After a break from riding the idea of being back in the saddle can be a daunting one. Your imagination goes into overdrive as you obsess about all the things that could go wrong.
If it’s been a while for you, or it seems like it, don’t worry – plenty of riders take a break at some point for a variety of different reasons, and we have some easy tips to make sure you have a successful return to riding.
Riding skills revisited
The skills for learning anything diminish if you’re not using them, but relearning is usually quicker than learning them the first time around – good news. Give yourself a break and try not to stress about your lack of expertise when you first get back on board.
Don’t underestimate how capable you are, no matter how rusty you are, you’re still a rider, brimming with the motivation to get back to peak riding fitness.
A hack can be a good reintroduction to time in the saddle, rather than stressing about having a lesson.
Acknowledging the fear
What happened to that dewy eyed, gung-ho, fearless girl who started riding all those years ago? The one who had a fit of giggles every time she fell off, which was often.
Please be assured that if we’ve just described you, but you’re now wobbling like jelly at the mere thought of mounting up, you’re not alone.
The Your Horse team meets riders like you who’ve lost their confidence after a break, week in, week out. It’s incredibly common.
The fear is often linked to increased responsibilities – mortgage to pay, children to bring up, money to be made, elderly parents to care for…It all adds up to you being hypersensitive to not injuring yourself.
But we have good news. Recognising that confidence is fickle and not everyone wants the sharpest horse in the box, more is being done to breed for sensibility and enjoyment. You just need to choose your mount carefully. If you’re not sure your horse is the right one for you, check out our advice here.
The second bit of good news is that there’s so much equipment designed to keep you safe. Air jackets, safety stirrups, gadgets to cling on to if things get hairy, high-vis, sticky bum breeches – the list goes on.
- Take your time re-establishing your confidence in the saddle if you feel nervous.
- Work your way up to getting back on by spending some quality time with your horse.
- Focusing on learning a new skill is also a good technique, giving yourself a clear and achievable goal, after all, learning new skills is what riding is all about.
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products, available now.