To be a good leader we need to be calm and focused on what we are doing. An easily distracted or overly emotional leader is not what a horse wants. One of the ways to overcome this is to focus. Even when your horse gets distracted you remain calm and focused on the task at hand.
When confidence is a challenge focusing gives you something to think about other than being anxious, it keeps you in the moment. I suggest picking ‘short term’ things to focus on, for example, when in the school think about getting to each letter and halting, taking it one letter at a time or focus on a 10m circle in each corner and keep focused on it until you successfully achieve it. The same can apply out hacking, be looking for things you can focus on (and no, not things you think are ‘scary’), like the next fence post and aim to ask for a transition or lateral move at that point. Then pick the next thing to focus on and decide what you will do when you reach that and so on. Keep the focus point close and the action simple until you feel more confident.
Play with focus until you are so good at it your horse does what you want without you seemingly doing anything, your horse will simply ‘feel’ your focus and intent.
To you and your confidence,
Caroline Andrews - Horse Rider Confidence Specialist