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 as possible, so you ‘can’t find the time to ride’.  

Maybe it’s easier to catch up with your yard buddies and ‘run out of time’, than take the first step to riding. 

It could be that your coping mechanism is to tell yourself that you’re not fit enough to ride at the moment, or that there’s no point in just getting on your horse once as you won’t have time the rest of the week, or that it’s too hot / cold / windy / rainy or that there are too many flies /dog walkers / cars / cows / [insert your story].  

Perhaps your story is one of emotions; I just can’t do it / there are too many people watching and they’ll talk about me / I’ll wait until I’m feeling less anxious / I’m not in the mood today / I’m so stressed, I’ve got so much going on at the moment / [insert your thoughts]  

Now I’m not saying that there will be genuine times when you simply can’t and shouldn’t ride, but I can assure you that there are many more opportunities that you could do something with your horse, and in doing so you start to feel better. And when you feel better about something, however small, you want to do it more often. And then you start to make progress and see results.  

But if you never take that first tiny step, you never give yourself the chance to find the joy in doing something you love.  

Get out of your own way, take a big deep breath, and do something to make a start riding positively. 

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