How long have you been riding? Two years? Twenty? Or maybe more? I have been riding, or working around horses for the past 35 years. That sounds crazy to me. I mean, when I think about myself, I feel around 30 years old. So having enough experience to say that I have been around horses in some way or another for 35 years is like, wow.
And over those many years, there have been so many up moments as well as down moments. And since having my horses at home with me for the past 15 years, I have had many instances where I wasn’t riding, even though I have had horses the entire time.
For whatever reason, there are times in our life where we may lose the passion and joy that horses originally brought to us. And if you are ever feeling that way, I wanted to give you some ideas to help you rekindle your riding passion.
Try Something New
A lot of times, our lives get really busy. So busy that we don’t think we have the time to try something new. Look at me for example. I am REALLY busy. I work full time, I spend around 2 hours a day commuting to and from work. I have a YouTube channel, blog, and Instagram account that I try really hard to stay active on. Then there’s the housework, and horse work that has to be done. I get it, we are busy.
But if you find yourself in a rut with your horse time, or don’t find it as exciting as you once did, maybe it’s time to make time to try something new. did just that when I started taking the Noelle Floyd Masterclasses.
I know I have talked about them a lot. But that’s because they are really helpful. Right now I am wrapping up the May Mindset Challenge. And I can honestly say, I have reset my mindset when it comes to riding.
I have given a few hours a week to watching the video lessons, and then I take what I have learned outside with me to the barn.
Even though it was only a week ago, I remember the first time getting into the saddle on Plezant since bringing him home. I took the skills I learned in the Masterclass put on by Dr. Jenny Susser. I can’t even describe the amount of Joy her class has given back to me.
Dedicate Some Time to Your Horse
This is best suited to happen over a set period of time. And to do this, you really need to take a picture of your horse, right now. Ok, maybe not right this second, but once you come up with your plan.
I am lucky enough that I did this the day I brought Plezant home.
I know, not the greatest picture. But I was so excited to have him finally home! So I am glad I captured a moment of him once he came home. And over the past 5 1/2 months, I have dedicated a LOT of time to him. Not necessarily riding or working with him, but caring for him. And all of this is with the goal of having a happy and long partnership with him. So I look at everything from his feed, to his turnout. I go slowly and work within his (and my own) comfort zone.
The point is to dedicate the time your horse needs to be the best that he (or she) can be. If you give them what they need, they will be able to perform their best for you.
And now back to my picture story. You saw the photo I took when I brought Plezant home. Now let’s compare that to how he looks almost 6 months later:
Pretty neat huh? I can see the difference, can you? And I was able to do this because I simply took a picture. And now I can compare, and look back and see how far he has come.
Live in the Present
We all have moments in our past that we tend to think about. Sometimes we even dwell on it. But those bad moments that we torture ourselves with can take the passion of our riding in an instant.
So stop living in the past, and start living in the present. Be present, in the present time with your horse. Sure, you may have had a bad ride last week. Or your horse freaked out at a car backfire. But that’s in the past. It’s not now. So make a promise to yourself (and your horse) that you will not live in the past. Each time you are with your horse only think about the right now. The past is over and tomorrow hasn’t happened yet. Keep your focus only on the right now, the present.
I am certain if you do, you will be well on your way to rekindling your riding passion.
Try A New Breathing Technique
Changing your breathing can have a huge impact. And my favorite breathing technique is something I learned while watching Dr. Susser’s Masterclass. It’s called Box Breathing. Have you heard of it? It’s really cool. And even better, it WORKS.
Are you wondering how to do it? Good, let me tell you. First you breathe in to the count of four, then hold it for a count of four, then exhale to a count of four, then hold it for a count of four. That’s it. Pretty simple right?
This is a wonderful exercise to do when you feel yourself getting tense, or having wandering thoughts. I promise, it does work.
I have another example for you. Before I climbed into the saddle on Plezant, I worked myself up to it over a couple of weeks. And when the big day came, I was really nervous. But instead of thinking about what could happen (that’s in the future) I focused on the moment, and did a few rounds of box breathing. A minute or two later, the fear was gone, and I was living in the moment.
Two minutes after that, I was sitting in the saddle and riding my horse. Talk about feeling joy and happiness!
Give Yourself Permission
One thing I think that is really important to keep in mind is to give yourself permission and allow yourself to have a moment of joy. It’s ok for YOU to have a moment for yourself. It’s ok for YOU to find your own happiness. Don’t think about what you have to do, or how you need to do things for everything else, except yourself.
So give yourself permission to have a moment of joy for yourself. It’s ok, you do deserve it!
Rekindling Your Riding Passion
If you ever find yourself struggling with looking forward to the time you have with your horse, maybe take a step back, and find a way to rekindle the passion you have had with your horse. It doesn’t necessarily need to be riding. It can be whatever gives you joy.
For myself, that is riding. And well, everything related to horses honestly. But there is just something so special, almost magical about riding. I love it!! And being able to reopen that passion, and joy is the best feeling in the world.