Having a bad fall from your horse can really knock your confidence. Here, rider confidence pro, Amanda Kirtland-Page, offers her confidence tips.

What are your horse riding limits?

Spooky horses need confident riders, but it depends how sharp this horse is and what you really want to do.

Sometimes it’s good to have a reality check, because if your ultimate dream is riding carefree and relaxed through the countryside, this might not be the horse for you.

How to feel more confident on your horse

Chat with your instructor, if you both feel you have the riding skills required and you’re keen to make it work, then here are a few suggestions:

  • Ride a safe horse: Confidence comes from repeated positive experiences, so visit a reputable riding school and ride something safe for a bit. You’ll not only get fitter, but will build your confidence. Our unconscious mind learns from all our experiences, (whether real or visualised), so try repeatedly visualising positive riding experiences in your mind too.
  • Get someone capable to ride him: This will build up his confidence as often spooking is a sign of insecurity. Once he’s feeling a bit more confident in himself, you can try having lessons on him, perhaps after he’s been ridden.
  • Be equipped: There’s no shame in riding with a neck strap, and wearing a body protector will do wonders for making you feel more confident in the saddle.
  • Keep calm: Talk to him while you ride – this will help to reassure him and calm your nerves. Remember, just take it one step at a time. Only do as much as you’re comfortable with.