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For Riders


Setting goals is essential in order to achieve success.  Goal setting is like creating a road map that serves as a guide to follow the path that sets us up to achieving what we are aiming for. Too often, we set goals, but never end up achieving them.  Here are some of the key things to consider that makes goal setting not only more specific, but will set you up for succeeding in your goals. Find its purpose Firstly, check your goal has a purpose.


I am both an anxious rider and an anxious person. I don’t think I will ever not be anxious, but my ability to deal with it and funnel it elsewhere is definitely the key that has helped me to manage it... And continues to help me manage it... And continues to help me improve my riding.


Things are neither easy nor hard; they are just the way we perceive them. It is commonly accepted the things we are good at are considered easy, while the things we are not so good at or haven’t mastered yet are considered hard. I would like to challenge this belief.  Take a moment and think back to the time when you first learned how to ride. Remember the time you were on a lead rein as a little kid or just managing your first trot by yourself. Can you remember that time?


Self-sabotage is when we have a goal but, instead of taking the right steps to go towards the goal, we take steps to take us away from it. Self-sabotage is generally always linked to limiting beliefs. 


Making time to ride or to do anything for yourself is often a difficult task for many. Especially for us women. As women, making time for ourselves is often a foreign concept, but this is exactly what we need to do.   I want you to look at your riding a bit differently for a moment. Instead of feeling guilty that you are taking time away from the family or spending too much time with your horse when you should be doing housework, studying or working in general, think of it as you are taking time for your own wellbeing. 


So many riders lose their confidence, due to a negative experience or their horse’s behavioural problems. We often look at what the horse did thad led to the rider’s loss of confidence, but have you ever thought of that your horse may have lost his or her confidence first?


Have you ever heard someone say: “You sound like your mother?” The environment we grow up in and, particularly our parents, are the people who first influence us. This influence generally has a profound impact on our life and shapes, to a large degree, the person we are going to become - either similar to them or the total opposite.  Our environment expands as we get older, and it becomes more and more important whom we spend time with, and what example is set for us by other people. Often, horse-mad kids become teenagers and meet non-horsey friends. 


Stress is something that most of us live with every single day and often we are not even aware that we are stressed; that’s until you get on your horse. We have all heard the saying “your horse is your mirror”, and that is absolutely true, particularly when it comes to stress and reflecting our tension.  One very important aspect of our riding - and one that is often overlooked - is our breathing and relaxation. When we are stressed, our breathing automatically is compromised as it becomes shallow and more rapid. 


So many people get overwhelmed and stuck in their present situation they can’t seem to find a way out and forward anymore. Getting stuck is something that develops in our mind and has nothing to do with the reality of life we live in.  Getting stuck in our mind takes away the ability to make rational decisions and it makes it often impossible to look outside the box of possibilities. A common scenario that occurs often with riders is where a rider has an unsuitable horse and keeps persevering with it rather than making changes. 


This year, Australia’s inaugural festival of equestrian will ignite the Hawkesbury Showgrounds from the 30th of March to the 2nd of April.  With competitions from amateur to elite in Showing, Dressage and Show Jumping, combined with a swag of complimentary entertainment, EquiFest is not to be missed by any equine enthusiast.  This year’s inaugural event will see the return of the Puissance Wall to Australia, where horse and rider aim to claim the 2.33m Australian record. 


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