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One of the most common issues faced by equestrians is a loss of confidence. Sometimes this applies to one aspect of their riding, for example canter transitions or jumping, sometimes to all of their riding, sometimes to everything they do with their horse whether riding or dealing with the horse from the ground. The loss of confidence may be related to a specific event but often the rider does not know why their confidence has gone, all that they are aware of is a feeling of anxiety — or even sheer panic — when they think about riding.

Some riders lack confidence in a specific context such as out hacking, riding in an arena or at a competition. For others it may be related to a specific activity or problem such as fear of jumping, cantering, spooking, bolting, or rearing.. Again, these fears may be related traumatic events in the past or the rider may have developed anxiety about what 'might' happen without any obvious reason.

Of course, riding is a risk sport and there is always a balance between competence and confidence. If a lack of confidence is related to an insufficient level of competence then the solution will not be found only by changing thought patterns and emotional responses but by finding good professional equestrian support.

More pages will be added to this section of the web site dealing with specific issues faced by riders at all levels, as well as with different aspects of equestrianism such as eventing, show jumping and dressage.

Some of the riders that I have worked with over the years have been kind enough to write articles for this web site and others have asked me to use their emails to give a flavour of their experience as they reported it at the time. I'm grateful to all of them.

It may be worth saying that riders tend not to ask for help until they have tried everything else – I have been told on many occasions that working with me is a 'last resort' and that if it doesn't work the person would sell their horse and possibly give up riding altogether! It is true that in a few cases selling a horse that was unsafe for that rider proved to be the best option but most people have been able to deal with their fears and anxieties and start to enjoy their riding once more.

© Jo Cooper 2002-2017. All rights reserved


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