Riding a horse takes great confidence, but it’s also really easy for your confidence to be shaken in this sport. Continue reading for some good horseback riding tips on how to improve your confidence in the saddle.
1. Ride a Trusted Horse
You can’t build your confidence if you’re riding a horse that you don’t trust. Ride a calm, steady, trustworthy horse to build your confidence in both the horse and yourself. There will be plenty of time to ride challenging horses later on once your confidence is restored.
2. Take Lessons
A good riding instructor can help you to work through confidence issues. An instructor can spot your weaknesses and can design specific exercises to help you gain confidence as a rider. Additionally, a good instructor will help to keep you safe, which will also help to improve your confidence.
3. Visualize Success
As you’re working, visualize yourself successfully riding a horse. Visualization is a powerful tool, and if you constantly picture a successful ride where you’re comfortable and enjoying yourself, your body will start to accept that idea as being possible, and eventually as being a reality. Positive visualization is one of the best horseback riding tips that can go a long way toward boosting your confidence.
4. Work on a Lunge Line
Riding a horse while on a lunge line can be a reassuring exercise, since your trainer will also have partial control of the horse through the line. When you’re on a lunge line, you can do exercises like dropping your reins, closing your eyes, and swinging your arms and legs. These exercises can help to build your confidence.
5. Get Fit
The fitter you are, the better you will be able to ride. A fit rider has a better chance of staying with a horse through a stumble, spook, or bolt, so if you’re nervous about falling off, focus on getting yourself as fit as possible. Many riders feel more secure in the saddle once they do some weight training, improve their strength, and even lose a little weight.
6. Practice What You Do Well
To rebuild your confidence, practice things that you do well with your horse. If you have a great sitting trot, then do it. Maybe you feel comfortable loping your horse. This can help to prove to yourself that you are a talented rider.
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7. Take it Slow
Building your confidence is a slow, gradual process. Never push yourself too far too fast. Instead, remind yourself that your confidence will come – you just need to keep working with your horse in a positive fashion.