السبت 22 يونيو 2024

Practice Emotional Resilience for a Better Horse Ride

موقع أيام نيوز

If you could choose the way you feel every time you sit on horse what emotions would you choose? When I ask this question of my clients their responses usually include the words calm present happy relaxed and confident. If you agree it begs the question Why dont we feel this way more often in the saddle?
Most equestrians start riding because they love being on a horse. Yet as they progress in the sport they experience far more frustration stress shame and sadness than calmness happiness relaxation and confidence. Lets take a closer look at our emotional experience in the saddle and discuss the steps we can take to develop emotional resilience which will allow for greater control over thoughts emotions and performance in difficult moments.
Imagine the following scenario Youre riding in a clinic at a new barn with a new clinician. You deeply admire this clinician and really want to make a good impression. Unfortunately your horse has other ideas. Tense and distracted by the busy and unfamiliar surroundings he is doing his best giraffe impression and resisting all your attempts at connection and contact. Youre trying to stay calm but you feel everyones eyes on you. A flood of embarrassment washes over you. As stress and tension fill your mind and body you struggle to think clearly.

In my work I have yet to meet a rider with whom this scenario doesnt resonate weve all experienced something similar. Imagining this scenario triggers deep difficult reactions in many equestrians. It makes us feel as if we arent good enough and that people are forming negative opinions about our ability. With all the time energy money and passion we throw into our sport many of us are terrified of not living up to our own expectations of what it means to be a good rider.
I work so hard at this and Im still not good enough. 
Im wasting everyones time. 
I want this so badly but I cant do it. Its too hard. 
When we have a deep fear of not being good enough any experience of struggle can trigger a mental storm of fear frustration selfcriticism and overwhelm. In the face of this whirlwind of negative emotion we just want to escape. We mentally check out drastically reducing our capacity to connect with our horses and solve the problem. As you can imagine this is not an ideal mental state for performance. Riding at our best requires a calm mind and a relaxed body.
What is Emotional Resilience?
Geetu Bharwaney founder and CEO of Ei World Limited a company at the forefront of innovative emotional intelligencebased development programs globally describes emotional resilience as the ability to continually choose the feelings thoughts and actions that help you achieve results and perform at your best. 
The question is Do we really choose our emotions? For many of us this seems wrong. Surely we arent choosing to feel embarrassed guilty sad angry or any other negative emotion. We resist this way of understanding emotions because