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So far Alison Buttery has created 33 blog entries.

Limiting beliefs about riding


We all have things that we 100% believe to be true about ourselves, but how many are actually helpful to us? Limiting beliefs are those which constrain us in some way. Just by believing them, we do not think, do or say the things that they inhibit, and in doing so we impoverish our lives.  We may have beliefs about rights, duties, abilities, permissions and so on. Limiting beliefs are often about ourselves and our self-identity. The beliefs may also be about other people and the world in general.  So what limiting beliefs do you have? How do they impact your [...]

Limiting beliefs about riding2020-05-16T13:40:12+01:00

Stop beating yourself up!


That voice inside your head, yes the one that tells you that you’re not good enough? It’s lying to you.  That voice that asks you ‘why can’t you just do it?’. It’s lying to you.  That voice that watches other riders and says ‘You’ll never be able to ride like that’. It’s lying to you  That voice that tells you those people stood by the arena are saying to each other how badly you’re riding? It’s lying to you  That voice that says ‘you should be able to do this by now’. It’s lying to you  That voice that asks [...]

Stop beating yourself up!2020-05-16T13:35:23+01:00

Watch your language


How often do you say “I should ride” or “I should have done X, Y, Z”?   In my opinion, ‘should’ is one of the most tricky words we can use. By saying ‘should’ we instantly make ourselves feel inadequate, less that good enough and guilty. By using ‘should’ we basically telling our minds that we know what to do, but for some reason we’re not doing it, and therefore we’re not doing well enough. And that’s never a nice place to be is it?  The questions I want you to ask yourself is WHY should I? WHO says that I [...]

Watch your language2020-05-16T13:29:40+01:00

How to stop thinking ‘what if’ when riding your horse


Do you ever think ‘what if' when you're riding or about to get on board? What normally follows ‘what if? Well, depending on your perspective, common phrases include:  ‘What if I fall off?’  ‘What if he bucks?’  ‘What if he takes off with me?’  ‘What if I look like a fool?”  ‘What if he spooks at that plastic bag?’  [Insert your What it here!]  Most riders think ‘what if’ on a regular basis, and it can really undermine your confidence. By thinking ‘what if’, we’re directing our focus onto possible negative events. This does two things; firstly it makes us feel rubbish, [...]

How to stop thinking ‘what if’ when riding your horse2020-05-16T13:24:57+01:00

The Role of Fear for Riders


The root of the majority of rider confidence issues is fear.   Fear of failure  Fear of being judged  Fear of letting people down (or your horse!)  Fear of not being good enough  Fear of getting hurt  Fear of an unknown outcome  Fear of the worst case scenario  It has huge physiological and psychological effects.  Until you acknowledge that fear is underpinning your lack of confidence and can find exactly what it is that you’re afraid of, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to (re)build your confidence.   Fear is real. Fear is powerful. But fear can also be wrong. Fear can convince [...]

The Role of Fear for Riders2020-05-16T12:17:54+01:00

Set yourself up for riding success


All too often, I meet riders who lack self-belief and confidence, who have this bizarre drive to step so far out of their comfort zone that they’re either frozen with terror or become all gung-ho. It’s as if they are so desperate to overcome their fears that they jump in at the deep end and hope for the best, a strategy which at best is unlikely to give them the results they want, and at worst risks a nasty accident.  Taking action and challenging yourself is a huge part of overcoming your confidence crises, but to keep you and your [...]

Set yourself up for riding success2020-05-16T12:03:10+01:00

Get out of your own way


When we get stuck, it’s really easy to try and find coping mechanisms to make us feel better.   Finding less difficult things to do than the thing we’re stressed about. Procrastination is a common coping mechanism in all sorts of ways, for example spending so much time doing yard jobs or grooming your horse until he’s spotless rather than simply doing as much as necessary, tacking up and getting on board.   Maybe you can list many things you have to do first, before you can even begin to think about riding. Perhaps you fill your day with as many things [...]

Get out of your own way2020-05-16T12:34:35+01:00

Who’s in your team?


“We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with” Jim Rohn  As horse riders, it’s essential that we surround ourselves with people who support and challenge us to be the best we can be. All too often in the horse world, I come across people who are at best negative, and at worst actively vile. People like this can erode rider’s confidence in the shortest time, if you allow them to.  On the flip side, by connecting with people who genuinely have your best interests at heart, you will find yourself guided, supported and positively [...]

Who’s in your team?2020-05-16T12:10:50+01:00

Overcome anxiety about riding in front of other people


I know lots of riders who really struggle to ride their horses when other people are watching. Collecting rings can be the most intimidating places for riders!  My favourite advice in relation to this issue is ‘control the controllables’, which I think originated from Sir Clive Woodward, when he described his coaching ethos for the England Rugby team in preparation for the 2003 Rugby World Cup.   If you can keep reminding yourself to focus on and control ONLY those things that are under your control in any given situation, and let go of any thoughts/emotions around anything else, then you [...]

Overcome anxiety about riding in front of other people2020-05-16T11:55:39+01:00

Overcoming anxiety and overthinking around your riding


Are you an ‘overthinker’?   If you are, bet the niggly, negative voice in your head never shuts up. I bet it’s filled with a whole heap of ‘what ifs’, ‘shoulds’ and ‘can’t’. Maybe your mind is spinning with those hurtful thoughts like a washing machine on a spin cycle. I also bet that you feel stuck inside that spin cycle.  It can be utterly exhausting to be stuck with a mind full of negative, nasty thoughts which only serve to keep you miserable.   Just think how much more brain space you’d have if you could turn those awful voices off. [...]

Overcoming anxiety and overthinking around your riding2020-05-16T11:49:35+01:00