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3 Step Calming Exercise Before Horse Riding.

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Are you tired of feeling stressed and anxious before going Horse Riding? If it's a YES! use this calming exercise to help put you at ease.


Most of us have felt it at some point, no matter how long you have been horse riding for, that dreaded feeling rears its ugly head just before you go out on a ride, it's right on schedule, your heart starts to race, your breathing becomes quicker, your stomach is doing summersaults, your arms & legs, your knees go to mush, and there you have it- a total bag of nerves!

I have been there countless times for reasons that I don’t understand and others where we have had some trouble on a previous occasion, I vividly remember going on a beautiful hack through the woods with my mum years ago and on our way back home a complete lunatic in a black car came tearing past us completely ignoring our requests and signals to slow down, as the car went past it flicked a small stone up which hit the horse I was riding, not surprisingly my horse resembled 'Tigger' and bolted a few yards down the road, it happened so quickly I didn’t have time to think - thankfully I stayed on and we were not physically hurt however mentally it knocked my confidence for six, from then on, every time I went on a ride, my anxiety came back - in bucketloads!


Moving forward and on a positive note I have learned to control this fear, it took me a while to find a technique that worked as everyone is different but I thought I would share with you what worked for me.


1- BREATHE!!

Now I know this sounds simple but it isn’t when you are feeling 'out of control'.

Take yourself somewhere quiet (we understand this may be challenging if you are at a show or busy yard) maybe escape to a stable or horsebox (minus the horse!), sit somewhere comfortable such as on a bale of hay, uncross your arms, and legs and just listen, listen to your breathing, notice how fast and loud it sounds, now in your mind tell your body to slow your breathing down, say to yourself 'I AM in control', inhale in through your nose and count 3 seconds, then exhale through your mouth and count 3 seconds, repeat this process for a minute or two until your breathing comes back to a normal rate.

2- BODY

Once you have gained control of your breathing - visualize.

Imagine you have a beautiful vibrant light coming from above your crown, down to your head, and filtering down through your body, watch it in your mind pouring positive energy into every muscle, wherever it goes, it tells your muscles to relax moving from one to the other, gradually the negative tense energy should be being pushed down through your feet and be soaked up into the ground.

3- MOVE

Now you have relaxed your muscles and you are breathing normally, slowly start to wiggle your fingers and toes, then gently move your arms, legs, and head until you feel ready to stand, when you are fully stood up say to yourself 'I am strong, I am confident and I believe in myself'.


Once you have practiced doing the exercise above the quicker it becomes to regain control, you can also use this in everyday life when it feels like it is all getting a bit too much.


You may find that listening to some music when tacking up does the trick or smelling your favourite relaxing fragrance!


If you have any other relaxing techniques that you use or have used, comment below! We would love to hear them.


Happy Riding!


If you have a topic you would like us to cover or a product you would like us to review then do get in touch and drop us an email at hello@uptonequestrian.com

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