There are lots of things you can do to help you become more relaxed in the saddle. First and foremost, you need to make sure you're in the right frame of mind. Clear your head and think positively. Get rid of all those negative thoughts and try to remember that your glass is half full, not hal empty.
If you're learning, you should make sure that the horse you ride is of the right ability for you, and that your instructor is very aware of making sure that you don't run before you can walk.
Horses can be quite forgiving, so if you do tense up and get it wrong, try and relax, too.
A secure seat will make you feel more confident, too. This is about getting your seat bones to sit correctly, having good core strenght so you don't rely on your arms and legs to hang on, and stacking your body up, so that you have a straight, vertical line through your pubic bone, belly button, sternum and collar bone.
Think positively and visualise yourself doing something really well - cantering, for example. Be clear and focused but, above all, remember to breath deeply. All of this will make you more effective and more able to pass on positive vibes to your horse.
And remember, always end on a positive and take it into your next ride. Rehearse your personal best!
Tips to become more relaxed when riding a horse
- Mental state is as important as your physical state.
- Clear your head before you set out to ride.
- Think positively - the more you think you can do something, the more you can!
- Try not to dwell on what you've done wrong - remember what you did right.
- De-stress before you get on a horse.
- Don't over-analyse what you're doing when you are riding.
- Avoid riding when you're tired - you should be alert and concentrating.
- Only do as much as you think you can
- Do some stretches before you get on your horse - you need to warm up as much as your horse does.
- A quick shrug of the shoulders is an instant relaxation fix.
- Breathe - learn to breath deeply into your stomach.
- Sing in rhythm with trot or canter - not only is it relaxing for you and your horse, it will help you breathe!
- Build up your core strenght - use a gym ball to develop your core muscles and balance.
- Lunge without stirrups - but without gripping on with your legs. This will help you to deepen your seat and make you much more confident.
Find a generous horse tha will do his best to balance you and improve your confidence.