What stops riders from getting back in the saddle after a break? Returning to riding. I mean, if it was as easy as simply mounting up, everyone would do it, right? And yet, everyone doesn’t.
In fact, so many riders sit on the sidelines of their proverbial horse-riding dream, forever wishing and waiting for the day to arrive when they will mount back up again. But that day, for many, never arrives.
And for those who somehow do make it happen, the ‘return’ is often short-lived. A few initial rides. All motivation and inspiration. Rah rah excitement… Only for the whole dream to fizzle and burn out before it ever really got started.
Getting back in the saddle after a break can seem daunting. However, understanding what’s blocking you and why can often highlight the way for riders to not only get started but to keep at it as well.
Having No Space
It’s funny how, as soon as you create ‘space’ in your day or your schedule, it gets filled up immediately with other stuff! This is due to a combination of being in the present and doing what you want to do, life happening, and the never-ending to-do list. However, for many lapsed riders, this can become the reason they struggle to get back into the saddle.
The ‘space’ that riding used to occupy in your schedule or timetable is now filled with other activities, responsibilities, and commitments.
And having to say no to these things to begin creating the space once again can feel uncomfortable. So it never gets done! Life goes on, time continues to pass, and you never find the time to get back to doing something you once loved – and now yearn to do again.
Things are Different
Circumstances will change. You are not the same person today that you were yesterday. Change is inevitable. And yet, when we think about doing something we used to do, we are often afraid of those changes and how they will impact the experience.
Things will be different when you’re getting back to riding after a break. It could be the yard, the horse, the instructor, or your jodhpur size… You’re different.
However, just because the circumstances have changed, doesn’t mean that you can’t have equally as fulfilling experiences riding this time around. If this hits close to home, I am going to suggest really thinking about what makes you uncomfortable when you think about getting back in the saddle. Identifying this can help you to really question how valid a fear it is…
So we have said that things change. But for many ex-riders, it is the changes within their own bodies that hold them back from riding again. Whether it be that they are 30 years older now. Maybe there are health challenges. Or perhaps it’s lack of fitness or weight gain… Knowing, as you do, how physically taxing riding can be on the rider’s body can cause all of these circumstances to seem like a huge roadblock.
Becoming older or less fit and supple can cause us to question our own abilities. Why not turn the question around and ask ‘How can I make horse riding work for this current version of me?’
The irony of this particular challenge is that, very often, horse riding will actually become a catalyst for beginning to dedicate more time, care, and attention to your body. And while you will never be the same person you were when you first became a rider, you can begin to live more comfortably within the current body that you have.
Getting Back in the Saddle After a Break
I think that the key takeaway here is that things have changed. And when you eventually do (and I have all the faith in the world that you will ‘do’) get back in the saddle, things will be different.
The horse may have changed. Maybe the yard or barn as well. And you will have changed. So why can’t the actual ‘horse riding’ change too?
Rather than seeing getting back in the saddle after a break as being a challenge; why not see it as an opportunity? An opportunity for you to reimagine what horse riding is for you at this point in your life.
Why not try a different discipline? A different style of riding even? And what’s to say you have to begin with riding at all; perhaps you will discover a love for groundwork or lunging. Natural horsemanship or therapy with horses.
If you have been thinking about getting back in the saddle after a break, I am going to urge you to stop thinking and take action on that desire… https://returningtoriding.com
Other Resources& Posts About This Topic:-
- The Returning to Riding Program – More Information
- Returning to Riding – Step by Step
- Returning to Riding – Great Expectations
- Returning to Riding – Choosing Your Mindset
- The Daily Strides Podcast
- The Free Group filled with other like-minded riders
- Lunging for Riding -success in just 10 minutes or less each day
- Groundwork for Riding – Successfully Take the Conversation from the Ground into the Saddle