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Day 32 - What Is Confidence?

100 days Nov 03, 2017

You can't buy it in a bottle or pop it in a pill, though many have tried, so how do you really improve your riding confidence?

For me, it's a bit like loading a horse on a trailer - the whole horse is very big and the trailer is very small. Trying to get the huge horse onto the tiny trailer is overwhelming, so I only try to get the left front foot up to the front of the trailer and back again, quietly and calmly. I've found the rest of the horse always follows, really, I've never had one horse split into pieces! It makes the lesson manageable. It's about chunking it down into simple steps - get the left front foot on to the ramp and off. Next, get the left front foot halfway up the ramp and off, and so on.

It's the same with riding confidence. When we set out to get more 'riding confidence' or we think we are missing 'confidence' or have lost it, it's a very blur thing, isn't it? We can't see it, feel it or barely even describe it.

So, let's make it more concrete by breaking it down.

Confidence is knowing how to do something and being able to do it.

Using the example above of trailer loading, we'll be confident about loading our horse if we know how to teach it and have practised that. Simple - learn what needs to be done and go out and give it a try.

Of course, the secret is in the second part - giving it a try and I'll chat more about that next time.

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