Are you grappling with nerves at the thought of getting in the saddle? Or competition nerves giving you the jitters? Our Equine Marketing Team shares six visualisation techniques for nervous horse riders.
Colour Me Happy
Imagine a colour. Yes, a colour that makes you feel happy. Once you have that colour, imagine how it makes you feel. Does it make you feel warm, fuzzy, relaxed? Now imagine you are riding your horse. Envelope you and your horse in a mist of this exact colour. It’s a beautiful summer’s day, and you can feel the warmth of the sun and your horse’s steady walk underneath you. Add as much detail as you can to this visual, add the colour to your memory bank and reuse it again and again. Choosing a saddlecloth in the same colour or a piece of clothing again can give you that confidence boost you want.
Visualise Your Goal
Visualise your goal either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, when your mind is ‘quiet’. Imagine what it will feel like, what will it sound like, taste like. Add as much detail as possible to bring the vision to life. Listen to a piece of music that makes you feel empowered while employing this technique, then play it when you are riding at home in your ‘safe space’. Eventually, just listening to the piece of music will instantly become your positive visualisation techniques and elevate your confidence and self-belief.
Create A Vision Board
Creating a vision board can help you identify and connect you to your horsey goals. Using a large pin board or poster, gather images that relate to your horsey goal. Get creative. Add affirmations, quotes and pictures of you and your horse. Study the board daily and add a new image at least once a week. Take a photo of it and keep it saved on your phone so that every time you are about to ride, take a look at it to remind yourself of your horse riding goals to become a more confident rider.
Make A Mind Movie
Making a movie in your mind is a fantastic visualisation tool. You and your horse get starring roles in this blockbuster with a tremendous, feel-good ending. You can either visualise this through your own eyes or the eyes of your audience, depending on which you find easiest. If you are visualising and experiencing this as the ‘actor’, what would you see you feature in feel, smell, taste like? Adding layers to your mind movie will make it easier to transition your end goal into reality. If you are watching the film through the eyes of your audience, imagine how you would act in the situations presented on screen. Who would you chat to and imagine how others would see you.
Watch Other Riders
Watching other riders achieve your dream (however small) can significantly impact your own riding goals. Placing yourself in similar situations, experiencing the event or activity (without your horse) and soaking up the atmosphere can not only help you with visual techniques but could even spurn you on further in your dream to achieve. Seeing other riders enjoying themselves is a powerful visual tool you can revisit at home during your positive visualisation technique homework!
Finally, if you are very nervous, don’t be afraid to seek help from an equestrian confidence coach. Even top professional riders can struggle with nerves, so don’t let your worries put you off enjoying your relationship with your horse to the full.
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