If anyone has ever wondered what NLP is and how it can help increase your confidence as a rider, then this may be of interest to you.
When something traumatic happens to us, like a bad fall, this creates an emotional imprint in our minds. Our brain is then constantly on alert for situations that may be similar, or cause similar hurt/pain to the original event, so that it can create the same emotional response (fear or anxiety, etc), and therefore behaviours to avoid such situations - it tries to protect us (sometimes a good thing, sometimes not so good, if it holds us back). If we have several events that hurt or injure us, then our brains start to create a belief about ourself or a particular type of situation, eg, I'm can't do flying changes, or I'm a terrible rider, or I can't hack out because I can't control my horse. These beliefs grow stronger every time we are faced with a perceived similar situation.
NLP uses powerful, proven tools and techniques to clear the emotions from past traumatic events, freeing us up from the emotional baggage that holds us back. It also helps us to eliminate limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves, enabling us to focus on the positives - creating positive thoughts, emotions and beliefs and ultimately actions.
For my whole life I was a nervous rider. I loved riding and had weekly lessons with a variety of trainers, yet nothing could help me overcome the fear that was deep inside of me every time I rode (due to several bad experiences as a child). I had to steel myself if I wanted to go out hacking. I only felt safe in the indoor school, and my riding world had shrunk to a series of 'safe' schooling exercises - not much fun after a few years! I did a few dressage tests at the yard where my horse was stabled, but even these made me anxious. Yet I wouldn't give up riding.
It wasn't until I undertook my own training as an NLP Master Practitioner, Trainer and Psychotherapist (combined with finding a new trainer, Frances) that I was finally able to break free from the riding school and start doing all the things I'd dreamed of doing as a child: riding x-country, galloping along a beach, cantering across open fields and exploring the local countryside for hours on end. I can't tell you the sheer joy and exhilaration I felt as I cleared those first ever x-country jumps. OK I may not have been in the best jumping position and I may have got stuck mid-way on the bank coming out of the ditch (having to very inelegantly slide off my bewildered horse), but it was pure magic getting out of the school, doing all the things I'd longed to do for years and years. I'm living proof that NLP really can increase your confidence in the saddle. Feel free to get in touch if you want any more info.