As freelance coach, I go to a lot of yards, and speak to an awful lot of riders, and there’s one thing that I hear repeatedly… people’s stories of how horrendous a fall/spook/incident was. Stories are told and retold. Other liveries embellish and describe events in great detail. Injured parties share their videos and photos on social media, full of the horror of an accident.

We all love a juicy story, let’s be honest, however horse people seem to be particularly good at reliving an event in the biggest best multicoloured way!

But think about it, how is this helpful? Riders often do this without even thinking, and while they’re high on adrenaline, details get added and more meaning given to them.

So what issues can this cause?

  • The rider can get more attention by retelling the story
  • People around him/her can take on worries associated with the event
  • The rider starts to attach more strong emotions to the event
  • Other people start advising with their interpretation and bias
  • The rider starts to lose confidence

That’s not fun is it?! By reliving something traumatic over and over, we simply embed it deeper into our unconscious minds, where we start to have blocks and limitations in what we can and can’t do with our horses. Often, confidence disappears.

The rider has ‘created a monster’.

So how can we stop this from happening?

  • Don’t keep rehashing the event to everyone who will listen
  • Don’t keep watching videos of the event
  • Don’t share a vivid description on social media
  • You could write out your thoughts into a personal journal, then at a later date read it back and reframe the incident
  • If other people start to tell you the gory details of an event, don’t listen or move away

How can you reframe the event more positively?

  • What can you learn (constructively!) from the incident?
  • How can you use this relevant learning to improve your riding or horse management?
  • How will the event help you to become a better rider?
  • How can you describe the event positively?
  • What mental or physical skills have you developed as a result of the event?
  • What practical steps will you take to help rebuild the rapport with your horse and/or develop your mental and physical skills to keep you on track to achieve your goals?
  • What is the broader context of the event? In the grand scheme of things, events do not have meanings… only the meanings we give them…

We’re all a bit guilty of creating monsters in our riding, particularly if we have been injured, but from the point of view of maintaining a positive, balanced mindset, work on your self-awareness and be disciplined in not doing it!

If you’d like to find out more about how to manage your mindset around riding or to build your confidence, check out my Rider Mindset & Confidence Workshops happening in the New Year:

Saturday 18th January 2020 – Goal Setting for Riders
Saturday 15th February 2020 – Overcome Anxiety & Nerves
Saturday 21st March 2020 – Resilience & Positive Mindset

Click HERE to find out details of these workshops

I also offer 1-1 Rider Confidence sessions, via Skype/Facetime/Zoom, which means that you don’t have to live in the East Midlands to get support! We can work together to help you rebuild your riding confidence and manage those mindset gremlins that stop you from having fun with your horse! I have some limited availability for January and February 2020, so click HERE to find out more.