How well do you ‘bounce back’ when things do go to plan? How resilient are you? Owning and riding horses can be an endless roller coaster of amazing highs and lows, which can be difficult to navigate at the best of times.
Resilient riders show some key skills which help them to build and maintain a positive, hopeful and empowered approach to life, so that they can overcome the inevitable obstacles that we all face from time to time. Here are 3 key secrets of truly resilient riders:
Resilient and mentally tough riders know that s**t happens. Things go wrong. Things don’t go to plan. We make mistakes. Our horses make mistakes. Life gets in the way and causes us to adjust. That’s not to say that riders go out of their way to find difficult situations, rather they accept that life isn’t perfect, and bad things sometimes happen and things go wrong. It’s not personal, and there’s no blame involved (for ourselves or others), it’s just a part of life and riding/owning horses.
Resilient riders know that in any given moment, they can choose to direct where their attention goes. Resilient riders can realistically and objectively appraise and situation, and choose to focus on things that are under their control and can change, rather than those things that are outside of their control, or those things that they cannot change. Resilient riders have worked out a way, consciously or unconsciously, to tune into the positives, the opportunities and the possibilities available to them in the present moment. They choose to recognise and accept the negatives, but they are not overwhelmed by them. They go ‘hunting’ for the good things in any situation; they make an intentional, deliberate and ongoing effort to find the positives, however big or small, to help them overcome the obstacles they are facing.
Resilient riders are able to ask themselves, “Is what I’m doing helping or harming me?”. Another version of this question might include “Is what I’m thinking, feeling or doing helping or harming me?”. These questions put you back in the driving seat, they empower you to develop your resilience and take responsibility for your beliefs, thoughts, emotions and actions.
Resilience isn’t a fixed trait, it’s not something that some people have and others don’t. Resilience is a skill that can be learnt and practiced.
So if you’ve ever found yourself saying “There’s no way I’m coming back from this”, then you can use these strategies and others to help you find a way forward again, from whatever your starting point might be.
Click HERE if you’d like to learn how to build your resilience around riding and horse ownership.