How To Begin to Get ‘Unstuck’ In Your Riding

How to Begin to Get Unstuck in Your Riding

The feeling of being stuck where you are is not a good feeling. I think that we can feel stuck at some point in our lives. I’ve also noticed that once we have acknowledged this is how we feel, it becomes all we can think about! 

Your riding progress, or the lack thereof, is the same.  Getting unstuck is part mental, part emotional and part physical.  If one area does not join the others on the journey, those feelings of being stuck will slowly begin to creep back into your experience. 

What Does ‘Stuck’ Look Like?

In horse riding, stuck is often how riders feel when progress has stalled. The development of the relationship between horse and rider has become stale. Stuck can also be when the rider is no longer improving or looking for ways to improve, their aids in the saddle.  Riding has become almost mundane. Even ‘boring’!  The same thing day in and day out.

Before we go any further, I want to be completely honest with you. Getting ‘unstuck’ will require effort on your part.  However, it is the type of effort where most riders go wrong.  Efforting for the sake of efforting will only result in you digging yourself further into the mud! 

The First Step to Getting Unstuck

I am a huge believer in taking inspired action. I have found that if I take action from a place of ‘I must do this’, it will get me moving, but sustaining it is difficult.  

However, if the action I take is inspired, that makes all the difference. When the challenges show up, and they will show up, I am excited enough about the end goal to stay with it until I overcome it.  

So, the next step is to get inspired.  There are so many ways you can look for inspiration.  Maybe you already know what excites you – but you feel that you ‘shouldn’t or ‘can’t do it.  If this is the case I am going to challenge you as to why not?

Just because you have done one thing for any length of time does not mean that you have to continue to do that thing.  Horse riding should be fun and exciting. Feeling enthusiastic every time you get into the saddle.  

So Where Should You Focus?

I am going to suggest doing is to have a look at where you are right now.  Get realistic about what you have right now at your disposal.  Being stuck can often make us feel like we are alone and unsupported.  Is this really true? Sit down with a pen and paper and write out a list of what you do have.  

You can include things like

  • Your horse
  • The paddocks or barn where you keep your horse
  • Your good health or state of health
  • Any tack or equipment you have, either yours or that you can use
  • The areas you have available to ride in; arena and trails
  • Your money which allows you to ride, to begin with
  • Time resources and how you can schedule yours to include horses
  • Your support system (both horsey or non-horsey)
  • Access to the internet; you’re reading this right now
  • Magazines, books, videos, training programs…

It is important to note here that these are not things you would ‘like to have’, but rather things that right now, with either a phone call, a walk or a short trip, you have at your disposal. 

Realize How Far You Have Come

You probably have a destination or goal in mind with your riding.  Perhaps it is to have a certain level of communication between you and your horse.   Or maybe it is to perform, compete, take part in, or complete a certain specific task with your horse.  

Either way, knowing what you want to do is only one half of making it happen.  You also need to become really clear about where you are right now. 

To do this begin listing all the things that you can do with your horse already

  • Tack up
  • Mount up
  • Groom
  • Lunge
  • Walk
  • Trot
  • Canter
  • Jump
  • Lateral work, ride on the trail, gallop, compete…

In order to get to where you are right now, even if where you are is ‘stuck’, you had to overcome challenges.  Every one of the things that you put on your list of things you can do had to be learned.  Yes, some may have been easier or less intensive than others.  

But they are all skills that you have learned; meaning that you are more than capable of learning new things as you begin to move forward.   All you have to do is to identify what you want to do next. 

Next Steps to Begin Building Momentum

Building true momentum takes discipline and focus.  Many riders struggle to maintain this themselves, hence hiring a coach or instructor to help them remain on track.  But even then, working with someone once a week can leave you at a loose end for the other 6 days. 

I am going to suggest forming a habit to help you remain focused and on track. You can take this one step further by building in a few rituals around this habit.  Things that you enjoy doing and that help to get you in the right frame of mind. 

  • A cup of tea (bring a flask to the stables)
  • 5 minutes of just being ‘with’ your horse
  • A journal where you free-write about your riding and your horse
  • Cleaning your tack (yes really!)
  • Rolling bandages

Anything that sets a tone for what you are about to do.  All of the above do this and also allow you to think and organize your thoughts in order to focus on what is coming next. 

Remaining Inspired and Moving

From here, you need to find resources that will ensure you stay moving.  Momentum is always the most difficult to build at the beginning.  But that effort up front is worth it in order to get and then remain unstuck.

Something in motion will find it a lot easier to remain in motion!  Look for ways you can stay moving forward.  Find people and resources that will require to keep on taking action.  The next steps. 

This can look like:-

  1. Starting a Riding Journal
  2. Creating a plan for your upcoming month in the saddle
  3. Go back to basics with your riding
  4. Subscribing to a Podcast – The Daily Strides Podcast 😉 
  5. Finding other riders to chat to and hold you accountable
  6. Working with a horse riding instructor
  7. Hiring a coach to keep you moving forwards; mentally and physically

You’ll find that, with the right help, building the momentum becomes easier and easier.  

Often, becoming unstuck will require a little effort at the beginning in order to create momentum. Taking the right actions will help.

And, the great thing about momentum is that once you have enough on your side, you can relax a little and things will carry themselves forward. 

So, what are you going to do today to get yourself unstuck in your riding?

Keep well

Lorna

Work With Me & Get Unstuck…

I know, it can sometimes feel like all you are doing it taking action. But you are still very much feeling ‘stuck in the mud’ where your riding is concerned. The ‘right’ action is key…

Right now I have created space to work with a handful of riders in order to help them get unstuck and start building momentum.  

Or you can book a free call to ask me any questions you may have… Simply tell me where to send the link to my schedule and choose a date and time that work best for you.

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