Psychology

Ian Millar interview, horse rider Ian Millar, legendary Ian Millar, Ian Millar on horse riding, canadian legend

Then he was mine for forty-five minutes or so, way past my initially allotted ten minutes. Thankfully, it turns out Ian loved to talk about his mental game. I think everyone can learn something from what Canada’s most successful rider had to say about the psychology of his ride.

Riding is a relationship-based sport. You have a teammate who must somehow be made aware of your goals and develop a willingness to follow you. For beginners this is a given. For the rest of us, there is simply no excuse for not becoming well versed in the art of connection.

If you are like many riders, there are times when you wish you could relax on command. Of course, it’s very difficult to will yourself into a pleasant lull when you most need to. Fortunately, you can learn how to truly relax your body so you can “push the relax button” in times of stress. It just takes a little work.

horse riding performance preparation, pre-performance horse riding ritual, preparing for horse riding competition, horse rider psychology

There is a saying that best sums up getting ready for the competitive arena, “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. Preparation doesn’t just mean training your skills. Yes, you have to replicate what you learned to do at home, but there is more. A performance situation places different demands on the rider.

horse rider psychology, mental horse riding traps, improve horse riding focus, April Clay

What are mental traps? They are those little mental glitches you fall into again...and again. Here are some common traps and deep trenches that can lead you off your game.

horse psychology, horse rider affirmations, April Clay, equine rider affirmations

Just think positive! You have likely heard this familiar advice at some point in your riding career. There are mixed reviews on the effectiveness of affirmations. If they work so well, why are we not all wealthy or draped in first place ribbons?

overcoming horse riding fear, fearful horse rider, understanding horse riding fear, horse rider physical fear, horse rider psychology

Riders, at some point in their careers, usually know physical fear. Reoccurrences of physical fear can be confusing and really interfere with your riding pleasure. Some even give up at that point, exhausted from the inner struggle. There are things you can do, skills you can learn, to get yourself back to all that fun you’ve been missing.

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Riding Vactions in California with Jec Ballou