The Magazine December 2023

Being your best self

Posted 30th October 2023

Managing your mindset and practising self-care could be your keys to better riding, says Alison Buttery


Riding is so much more than having the practical skills – it’s about managing yourself as well as your horse. You’ll recall rides when everything just seemed to click but you’ll also remember days filled with doubt, disappointment and maybe even frustration.

The good news is that it’s completely normal to feel like this. Every rider, from the leisure rider to the seasoned pro, faces these moments, and you’re no different.

But what if the difference between a good ride and a great one lies not in how you handle your horse, but in how you handle yourself? Personal growth and understanding can turn the inevitable challenges we experience as horse riders and owners into opportunities to learn and improve.

It’s possible to cultivate a mindset that ensures each ride brings you closer to being the best rider you can be, and there’s immense power in that.

Who are you?

How well do you truly know yourself? How well do you know the habits and thinking patterns that have been the default setting in your mind? Are these ways of thinking helping or hindering you?

It’s very easy to find yourself stuck in how you experience your world, listening to and believing everything your mind suggests, and falling victim to your inner critic. In fact, your mind is trying to keep you safe from harm – physical or psychological – but that can create unhelpful thoughts and feelings that make it difficult to feel good about yourself as a rider. So, how can you change this?

The first step

Before you even tack up, take a moment. How are you feeling today? Are you excited, nervous or a mix of both? Recognising your emotions can make a big difference to how you approach your ride. Simply acknowledging that you feel a certain way or have particular thoughts is the first step to finding different experiences because we can’t change anything unless we know it’s happening.

Discover how managing your mindset and confidence can transform how you feel about riding in December Horse&Rider. Grab your copy today!

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