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 can start to overcome this particular mindset gremlin. 

Things you CAN control: 

  • Your thoughts 
  • Your emotions 
  • Your actions 
  • Your horse 
  • Your training and preparation 
  • How you ride your horse 
  • The process you follow 

Things you cannot control: 

  • Whether other people are present 
  • The weather 
  • Facilities at the venue 
  • Other horses in the collecting ring 
  • The outcome of a competition 
  • Other people’s opinions & actions 

If you are worrying about other people while you’re riding, you are wasting time, energy and effort. You can choose to redirect that focus onto things that you can actually influence! 

Be mindful of your thoughts and commit to not getting distracted by all of the things you cannot control or influence.  

Find out how you can build your riding confidence & create a positive mindset below:

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