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Horsewomen I work with list lack of confidence as the biggest barrier to achieving their dreams.
Whether your lack of confidence is caused by an accident, a change in life circumstances (like becoming a mother!), or simply the realization that you are not immortal and don't bounce like you used to, the result is the same.
Horse activities that were once your dream, your passion, are no longer fun. Instead you might experience sweaty palms, upset stomach, shortness of breath, intense fear and anxiety. For some horsewomen it becomes so terrible that they no longer want to ride.
You may have been told to just get over it, and get back on the horse. Or that all fear is caused by a lack of knowledge, so to fix it you just need to take more lessons. You may have even tried many different things to get your confidence back, but nothing seems to help.
If this is you, don't despair. It doesn't have to be this way!
It’s cold. The snow is falling, the wind is blowing, and the tractor won’t start. After you have finally finished thawing out frozen water tanks and struggling to feed hay, let’s be honest-you are too exhausted to even consider riding.
You start to feel guilty. That inner critic voice starts chiming in-how are you supposed to be ready for competitions this spring if you don’t practice consistently? Your horse will get fat and out of shape if you don’t ride. How are you supposed to achieve your goals and improve your horsemanship if you don’t put in the effort and ride?
Let’s put an end to that nagging voice, and show yourself some self-compassion.
The reality is that some days you simply can’t ride. Whether the weather makes it unsafe to ride, you are simply too tired from other obligations, or maybe you or your horse are even experiencing a lay off to recover from injury-whatever the reason, it is ok.
There are still things that you can do on days when you can’t ride to keep moving forward towards your horsemanship goals. One of the simplest and easiest is to practice the mental skill of visualization.
“Oh Chevy, you don’t understand. Your husband is a horseman. He gets the horse thing, and supports your riding.”
This comment from a client recently had my head spinning.
Mostly because she was right. I do have trouble relating to partners that don’t “get” the horse thing.
My husband rides, and he is pretty punchy. He likes his horses hot, and he likes to ride fast. Confidence is not an issue for him! He understands the amount of time, blood, sweat, tears, and $$ it takes to make a good, safe horse. While he doesn’t show, he understands it and gets that it is important to me.