How many of us focus on our fitness and our riding, but not our mindset?
Our mindset plays a huge part of our equestrian life. No matter how many lessons you do a week or how intense your physical workouts are, the wrong mindset can jeopardize the best of the best.
Just the other day, I was riding a pony bareback. Snickers truly has the patience of a saint. With just his bridle on, I stood on the mounting block for a good 5-10 minutes half getting on him and half getting off. I kept picturing the worst – me falling off and breaking something or hitting my head in some way. In reality, my feet were two feet from the ground (or less…no one was around to measure).
When I finally did manage to get on him for the first time, he just stood there letting me adjust. Then we were off to some unknown destination. But, five minutes into it, my mind started creating worst case scenarios. And soon the nerves and doubting took over. I stopped him from going near pastures, afraid of what would happen when we were near. Would I have been afraid if I was in a saddle with stirrups? Probably not. So I shouldn’t have been doubtful then.
Riding bareback is like riding without stirrups. The only difference is, we know the stirrups aren’t there when we are bareback. Our crutch so to speak is missing. So why do we doubt ourselves when we know we can do it? It all comes down to our mindset.
One thing that I do and I find helpful, is to picture doing the task perfectly. And remember to breathe.