By Real Riderz
Are you mentally fit?
A lot of rider problems come from the head, and as many of us probably know, emotions can be paralyzing. They can cause us to lash out or even stop reacting. Mental fitness is important for all athletes in every sport, and horseback riding is no exception.
A mentally fit rider will see problems for what they are and work to solve them in a calm manner, looking at themselves almost as if they were outside of the body for mistakes (this is where a person on the ground comes in handy). A mentally fit rider stays in the moment with their horse, leaving the past and future out of the saddle (and even better, out of the barn).
How does one achieve mental fitness? There are no clear answers, but the first step to take is to assess. How are you doing currently? Do you find yourself getting angry at your horse? Do you stop riding when you have fear? These are all common issues that many riders face. A lot of top riders see therapists to help with problems related to fear and anxiety, but this is not always accessible for the average rider.
The best way to go about this is to look at your current daily routine. When do you go to sleep and do you get enough sleep? What are you eating? What do you do when you first get out of bed in the morning? Do you get daily physical activity of some sort? Beyond that, there are techniques which help rewire your brain. These include breathing and medidation. The key here is to focus on what is within you, and refocusing on your breath when you get distracted by outside thoughts.
Now, this article only touches the surface of what you can do, but stay tuned for more articles on improving your mental game coming soon in the Learning Hub!