With hundreds of books and thousands of internet pages devoted to the many and varied techniques that claim to banish nerves it can be daunting to know where to start.

To help you on the road to a happier, more confident you, here’s our round-up of some of the best-known strategies…


NLP (or neuro-linguistic programming to give it its full name) uses techniques to help riders think, feel and act positively.

“NLP is, loosely speaking, the study of excellence,” says confidence expert Becky Chapman. “It’s the art of studying people who are successful in any walk of life, not just horse riding, and ‘copying’ – albeit in a studied and measured way – the techniques that make them a success.” If you feel like giving it a try, visitwww.anlp.org to find a practitioner in your area.

Flower remedies

Affordable, simple to take and easily available from high street chemists, many riders swear by flower remedies in a moment of riding-induced panic. “The Bach Flower Remedy Cherry Plum helps to dispel irrational thoughts of death and disaster,” according to confidence coach Caroline Putus. Visit www.bachcentre.com to find out more.


A well-known relaxation technique whether you’re a top sportsman or trying to give up smoking, hypnosis can help to re-educate your unconscious mind to overcome stress and anxiety. Visit www.thehypnotherapyassociation.co.uk orwww.hypnotherapists.org.uk to find a local therapist for a one-to-one session.

One-to-one help

Workshops and one-on-one sessions with an expert who understands
your fears can be a great confidence booster. Some offer ridden workshops, while others have a classroom-style approach – find someone whose methods you can connect with.

Try www.ashenequestriancentre.co.uk for details of confident rider workshops held by Becky Chapman and hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and life coach Peter Doherty; www.enjoyriding.com for courses run by confidence coach and Your Horse Q&A expert Caroline Putus; or www.ridingwithconfidence.co.uk for details of courses and workshops run by NLP practitioners.


Self-help books, CDs and DVDs can be a cheap and effective way of boosting your nerves. For ideas check out…

– Schooling Problems Solved With NLP by Wendy Jago (RRP £19.99)
– That Winning Feeling! by Jane Savoie (RRP £10.95)
– Ride With Confidence! by Liz Morrison and Kelly Marks (RRP £12.99)
– Enjoy Riding by Caroline Putus (available in a CD and DVD package
for £35.47 plus £2 p&p from www.enjoyriding.com)


TFT (or thought field therapy) aims to change the way we think about various situations – a fear of going cross-country for example – and alter our thought patterns. To discover more visit www.thoughtfieldtherapy.co.uk