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This talk about Equestrian Confidence to Winchester Riding Club included tips and hints that people can use for themselves and demonstrated some of the work I do with riders. This article – focusing on TFT – was written for the club magazine and I'm grateful to the author and to the club for letting me post it here.

Please contact Jo if you would like a similar talk at your RC or EC.


Winchester Riding Club – talk by Jo Cooper, 19th February 2009

About 30 people turned up to take advantage of Jo’s experience dealing with issues of confidence and post trauma concerns.  Jo is a Master Practitioner and Master Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Diagnostic Practitioner of Thought Field Therapy (TFT).  She works with clients from all over the world. She has worked with victims of the war in Kosovo and has featured in The Times magazine, Horse, Your Horse and The Field.  

Once tea and coffee were served Jo asked about our concerns – these were hugely diverse and included the following: getting on after a fall; going back to riding after a break; feelings of sickness and pain; fear of being out of control; fear of being dragged by a stirrup; self doubt; x-country warm up plus the start box plus the first three fences; lack of brakes, and fear of the horse being hurt.

Little did we realise that after a bit of tapping, humming and rolling of the eyes that our fears would begin to disappear. I don’t think any of us realised that Jo would start all of us using TFT straightaway. How does this work? Well, I suggest you read the information on her web-site as I could not even begin to explain it here! Try and there you will find the rationale, seventeen case studies, and the methodology.

Needless to say I did feel somewhat sceptical when we tried the first visualisation exercise as I could not “see” the “picture” which reflected my own worries – that of the total disorientation of being chucked off by my youngster in a nano-second – and, therefore, I could not distance it. However, all around me people were looking amazedly confused as their own negative emotions surrounding their own issues began to disappear. And, the second time we practised TFT, suddenly it began to work for me too. How can I explain it? I don’t know – but it was the fearful emotions surrounding it that went away. For Jo, riding in the present, in the moment, is all that is important. And, issues that happened in the past are exactly that – past events that need not impact on the future.

To conclude, TFT is effective; I think most of us were amazed and left wanting more, and to explain further, it sits alongside more familiar ideas of being positive; in the groove; in the zone; in the bubble or whatever the latest popular jargon is.

So, next time you go to a Winchester Riding Club event and you see people gently tapping themselves under the collarbone, above the eyebrow, or in a myriad of other places, then consider the fact that they are not mad, nor are they indulging in some post millennium Masonic rite, but that they are psyching themselves up for their up and coming event – and they may well go out and win!

Jane Hurrell


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