“You’re crazy for getting back on!” …
“You still ride after what happened to you?” …
“Just give up already”…
“How do you still do it?”
These are only a few comments I get every now and then when it comes to riding. I was asked a couple of days ago how I got the courage to continue riding after my major accident from back in 2012. Even though the pain is still there, my passion conquers my fears and pain.
Although it may seem so, Tofino has not been an easy horse to deal with, especially when it comes to show jumping. This, even prior to my accident was difficult to overcome.
Being my first horse, I was nervous to even canter. I took the time however, to sit with him in the paddock, in the stable, observe his actions and reactions to his surroundings to better get to know him. That in turn helped me understand his behaviour for riding.
Confidence is not consistent. You will gain it and it will disappear at times, whether from a fall, a buck, an injury, a spooky horse etc. The key, as I wrote in a post previously, is to keep moving forward. When you are scared but do it anyway, that is when you become brave. There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity however. If your horse is dangerous to ride then don’t do it yourself, ask for help.
To this day I get nervous going over obstacles but as soon as i’m over the first, my adrenaline kicks in and I get eager to continue and go further. Here are some tips that help me, and hopefully help you:
- Start slow
- Observe and get to know your horse
- Talk to your horse
- Make sure you’re physically capable of riding
- Breathe. It may sound simple, but we all tend to hold our breath a lot while riding.
- Relax your body and mind but always keep a contact
- Ask for help
- Keep learning
- Every step counts, even baby steps, so don’t take it hard on yourself
- Don’t slack off either, try to push forward
- You will have fallbacks and that’s okay
- Nothing is perfect, just do your best
- It’s never too late, whether you decide to get back on after a year or even 10, this sport has no age limit
- Find inspiration in other riders that have overcome difficult situations, and don’t be afraid to speak to them
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- You are not alone
- You will be okay
- You can do it
- Just do it
Your horse can only be as brave as you are.
p.s. If your horse is spooky and hot make sure they’re on a proper diet as it can have an affect on their temper. (This may help) We personally use Reverdy feed from our generous sponsored Cavalos UAE.
Hope this helps 🙂