Advice on nerves and lack of self-confidence stopping progress?

daydreamer

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I wondered if anyone had any ideas or success stories about overcoming lack of self-confidence affecting their riding.

I am increasingly frustrated about my lack of progress riding. I can ride quite well but if I get on a horse which is even a bit lit up or nervous or look-y (but not actually misbehaving or likely to do anything) I just stop riding and sit like an idiot. I know in my head that I should try to shorten my reins, give it a kick and actually *ride* but I don't seem to be able to make myself do it. If my instructor yells at me (lots of that went on this morning :frown3: ) I suddenly find I can ride and get on with it.

I also generally tend to not ask enough of the horse and will settle for mediocre work instead of pushing and possibly getting an argument but then better work. If a horse refuses or does something wrong I automatically assume it is my fault (I know this is a good baseline but I do this if I am riding well schooled, capable horses and the instructor tells me they were just taking the p*ss).

It is frustrating as I feel like I am improving but then I'll get on a better quality horse and I ride like a muppet and get really upset with myself.

Any advice appreciated as I don't have many ideas.

Thanks
 

twobearsarthur

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Have a look online for Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) for riding. A while ago I read Pippa Funnell had used these techniques to boost her confidence and performance. So I looked into it (if it's good enough for Pippa) and it really works there are plenty of books and trainers online. Very popular with top sports men and women.
Do you gave regular lessons/a trainer I found if I didn't have someone regularly telling me how I was doing and pushing me out of my comfort zone I would get stuck in a rut.
 

daydreamer

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Have a look online for Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) for riding. ...Do you gave regular lessons/a trainer I found if I didn't have someone regularly telling me how I was doing and pushing me out of my comfort zone I would get stuck in a rut.
Yes I wondered about trying some nlp, I'll look and see if there is someone locally who does it and is horsey orientated. I do have lots of lessons and get pushed outside of my comfort zone and maybe that is why I get frustrated with myself as I struggle. It is also part of the problem as I have done most of my riding in riding schools (although I have shared for about 5 years as well) and my instructor thinks I am a little over-trained; if there is noone telling me what to do I ride about 30% worse!!

Are you only having lessons? If so I would think you need a bit of fun, can you book some hacks including some fast ones?
Good point. The summer before last I went on a riding holiday to have some fun and it did help. I don't do much hacking as I get nervous (something else to beat myself up about!) but I am about to start sharing a new horse who is apparently good to hack so I am going to try and do some hacking with him. I'm more of a serious type of person than a fun type!! Maybe that is where I am going wrong?!
 

canteron

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Cloud Cockoo Land
1. Lessons. Get some strategies, specifically ask to do shoulder in and lots and lots of neck flexions. This will get you past many a spooky thing.

2. Work out what your fears are - if it relates to a particular incident, consider NLP or Hypnotherepy. If its is something like your horse bolting, learn an emergency stop - PM me if you want to know how I was taught (slightly different to the one you will get if you google it.

3. Focus. You need a really really good teacher. With focus comes confidence.

4. Consider in hand work. For whats its worth the first 5 parelli games are great for getting manoeuvrability of the horse. (The circling game and sideways game aren't for me). You can then take the under the saddle and boy then you can do turns around the forehand, turns around the backhand, go back, forward, this is all the basics for any discipline, hacking, dressage, polo …….. You say that you are a serious type of person, you may well enjoy the structure of the Parelli, just make sure you quickly take them under saddle so you don't get stuck 'perfecting' the 7 games, they are just tools to teach you how to manoeuvre your horse in all situations.

And lots more
 

Piccy

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I used NLP this was with a non equestrian practitioner but for my riding issues and it really helped although my issues are different to yours I would suggest it as a tool to be used alongside lessons;
 

daydreamer

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Colchester, Essex
ok, nlp definitely seems the key, I found a local-ish well qualified horsey associated person but it was £150 for 60 min so I think i need to keep looking!

Canteron - part of the issue is that I don't have my own horse so I ride quite a lot of different ones in lessons so can't do groundwork with them, when I had one on loan I did some with him and it did help :)
 
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