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Dealing with overwhelm with horses

mindset Jul 31, 2023

Horses can be massively overwhelming...especially if we are going through rehab or an issue or changing what we're doing in terms of training or exercise (change on its own can be difficult!). 

And a lot of what we experience during overwhelm can be down to our mindset and the thoughts that run through our heads, unfiltered. 

Last week in both my equine training and my online business support groups we were working on mindset and motivation, so I wanted to write a blog about it too, as making positive changes to our mindset can have such a profound effect on the time we spend with our horses! 

Some tips to beat the overwhelm...! 

Work out what needs to improve: stepping back from your horse to have a look or think about what actually needs to improve in your horses body is a great place to start. Once we can identify and see the main issues to work on, we can measure our progress, actually feel like we are moving forward, and move towards achieving our goals! 

Getting started: make yourself some mini goals for your first session/s or first week/s and have a mini celebration with your horse! This is so good for motivation! YOU GOT THIS!! 

Write down a basic plan: making a progressive exercise plan for your horse with weekly small progressions etc can be a way of maintaining progress without the overwhelm! Then you know you are progressing, and you can focus on the here and now rather than continually thinking about the future/long term. The upside with this is that you will be 'in the moment' with your horse, which is where they like you to be! 

Chunk down what you need to do: have your end goal in mind, but work on the small (weekly as above) chunks that are in front of you. 

Carving out time for you and your horse: instead of thinking 'I've only got 20 minutes' you can turn that around to 'what could I achieve in 20 minutes'...see the difference?! Rinse and repeat with this, and before you know it you will have done 4 x 20 minute sessions with your horse in a week, and this is how you can make great progress...you don't have to be in the arena for long if you're doing really laser focussed work! Ask me if you want a laser focussed, multi tasking, safe and progressive programme to follow! 

Checking in with yourself: as you start your session with your horse, just do a quick check in on how you're feeling, and take a few deep cleansing breaths to ground yourself - this helps your horse to relax too! Some deep breathing can bring you into your body and out of your head, which again is helpful for your session with your horse...you're focussed on the here and now and not the end of the session.

The power of the mind is incredible: flipping your limiting beliefs by first recognising/catching them and then challenging them, and retraining your thoughts/brain is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself, and your relationship with your horse will improve because of working on yourself! 

If all this talk of self improvement to improve your relationship with your horse has hit home, do come and join myself and my lovely members in my Strength & Straightness programme. Part of what we work on as a group alongside the exercise programme, is motivation and planning, to keep us all on track and progressing safely and positively with our horses, whether rehabbing, bringing back into work, or just on a general improvement path! 

Click here for details: Strength & Straightness Online Training Programme



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