Ride Your Horse With Confidence!
If ever you’ve fallen or had a problem with your horse it can really knock your horse riding confidence, your confidence can affect your riding ability and your horse’s trust.
My name is Chris Fleet, I am a hypnotherapist with 15 years of experience, my own practice is situated on the beautiful South Devon coast and has a 15-year history of excellence with a national and international client base.
I teach hypnotherapy to Diploma standard and have worked with all types of clients including Olympic athletes, international sports organisations as well as individuals suffering from fears and phobias.
When I first met my partner 11 years ago, I knew very little about horses.
Carol had a passion for horses from a small child, she had her own ponies and chose a career in horses. She did her BHS exams and worked for numerous yards including Powderham Castle.
When I met Carol she had a very naughty cob called Axi….Axi was renowned for his ‘exuberant’ behaviour!!
Watching them I soon learnt how to read a horses body language. I began to notice how a horse will communicate with you and how sensitive these beautiful creatures are to your body language and the vibes you unconsciously release.
We currently have five horses and both Carol and now my daughter compete at local and county level, I am relegated to groom status!
Horse Riding Confidence or Anxiety
I have seen at first hand how those show nerves can affect your riding. A bad experience in the show ring can replay in your mind until you are sure it will happen every time. A bad experience hacking can make you feel out of control and unsafe, resulting in poor horse riding confidence.
I’ve seen how a poor showjumping round can ensure that you feel every jump will go wrong! Something as commonplace as the birth of your child or loss of a loved one can trigger nerves to suddenly show up from nowhere.
In my experience horses are capable of doing anything they want to do. Horses are big and powerful beasts, it is simply their bond and respect for their human, their ‘alpha’, along with their ability to trust and their unique individualism that makes them the wonderful, courageous creatures that they are.
If your horse doesn’t trust it’s alpha then who can it trust? It’s no wonder they get jittery if your horse riding confidence isn’t what it could be.
Attacked By Dogs While Out Hacking
One of my first dealings with using hypnosis with horses was when Axi got attacked by 2 dogs out hacking.
Carol was on her own enjoying a bit of ‘her’ time when two dogs appeared from nowhere. They chased and severely bit into Axi’s haunches. Axi’s response was pure fight and flight as in most equines. He bolted at high speed, unfortunately, this was towards busy cross roads with fast approaching traffic. It was a terrifying experience for both Carol and Axi.
And although they did make it home safely with cuts and bruises to both of them from then on Axi was understandably terrified of loose dogs and Carol was terrified of Axi’s response to loose dogs even though the rational side of her brain completely understood why he had bolted.
Hacking Became A Nightmare!!
Both horse and rider were tense and watching for dogs, Axi lost trust in Carol as the alpha and Carol lost trust in Axi. Every time they saw a dog Carol would tense, Axi would sense it and be more worried, Carol would feel Axi tense and would be more worried, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy!!
I began using my own hypnosis techniques, which I have developed, refined and now teach.
Using a simple coping to mastery technique I was able to get Carol to replay the scenario in her mind until she was able to remain calm and relaxed when she saw an approaching dog. This all meant that Axi took confidence from his rider and although he may have remained worried, he trusted Carol enough not to turn and bolt.
I believe I am one of the few hypnotherapists with the first-hand experience on a day to day basis dealing with equines. I have an understanding of their uniqueness and am able to apply that with my hypnotherapy skills to be able to offer you one of the best riding confidence workshops in the South-West and beyond.
Ways To Regain Your Horse Riding Confidence
I have the ability to help you get back your horse riding confidence.
Using a tried and tested combination of NLP and Hypnotherapy mixed in with other proven psychotherapeutic techniques you can quickly regain confidence at an unconscious level.
Firstly, forget all the ‘look into my eyes, not around my eyes’ nonsense. All hypnosis is, at its most basic form is the acceptance of a suggestion. Hypnotherapy is therapy in hypnosis – simples!
We’ve all had a horse that refuses to budge at some point and short of beating the daylights out of it and calling it bad, willful, naughty or anything else there’s not a lot we can do to shift it until it decides to move for itself.
Equally, if a horse decides to bolt there’s not a great deal the rider can do to stop it and there’s not much point telling the rider everything is OK if it’s the horse that’s bolting!
Now imagine that your conscious, logical part of your mind is the rider and the subconscious or emotional part of your mind is the horse. There’s no point keep telling the rider it’s OK if the horse doesn’t believe it.
Put quite simply, hypnotherapy talks to calms and encourages your internal horse
NLP: Neuro – Linguistic – Programming
NLP is a broad field. In the sporting arena, it first came about from studying how top people in different fields excelled at what they do. Originally if someone wanted to learn how to ski they would be asked to ‘give it a go’, they would then be told they were a natural or that it wasn’t for them.
After a while, it became apparent that there were common traits that the ‘naturals’ all did the same.
If you ‘mentally rehearse’ these positive traits your subconscious mind begins to accept this as the norm.
once you begin to understand you can do something at a deep level it works wonders for your riding confidence.
TIR: Traumatic Incident Reduction
A trauma doesn’t have to be a major event but a horse spooking can be traumatic for the rider. However, when something reminds us of that event in the outside world we can behave the same way as we did when the event first occurred.
For example, have you ever heard a piece of music or smelt something which takes you right back in your mind to the first time you heard/smelt that thing? More specifically we can go back to the emotion of that event.
Let’s suppose that it was a loud noise that caused your horse to spook, next time you’re out riding and there’s a loud noise you may feel worried and that will transmit through to the horse making it more nervous. If this continues unchecked you’ll be so nervous in case of a loud noise and your horse will be a nervous wreck because you’re so jumpy.
TIR serves to desensitise you from that early trauma so that when you come across similar situations in the future your initial reactions are calm rather than based on fear.
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