When you love riding, it’s hard when things aren’t going so well. The exercise and social aspect of riding – as well as the bond with your horse – can be a real boost to your mental wellbeing.
But when things go wrong – whether your competition scores are not what you’d hoped, your horse is out of action, or you’re frustrated by some other aspect of horse ownership or riding – there are ways to deal with it.
Create a Plan
If you are feeling negative, try to have a clear plan about something positive you can do. If you can’t get out on your horse, go for a walk, or perhaps give your tack room a clearout. As long as you end up with a positive outcome, this will help.
And stick to a routine – if you always go to your horse at a certain time, stick to that, even if you can’t get them ready to ride. The brain responds positively to the consistency.
Positive thinking can help too – at the end of each day, reflect back on any wins or successes – however small. Ending your day with a positive thought will set you up better for the following morning.
You can also set small daily goals – it’s hard when things are out of your control (such as when your horse is injured and you just have to wait for him or her to get better) – but by concentrating on the things you can control, your mindset will be improved.
This is so important for us here at Remus – when we have sick or injured horses brought in, it would be easy to feel negative, but we have to look for the small positives every day, so that we can feel optimistic about the future.
This excellent article by sports psychologist Charlie Unwin offers more techniques to help you…