Whether you are new to the equine world and trying out some riding lessons for the first time or are an experienced rider who is keen to compete, everyone feels nervous to some extent. It is incredibly common to underestimate your ability, holding back from bettering your skills as self-doubt creeps in or the fear of failure overtakes the ambitious side.
Riding is supposed to be an enjoyment, creating an unbeatable bond between you and your horse and being a great way to take your mind off a busy day, so make the feelings of anxiety a feeling of the past. It’s time to swap out the turnout rugs, dust off your riding boots, and get yourself out there, so follow our 5 top tips to bring back your riding excitement.
1. Set yourself a goal
As with many things in life, knowing where you want to be is the first step in the right direction. Set yourself an end goal and work out how you need to get there, breaking the process down into manageable steps. By being able to tackle the challenge one small part at a time, the whole situation will suddenly become less intimidating and leave you able to tackle it with newfound confidence.
2. Never stop learning
Of course, there are always bound to be people out there who are better than you, but this should never be a deterrent as there are also many people who look at you in the same way. Instead of feeling intimidated by these figures, make use of their knowledge and use them to grow. Whether you watch them in action, read about the topic online or speak to professionals directly, soak up the knowledge around you.
3. Failure is okay
We’re not going to succeed at each and everything we do, so use these obstacles as a learning curve. You won’t know until you try, so give it your best shot and if it doesn’t work out, then you know where you went wrong for next time. Keep a track of any new activities you try and note down what you need to do to improve, learning as you go.
4. Take the right precautions
As you are riding, the safety of yourself and your horse is a number one priority. You should always have the necessary safety equipment to keep you both protected from harm and minimize the chance of anything going wrong. From your certified helmet to an emergency satellite phone, not only will you minimize risk, but you will naturally feel more confident knowing that you are prepared.
5. Know your horse
Every horse is different, so build up that all-important connection and pay attention to their personality. The more you educate yourself on their behavior, the more you will be able to adapt to this and even use it to your advantage. Making the most of their strengths as you establish your riding style.
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