IF YOU FALL OFF YOUR HORSE, GET STRAIGHT BACK ON – IS THIS REALLY GOOD ADVICE?
I also want to spend just a short amount of time discussing the equestrian saying “if you fall off your horse, get straight back on”. This saying has been around for ever and was probably started by a respected equestrian who mentally processes information a certain way. For a number of people, this saying is helpful in avoiding potential confidence issues. Unfortunately, for an equally large number of riders, this can throw them so far outside of their comfort zone that they cannot function. For people who easily and continually reflect, review, assess and analyse, this approach may possibly hinder rather than help. Look deep within and be honest with yourself. Is your fear or anxiety minor or has it reached a level where you are finding it difficult to follow direction? This is not related to how serious the fall is (if there was one). As previously mentioned in my videos / presentations, anxiety can also be external pressure (real or presumed) from other riders’ judging abilities / skills etc.
Be honest with yourself. Are you happy how you are riding or do you want to improve? It is perfectly ok if you just want to walk and trot, as long as you aren’t avoiding enjoying a canter because of fear. Don’t let others determine what gait or how you should be riding. If you are happy plodding through the countryside enjoying the scenery and wildlife, don’t feel pressured to canter because others imply that you can only be an equestrian if you ride at all gaits. Are you fulfilled staying within the arena gates or do you have a yearning to ride outside of the gates? This is your riding journey.
Finally, I wanted to ask something of all of you. There are so many people who are feeling that their riding is being judged to the point where they are avoiding riding because of this. Depending on the safety of the horse and rider, lets us as equestrian encourage a global supportive environment that builds each other up rather than one that tears riders down. It costs nothing to do, but the potential for so much good is enormous.
Would love feedback on what you want to hear more about.