How to Battle a Fear of Horse-Riding

November 26, 2018 4 min read

This week, we are sharing a guest-written article by a talented writer, Olivia. Enjoy!
Fear can be a result of many things. It can be a result of something new and exciting or something you haven’t tried yet. Naturally, you are expecting and possibly stressing over the outcome. Or, it can be a result of something you have already done that had scared you in the past. However, no matter how big the fear is, there is always a way to overcome it, and chase away those toxic thoughts that are doing nothing but stopping you. If you have yet to jump on the saddle because you’re feeling fearful, then, no worries, you are not alone. Horse-riding is one of many hobbies that often start with fear, but definitely don’t end with it. Many find fear behind hobbies similar to this one, and it all comes as a result of the adventure and unique experiences such hobbies offer. By following these five tips, you will notice how your fear slowly but surely transforms into confidence while on your horse riding adventure.

Share Experiences with a Horse-Riding Professional

fear of riding horsesOne of the main ways to discard your fear of riding is to actually ask someone who has had some experience with it. Horse-riding professionals will share their stories with you, share tips on how they personally overcame their fear, what worked and what didn’t. No one can help you more than someone who truly understands what you are experiencing, so naturally, you want to look for a professional. Still, one trick can work for one person and completely fail the next one, so don’t rely too much on the experiences others share. What you should be doing is focusing on is their persistence and the evidence that such courage and persistence can make you an expert horse rider without any fear. Fun Fact: Horses have close to 360-degree all-around vision.

Focus on Improving Your Skills

You have probably already thought of this one. It is obvious, and that’s what makes it work. Actually being better at riding lowers the percent of the chance that something bad will happen. It is the same as any other fear – facing it makes everything better! So, instead of focusing on all the things that might go wrong, aim your focus on improving achieved through daily practice. Lots of people eventually lose their fear of riding, by actually riding! The more you practice, the more you understand riding as a sport and an idea. And with knowledge, you can beat your fears. Fun Fact: A study has proven that horses actually feel their riders fear, and sadly, they absorb it and feel self-conscious and fearful themselves.

Know That Your Horse is a Major Factor

The horse that you are riding has a major influence on your confidence and fear level. Making sure you feel safe and comfortable with your horse is vital. Sometimes it’s all in the energy you get and feel, which in this case comes from your horse. Don’t be scared to trade your horse for one that makes you feel calmer and safer. The overall behavior of your horse and its reactions can infuse more fear in you, even if you didn’t think so in the beginning. And that is totally normal, not every horse is for you, and vice versa. So next time, instead of just thinking something in you is wrong, consider changing your horse, maybe the problem will be solved by just finding peace in riding the right one. Fun Fact: Horses never rest together at the same time. They make sure one of them is up and alert, looking out for the others and making sure there is no danger ahead.

Mental Preparation

Practice calmness and deep breathing – it will help with the stress. Before anything else, make sure you have your thoughts settled together, and that you are calm and mindful. This kind of state will help you focus on what really scares you if there is anything in particular. In a lot of cases, the fear is just in the rider’s head. To truly reveal your talent, skills, and technique, try some relaxation techniques to get rid of the stress and the tension. It is very often in life that everyday stress can affect the remaining activities, which in this case is horse riding. Mental preparation doesn’t necessarily have to mean deep breathing and calming down before practice. For better results, do the same at home. Listen to calming music, focus on breathing and muscle contraction. One thing that has been proven to help is meditation. Fun Fact: Horses can lock their muscles. That explains why they often sleep standing up. Learn about muscle elasticity here.

Focus on Your Progress, Not On What Scares You

What you put your focus on is one crucial point of you getting over your fear. How do you expect to feel better if the only thing you do about it is focus on what made you feel scared in the first place? Informing yourself of what might go wrong is a smart move, but don’t be afraid of it. No progress can be made without things going wrong, but being aware of them should only make you more prepared, not more scared. No journey consists of only ups and progress, and what you should keep in mind is that failure is not your enemy, but the very opposite. Learn from your experiences and use them in practice. That’s how professionals are created. Fun Fact: Horses have one leg shorter than the others. The side of that leg is the side where horses fall the most. In conclusion, fear is just an imaginary limit to your goals. However, doing nothing about removing it won’t help you either, actually, it will just keep pushing you down. Now, all you are left to do is add these 5 tips in your horse riding routine and simply – let the fear go away. Results and progress are inevitable. Start now. Fear is not a strength powerful enough to stop you from having the good time you should, and could be having. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Olivia Olivia is an incurable optimist who always sees the glass as half-full. She likes nature, knows how to enjoy silence and is keen on writing for various websites. Meet her on Facebook and Twitter.

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