It’s the start of another year, a chance to re-set, re-assess, start anew if needs be. Ask yourself ‘what do I really want to achieve with my horse this year?’
Up to this point have you been feeling pressured to do things because other people say you ‘should’? Are you pressurising yourself because you feel a horse rider or owner ‘should’ do certain things with their horse otherwise they are a failure?
The first thing I want you to do is notice how may ‘shoulds’ you have in your thoughts around your horse. Should is a word associated with negative energy and feelings and the natural thing to do is resist. What I would then like you to do is decide what you want to do, not what you believe you should. Your horse doesn’t care, no really, your horse doesn’t care, he or she is too busy living in the moment.
Do you really want to ride? What is it you get enjoyment out of with your horse? Is it grooming, hanging out, playing at liberty, going for walks, riding out with friends, jumping, whatever it is become clear about it. Once you focus on what you enjoy, do more of it or figure out how you are going to make progress towards being able to do it if currently you are not confident enough. Owning a horse is a real privilege and I would love it if you do what makes you happy with your horse, whatever that may be.
Notice how you feel, many people have lost this ability; every decision they make is with their mind as though it is disconnected from their body. What does your heart want? What does your gut say? Switch off those busy thoughts and ask ‘how does my body react when I think of doing that with my horse?’ Now I am aware nerves or fear may be clouding the issue right now, just focus on how you would feel once you have all the confidence in the world doing whatever you want to.
Are you clear on what you want to achieve this year? How are you going to get there? Now make a practical plan of each baby step you need to move you towards your goal, the smaller the steps the more you will feel as though you are making progress quickly and be encouraged.
It’s your horse and your journey, enjoy the ride (pun intended).
To you and your confidence,
Caroline Andrews - Horse Rider Confidence Specialist