Tracey has asked me to document our story to (hopefully) inspire others who may be going through a crisis of confidence with their riding and I’m delighted to be able to share it with you!
How my riding confidence story started
I’ve owned Will now for 2 years and he came to me as a chubby and rather green coblet who hadn’t had chance to do a great deal as his then owners were fully occupied with business and family matters. He is on Full Livery at a wonderful yard, Rockstar Equine, on the edges of Cannock Chase. Without the support I have received from them this would have been a very different story. It was all going swimmingly at first and then, as he became fitter and more confident in his new environment, he started to trial behaviours hitherto unshown. Whilst his beautiful temperament remained unchanged, we did have some tricky situations to deal with and my confidence started to drop. Especially once he had managed to dump me as we attempted to strike off into canter on the left rein..
Summer 2017 below..
However, I persevered with the help of my Instructor Kay (Proprietor & Head Coach) and slowly matters improved. Canter remained a bugbear – out hacking with support from friends I eventually managed to conquer it but in the school – no way! And as for jumping..
To help Will gain a balanced education, I now have a Loaner in the shape of friend Lisa, who has helped to encourage and develop the huge natural “pop” that he has.
Time to get inside my mind!
It was obvious that outside help was needed and I invested in a course of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) from a Practitioner recommended by a friend, which proved to be an excellent start, although some months down the line there were still gremlins in my head.. At this time, I started to move a little way out of my comfort zone, and we had our first session away from home, hiring a local indoor school. Needless to say, I was very tense, which Will picked up on – we did cope though and finished the lesson in style!
And later that Autumn we attended our first Pleasure Ride! Although the preparations left me in a total panic, we had the most amazing day..
Throughout his time with me, Will has always had regular visits from Healthcare Professionals of every kind to ensure his welfare at all times – Vet, Dentist, Farrier (he is Barefoot), Masseur, Back Lady, Saddle Fitter, Horse Bit Fit Lady, Feed Specialist – there’s no point in attending to your own concerns whilst neglecting any other potential problems he may be having and, thankfully, he has no ongoing issues at present.
In the early part of 2018 Hypnosis was suggested by Kay and I found Tracey online https://www.traceycolenlp.com/hypnosis-for-horse-riding/. She prepared me a recording, focussing on those issues I had flagged up in my initial Questionnaire, and we haven’t looked back since!
In the first four months of this year, we’ve cantered on both reins, in our school at home and also in our new International Size Arena a short hack away, jumped small fences from both trot and canter and treated ourselves to a Dressage Saddle in preparation for our first foray into competition..
Here are a few kind words from fellow rider Lisa Sanders about us and this article
“This is a very good piece and shares your journey and your fabulous open-minded attitude. All power to you as this approach is clearly working for you and your confidence is coming through. I really believe in you and what you will do with Will. I like how this highlights all the people and teamwork that is a part of responsible horse ownership too. Mostly though it’s a credit to you and your attitude and willingness to be the best for your boy Will – well done at sticking with it – you are both shining stars xx
I’m aware that I’m not qualified or trained professionally and yes I’m biased but your progress and confidence has improved so much. You are a quiet person so it’s not always immediately visible but in your own quiet and strong way your progress is seen..
I am also so thankful to you as I absolutely love being a part of this journey. Your boy Will is a gem – generous, honest, bold, gentle and a trier – thank you for inviting me to do this with you as he has helped me with my belief in my abilities amongst many other things.”
And here’s what my instructor Kay has to say
“Like all my clients I have supported Rachel’s journey from the beginning.
Rachel and William are perfect partners, however Will is still learning with his education and at times doesn’t always ‘get it right’ which has caused vulnerability in Rachel and thus tension in Will.
To help this journey progress I talked to Rachel a few months ago about seeking further support to strengthen our triangle and potentially bringing in other professionals out of the saddle to support her mental approach and attitude to help match her practical capabilities.
As an open-minded coach and a student of NLP and Hypnosis myself, I directed Rachel to investigate this and as they say, the rest is history!
As a professional accredited UK coach I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend NLP combined with Hypnosis to help combat some of the many confidence demons we equestrians try and battle alone every day.”
Thank You Kay, Tracey, Lisa, my long-suffering husband Reg and everyone else who has been involved in the making of this Partnership – we couldn’t have done it without you!
So what does the future hold? I’ll keep you posted..
Rachel & Will
Rockstar Equitation Centre
Rockstar Livery Centre (our sister yard)
Photo credits: Mike Tallent, Kay Scott-Jarvis, Beth Mullen & John Maddock
NLP, Time Line Therapy(TM) and Hypnotherapy: sessions, yard visits, competition support, accredited trainings and workshops
M: 07815 016169