their horses. Having a coach or trainer in the arena working with you will 100% keep things interesting.  However, the vast majority of riders do not have access to this – and especially every single time they mount up!
   Which opens the door to a whole host of other challenges and problems down the road!
This is where planning becomes so essential in your day-to-day riding.  When you have a goal that inspires you and you then take the time to step it out, ride by ride, it will help to keep you both motivated and inspired.  And you and your horse will learn things along the way as well. If this is something you’re struggling with, make sure you check out Daily Strides Premium.

 4. Lack of Progress – Hit a Plateau

There is always this wonderful sense of achievement when you reach a point in your riding that you have been working towards for some time.  Maybe it’s clean canter transitions.  Or riding for 5km on the trail without anyone else accompanying you.  However, once you and your horse settle into this ‘new normal’, the novelty will soon begin to wear off… And, again, boredom can set in!
Plateaus in your progress and training are great in the short term.  It allows you both to rest a little, regroup, and ‘calibrate’ the new training or achievement into the rest of your skills and communication.
The problems start when you become a little too comfortable and stay there, on the plateau, for too long… And, for the most part, this is because you are not willing to change, let go of, or begin something different or new. 
In order for you to begin ‘climbing’ again, you will have to choose something to work on and change. And accept that as you are working on this, the ‘climb’ will often be uncomfortable.  But you can rest again when you reach the new plateau…

 5. Nothing to Work Towards

This leads me to the final reason I think riders are not riding when they say that they want to.  They have absolutely nothing to work towards! If you have found yourself thinking “I don’t know what to do”, or “It all feels the same, every ride”, of course you are not going to bother pushing on through and getting out there into the saddle.  Why would you?! There is nothing at all to motivate or inspire you.
I think riders can often fall into the trap of thinking that goals or outcomes in riding must be competition-related.  And, maybe not having any desire to compete, they then feel a little flat when it comes to actually creating a goal for their riding…
Goals can be so, so much more.  They can have to do with building and developing trust.  Riding with friends.  Going on holidays with your horse to participate in riding trails, attending a clinic, or taking part in a riding workshop. A goal can be groundwork-related or lunging-related.  It can also be long-line related.
The sky is the limit when it comes to finding something that you and your horse can get excited about and then begin to work towards.
If you need help making riding a reoccurring activity in your life again, make sure you check out Returning to Riding; a way that we can work together to get you back in the saddle and back on track to enjoy horse riding again.
Happy Riding

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