Rider Confidence: The Chicken or The Egg?

PollyWe see a lot of riders who lack confidence in their horse. You can see it on their face, in their posture, and often hear it in their voice. It doesn’t take long for the story to unfold about how the horse bucked them off or reared up or did something that really scared them. Sure they are back in the saddle, but with considerable apprehension or even downright fear.

If they had more confidence, it’s likely the horse they are riding would probably settle down to an extent. As a general rule, the more confident the rider, the less trouble with the horse. But, confidence is built on trust and without faith in the horse to react properly, the trust level drops. It’s a vicious cycle. The more confidence and leadership the rider demonstrates, the more the horse will accept the rider as the one who is in charge. The more the horse will relax and the better the experience will be. The more times the horse has bucked, reared, or thrown a fit, the less confident the rider feels.

So how do you build the trust in your horse so you can ride confidently? Good question, not always a simple answer.  If you are asking the question, the chances are you can’t. If you could overcome the lack of confidence in your horse by riding more, you probably would have already done it. Sometimes the best solution is to start over again with a new horse, but one suited for you and your level of riding. The confidence grows quickly on a horse that has been trained and that you are able to handle. As it grows, your riding pleasure will expand exponentially.

Every case is different, but you must be very honest with yourself. Are you ever really going to trust the horse? Will there always be just a little bit of doubt? If so, we suggest making a change to a horse worthy of your faith and one you can trust.

 

 

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