Let The Challenge Begin
Well here we are, day 1 of a 30 day challenge to help us all become more confident while riding our horses! And I have been working on this challenge for a while now. I have had it in my head for over a year. And I thought that maybe if I was struggling with my confidence, I bet there are others out there like me going through the same struggle.
I have always loved horses. And I have had horses in my life for the past 30 years. And while I was fearless with horses during my younger years, as I have aged I have allowed fear and doubt to creep into my mind. I would always find myself thinking about what could go wrong, instead of what could go right. And if something happened, like a fall or a bolt, well that just sunk my confidence.
And then one day I decided I was done with the fear. I was done with my self doubt and I was going not only be a better rider, but I was going to have the confidence to do what I wanted to do with my horses. Of course I decided this in the middle of winter when I really couldn’t be riding, so I worked around that and began to take professional lessons. I also spent as much time researching horse training as I could in order to work with my horses. I read books and took a few classes online to help me overcome the fear that had been hindering my riding.
When it comes to fear, you have to overcome it, on your own terms. But to do this you need to determine why you are fearful. And you have to realize that fear is an emotion, but it is an emotion that also can manifest physical symptoms like holding your breath, or breathing really fast. It can cause stomach upset, like nausea, and even headaches. When we get fearful, we experience physical things that happen.
So in order to overcome that fear, we have to recognize the symptoms we experience so we can overcome the fear. And one way that we conquer our fear is to face it and overcome it.
For example, if you are fearful of riding, thing about what are you afraid of. If you are afraid of cantering, why are you afraid? Typically when we are fearful, we think of the absolute worse thing that could possibly happen. Will that worst thing happen when you canter on your horse? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean we won’t think about it.
I can get all clinical psychologist on you and explain how to get past it, but in reality the best thing that I have found to help me overcome my fear is to face it, but do it in stages. Like baby step myself to the biggest fear. I use the example of cantering, because that was my biggest fear, and I was able to overcome that fear. And you know what I found out? I really enjoy cantering! And now that the fear of cantering is gone, I can baby step my way to me next challenge. Did you notice I said challenge, instead of fear?
Because I realized it really isn’t a fear any longer. It is just another challenge for me that I need to work through to get to the next challenge.
Facing Your Fear
So your challenge for today is to decide on what you fear the most when it comes to your horse. And get as specific as you can. Then I want you to list out why you are afraid of this certain task. And think about why you are afraid. Right these things down so you can look at your reasons.
Now read through your reasons and ask yourself if any of those things could happen. And of they could, would they all happen? I would be willing to guess they would not.
And now, I want you to think about how you are going to face that fear. Think about the things you enjoy doing with your horse. Think about the things you are good at with your horse. Now if you are willing to give 30 days to this challenge, I am confident that you will be a more confident rider. And I am also confident that you will have a renewed joy and passion for your horse and the time you have with your horse.
Commit To The Challenge
If you want to overcome your fears in your riding, join the challenge! For the next 30 days, I will be offering you a challenge to do something with your horse. It won’t be easy, but it will be fun! And if you can commit to just 30 days your riding will improve as will your level of confidence.
And to get started, download the calendar so you will have an idea of what we will be doing every day on the challenge. I will be doing this right along with you, using my horse Ethan. And if you want to see how he progresses (and me) be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, The Budget Equestrian. Every single day I will show you the daily challenge in a video. Sometimes it makes it easier to someone else doing it, which is why I made a video to go along with each day.
The challenge starts with a lot of ground work and will progress to getting in the saddle. I decided to make this challenge to help other who may have lost their own confidence with their horse. And I have learned the secret to confidence, which I will share with you in the challenge.
So today, allot 15 minutes to your horse. Spend just 15 minutes with him. It can be in the barn, in his pasture, or even in the cross ties. But just spend some time with your horse. You can run your hands over him, or a brush, but no riding. I want you to look at your horse, and just admire how incredible he (or she) really is. This animal that you are lucky enough to call your own trusts you enough to allow you to spend this time with him. Even if he may be a raving lunatic at times, right now he is quiet and there, or you. Think about how luck you are, and also how lucky he is to have you in his life.
And be sure to come back tomorrow for day 2 of the confident rider challenge!