How do you get rid of horse-riding anxiety?

Fill yourself up with courage!  This sounds so simple and yet, it can be so complex.  It is the only way I know to get rid of horse-riding anxiety.


These three hints, get your anxiety calmed down and your courage ramped up.  


The first is to look back through all your rides and pick the memories of the best ones.  See if you can put yourself back to that day, fill yourself up with those feelings from that day.  Soak up those amazing feelings and remember as many details as you can.  Now, for the really cool thing, when you can really FEEL that day, Picture yourself, closing your hand around the reins and feel that feeling into your closed hand.  Practice this, over and over.  Close your hand, feel the feeling.  This is known as Anchoring, or at least, the way I do anchoring.  Then when you are riding, and close your hand on the rein, you can feel that feeling from the joyous day.


The second thing is breathing and most importantly, exhaling. This is a great one to practice any time you are feeling your anxiety start to rise.  Exhale, as far as you can exhale and as slow as you can exhale. Then take a big breath in through your nose and repeat a long slow exhale.  So many times, when we start feeling anxiety, we hold our breath, or take shallow breaths and the best thing we can do is exhale.  Singing is GREAT for a long exhale.  Sing as much as you can before breathing in.


The third thing I love to do is preparation.  Figure out something you can do to "Simulate" that scary ride that gives you anxiety.  I love riding a known trail around my pasture, and I prep it with scary things that I know are there.  Plastic bags tied in a tree, pieces of hose laid out like a snake, or a rubber snake, a beach ball placed right around a blind corner.  You can move these things around and practice with your horse to look ahead, ignore the scary things and keep your focus on the horizon.  You can practice bringing back the anchored feelings with closing your hand on the reins.  You can practice the breathing and/or singing.


These three things have given me so much confidence and the ability to practice my confidence.

If you have enjoyed this blog, I have a free guide that goes into more depth.  Check it out!


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