Psychology

riding psychology, april clay, horse psychology, horse riding anxiety, horse show anxiety, scared of horse show

I am not good enough - I don’t have an equitation body - I’m too nervous - I’m such a wimp. Have you ever tried to shame yourself into better riding with discouraging statements like these? Shame goes beyond garden variety negativity. The message you send yourself is: “I am useless” or “I am worthless,” and the implication is that there is something wrong with you as opposed to you having done something wrong. You label yourself, so that every time something goes wrong with your ride, you can say, “I knew it, I am just hopeless.”

horse colic, horse death, equine death, april clay, dying horse, horse grief

When someone loses a family member or friend, often others rush in to see what they can do to lessen the pain. However, when your loss involves a companion of the four-legged variety, sometimes the response you receive is less than sympathetic.

Horse Shaming, april clay, horse rider psychology, equine psychology, horse psychology

What’s the Antidote? We are inundated with images and stories of shaming these days. Some are humorous, some very hurtful. Shaming is attempting to make someone feel pain and remorse for something they have done – or worse yet, for just being themselves. Shaming and blaming are close cousins. When you shame, you are also saying: You are the one who is responsible for the wrongdoing. Sure, there is also humourous and harmless horse shaming. We’ve all heard things like: “I poop in my water bucket every day,” or “I don’t play well with others,” when people pretend to speak for their horses. Then there’s the other kind of shaming, when a rider speaks openly about the shortcomings of their horse, or uses their inside voice to shame, blame, and complain about their mount.

Staying Motivated to Ride in Winter

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - It’s amazing how that same body that tingled at the opportunity to go for a ride this summer is now locked in a horizontal position on the couch. Inertia seems to have set in, and it may take some serious convincing to get some movement going again. What can you do?

Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy, horse therapy, equine therapy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, HorsesandHumans

Researchers at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, MA, and at Washburn University in Topeka, KS, recently completed a study funded by the Horses and Humans Research Foundation to investigate the effectiveness of equine facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) in the treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms in children and teens.

lindsay grice, winter horse riding, winter horse training, lindsay grice, horse show season, riding in winter

Fall fairs, circuit championships, and club awards banquets signal the end of another horse show season. So how did it go? Did your shows, rodeos, or competitive trail rides meet your expectations?

calm horse riding, april clay

By April Clay, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist - In the sporting realm, keeping your cool means not being derailed by events that come between you and your goals. When such situations do arise, the cool rider takes things in stride, maintains composure, and looks for solutions. Self-control is essential to cool riders.

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