We help frightened riders to deal with fear

logo cavallo il Paretaio
At Il Paretaio we help frightened riders to deal with fear.

Feel the fear and ride anyway!

All riders get frightened, but if it's holding you back, try these great ways to get a more positive attitude

Panick attacks, anxiety, fear... these are all things that most riders will have experienced at some stage during their riding lives. But when it is time to start realizing you have been indulging those demons for far too long and that they need to be faced head-on?

It's strange but true that fear can actually be an important tool for riding. It creates an adrenalin rush, which can encourage people to achieve what they think is the impossible. By the same token, however, it can distort people's imagination, encouraging a 'what if' scenario. And both situations can make riders prohibitively over-cautious or dangerously over-bold.

What if...

Like horses, riders differ in the way they deal with certain situations-say, how quickly they learn to trust their horse or how they let their imagination run riot. For them, everything is based on a constant 'what if'. What if the horse spooks, will I fall off? What if the horse takes off, will I be able to stop?

When a rider becomes anxious about something, it doesn't take much for any horse to recognise the signs and react to them. As she tries to take control of some imagined situation, she more often than not loses it by grabbing the reins, assuming an ineffective riding position, riding with the handbrake on and restricting the horse. So a tense rider actually manages to create the very situation that she is most frightened of.

Be positive, not passive! (This is a very important advice when we help frightened riders to deal with fear).

So if you're worried that your horse is going to spook - more out of devilment at that set of showjumps he has spotted on the other side of the arena fence - dig deep and ride him positevely forward to distract him. Be a positive passenger in that driving seat, not a passive one!

And when you do, watch his ears, for they're a dead giveaway! If they're pointing in towards you, he's listening, but if the're pricked out in front and focused on what is going on in the field beyond, then he's distracted. So make sure you get him on the aids- and listening!

Don't forget to breathe!

This is one of the best ways with which we help frightened riders to deal with fear with, so make sure your breathing is rhythmical - and if it helps, hum or sing to yourself. As it's physically impossible to sing and hold your breath at the same time, singing will help you to keep breathing normally.

fm Horse&Rider- Liz Morrison - Sports Psychologist and NLP Master Practitioner
Staff Il Paretaio 2016-01-07