Does Rider Confidence help Horse Confidence?
It was a warm day, riding along, enjoying our horses, when all of a sudden, a hot air balloon comes up over the horizon.  It is about 50 feet from us and is loud.  I had no idea how loud a balloon can be when they are heating the air.  I jumped at the sight of the balloon!  My horse and I panicked and ran the other direction.  This was a case where my fear definitely contributed to the horse's fear!  It took both of us a while to calm our heart rate and for me to stop shaking.  

Let's look at this from hindsight and what I know now.

After attending a police clinic training, I don't think I would have panicked.  My horse still might have, but I don't think I would have.  The first thing they talked about, was focusing on where you are going, about a hundred feet ahead of you and ride to that spot.  At about the 50 foot mark, adjust your focus out to 100 feet again and repeat.  I think by focusing on where you are heading, your horse has confidence in you as a leader that you know where you are going.  I have started playing "I spy" with my horses and it is really fun and helps me focus.

I believe that if I had been focusing that day, and not just dilly dallying around, we would not have spooked.  So, if my fear contributes to a horses fear, I am going to also say, that my confidence builds confidence in the horse and the horse's confidence in me as leader.  For horses, the leader is who keeps them from dying, keeps them safe.  It is that way for us too, but we may not recognize it.

Does Rider Confidence help Horse Confidence? I would say yes, it really does help.

If you have enjoyed this and would like a few tips on how I built my confidence, check out my 3 Ways to Build Courage with Your Horse!


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