Developing Confidence In the Saddle


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Looking at horses for sale and buying a horse can mean that you will soon be working with a new equine partner. Whether you’re riding a new horse or are working with a horse you’ve ridden for years, confidence in the saddle is an issue that many riders frequently face. Luckily there are some exercises that you can do to develop and improve your confidence when riding a horse.

Start With the Basics

Confidence issues often occur when riders are trying to do too much too soon. If you are pushing yourself too fast, you will not be comfortable, and this low confidence can transfer to your horse, too.

In a situation where you are taking on too much, your low confidence is your mind trying to tell you that you are not yet ready for the task at hand. Jumping a large fence, taking a new horse out on a trail ride, or performing some other new, challenging activity on horseback will only make you nervous if you and your horse are not thoroughly prepared.

The best way to deal with confidence issues relating to the obstacle you’re facing is to take things back a step. Change your riding so that you are doing something that you’re comfortable with. If jumping a high fence makes you nervous, jump some lower fences until you develop the strength, balance, and confidence to be able to progress to the higher fences. You may still be a little nervous, but revisiting the basics of riding should improve your confidence.

Ride the Right Horse

Looking at horses for sale and buying a new horse means that you’ll have to learn to trust a new partner. If you’re having confidence issues on your new horse, it’s possible that the horse might not be the right match for you. Work with your instructor and spend some time riding dependable horses that you trust, even if it means that you’re not riding your new horse. Gradually making the transition to your new horse as you learn to trust him will help your confidence.

Check Your Position

You may notice confidence issues when your position in the saddle is out of alignment, putting you off-balance. Have an instructor observe you as you ride to make sure that you are not making yourself feel more insecure in the saddle than necessary. Be sure that your saddle fits you properly and doesn’t put you in an awkward position.

Think Positively

Don’t mentally beat yourself up for being nervous. Your thoughts have a surprising amount of power over how your emotions and perceptions. Instead of worrying about how you will be nervous when you mount up, picture yourself as confident and relaxed on your horse. Think positively and remind yourself that you are a good rider. With some time and patience, you can improve your confidence when you ride.

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