One of my favourite confidence-building techniques is to ride ‘as if’ you are a fully competent, confident rider. Pick a professional/elite rider that you admire, and step into their shoes. What do they see, hear and feel when they ride? What thoughts do they have while riding? What emotions do they feel? What actions do they take? Spend some time visualising and experiencing the full spectrum of vision, sound and feelings as if you ARE that rider. Prepare yourself by asking ‘how would he/she deal with my horse when he/she does X?’ What would that look, sound and feel like [...]
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So far Alison Buttery has created 35 blog entries.
Focus is one of my favourite things! It offers motivation, removes distractions and increases awareness in any given moment. Many riders who lack confidence have their focus trained on the wrong things, often external factors that simply can’t be controlled! When you’re riding, consider the difference between these two states: State A - While I’m riding, I’m focussing on: The wind and how it’s making my horse tense and spooky, he’ll spin & I’ll fall off That flapping plastic bag in the hedge, he’s bound to leap in the air Those cows in the next field, who look like they’re going to run [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
“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 [...]