How do you get over mental hurdles?
In case you’re new here, I’m a mental basketcase. It’s frustrating for me, because sometimes I am totally fine. I’ll walk into the ring with an attitude that is all about personal wins and triumphs vs ribbons. I’ll relax enough to give my horse a good ride, and if I mess up I don’t beat myself up for it until I want to crawl in a hole and hide forever.
And then… there are the other times.
I know it’s not about winning, but I don’t want to embarrass myself. I make a mistake early on in my course, and practically give up. I feel like all eyes are on me ready to judge my mistakes. I feel like I’m letting my horse down and I want to cry and give him to a better rider.
Those are pretty big extremes.
The thing is, they tend to be all on or all off during an entire show. Now this is something I’m directly working on this year. Showing needs to be mostly fun. If I have a bad show that’s fine, but I have to fix my attitude enough so the overall experience is still fun for me instead of crippling.
I know that in order to be a successful rider, I need to learn to trust myself and trust my horse. We are a capable team, and my trainer has never put us into any class that we weren’t able to handle with me in a good mental state.
I’m writing this post today because I had been avoiding two big triggers to my mental demons, but due to some scheduling changes I’m going to have to face them if I want to show much this summer.
So far, my ideas are to amp myself up. Example… I’m cantering to a single oxer early on in the course and I’m not a fan of it. I chant in my head “I’m gonna make this oxer my bitch!”
Riding wise, my goal is to respond to every insecurity with forward. Don’t die… leg! Don’t look down.. up and forward. Up and over! I know how to do this… I really do.
But those mental hurdles come up. For me, the mental jumps are 10x higher than the physical ones.