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Help for Nervous Horse Riders: Boosting Confidence in the Saddle.

A group of horse riders leaving the yard for a ride

The lady featured below contacted me because she had lost her confidence and needed help after a bad experience and was considering giving up riding. To protect her identity, I am calling her Sue.

Sue (a lady in her mid forties) had always loved horses and had been riding for as long as she could remember. She was an keen equestrian and spent most of her free time at the stables, working with her horse Harvey, improving their skills. However, one day, everything changed.

Sue was out riding on a road familiar to Herself and Harvey, when they had a close call with a motorcyclist.

Avoiding roads was not an option as Harvey was stabled in a built up area.

They were trotting along the road, keeping close to the shoulder and following all the necessary safety precautions. As she rounded a bend in the road, a motorbike being ridden at speed, came up behind her and passed far too closely. Fortunately the motorcyclist had seen Sue and her horse at the last minute and swerved, narrowly avoiding a potential disaster for her and her horse.

Harvey reacted but not too badly and Sue managed to stay on board, thankfully they were both unharmed but Sue was badly shocked. Harvey being the gem that he was, seemed to settle down quickly as though nothing had happened. The motorcyclist didn’t stop to see if they were both O.K.

Following the the incident, Sue found herself mulling over the it in her mind, questioning her ability to keep herself and Harvey safe should such an incident happen again. She struggled with feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, wondering if she was really cut out for taking him out on the road. Sue was a wife and mother with responsibilities and knew only too well of the consequences if the outcome had been worse.

With the only alternative to riding on the roads being a small muddy paddock, Sue contacted me for help. She had heard about the Confident Rider Series through an article in Your Horse Magazine.

Sue had read that Self-Hypnosis could be a powerful tool for helping people overcome their fears and phobias, especially following a negative experience.

After a long chat on the phone, Sue decided she would like to have tried a face-to-face Hypnotherapy Session but owing to financial constraints and distance from my practice, this wasn’t going to be possible, so she decided to try one of my pre-recorded sessions.

After hearing her story, I thought that the ‘Roadwork with Confidence’ would be ideal.

You can read further down how the process works.

I'm thrilled to share that in a short time, Sue was able to ride Harvey back out on the roads again and soon became her old self. To start with, she dedicated time to listen to the recording once daily for five consecutive days. Following this, she intermittently used the session to maintain the positive effects.

For those of us who engage in horse riding, it remains our duty to take all possible measures to ensure our safety and that of our horse on the road. Jointly, drivers have a responsibility to acknowledge our presence on the road, providing us the required space and consideration although we all know that some inconsiderate ones don't.

If you're an equestrian who has encountered an experience like to Sue's or if you've encountered a fall or are struggling with confidence issues, don't hesitate to consider self-hypnosis. It might just be the tool that allows you to regain your confidence in the saddle.

How does Self-Hypnosis work for nervous riders?

Woman listening to self hypnosis recording

Self-hypnosis presents a distinct mental state, marked by profound relaxation. This state is reached through a range of approaches like guided relaxation, visualization, affirmations, and post-hypnotic techniques. When someone enters this state, their subconscious mind becomes receptive to new positive ideas, suggestions, and methods of cognition. Once accepted by the subconscious mind, these elements are relayed to the conscious mind. Therefore, when awake, the same uplifting thoughts, viewpoints, and feelings remain to strengthen the person.

The outcome is a more composed, assured, and optimistic rider, who has broken free from a cycle of worst-case scenarios going their thoughts. For those ridden with nerves, Self-Hypnosis becomes a powerful friend in removing fears and uncertainties.

What are the benefits of pre recorded Self-Hypnosis sessions?

There are several advantages when it comes to using pre-recorded Self-Hypnosis recordings.

Convenience: The accessibility of pre-recorded Self-Hypnosis sessions at any time and from any location makes them a convenient choice for those leading busy lives.

Affordability: Pre-recorded Self-Hypnosis sessions are more budget-friendly compared to one-on-one sessions with a Hypnotherapist.

Privacy: For some individuals, opting for Self-Hypnosis recordings is more appealing than delving into personal matters face-to-face with a therapist.

Adaptability: The flexibility of pre-recorded Self-Hypnosis sessions allows for repetition as necessary, enabling the listener to advance at their own pace.

Value-Added: Opting for Self-Hypnosis recordings produced by a Hypnotherapist who also happens to be a horse rider brings an extra layer of understanding to the table. Their intimate grasp of the unique hurdles and worries that riders encounter adds a sympathetic dimension to the process.

7 Top Tips for Riding on roads.

Woman riding a horse on the road

For many riders, there is no alternative to riding on the roads especially in the winter. Riding a horse on the road can stir up some nerves, especially if it's unfamiliar territory. Here are a few down-to-earth suggestions to help you remain composed and in control.

Plan Ahead: Plan the journey beforehand and lean towards roads with lighter traffic. Stay clear of busy crossing and area caught up in road repairs or other diversions.

Skill and Training: Ensure your horse is proficient and reacts well to your aids. Consider taking a lesson from an experienced instructor who will take you out on the road.

Companionship: Having another rider with you can be a source of added encouragement and assurance.

Easy Does It: Pace yourself and don't the rush. Allocate ample time for your journey, avoiding peak times or periods of heavy traffic.

Be Seen and Predictable: Wear reflective clothing and lights or reflective gear on your horse. Communicate your intentions to other road users and strive for a steady speed and direction

Maintain Your Cool: Keep your composure and try not to panic. If anxiety looms, take a deep breath and focus on sustaining a calm attitude Bear in mind that your horse can feel your emotions, so aim for a calm and self-assured manner.

Safety First: If a circumstance feels dangerous, get off your horse and lead him to a safer spot. It's better to spend a few extra minutes a potential problem than to expose yourself and your horse to risk.

Can a horse pick up on a riders nerves?

Absolutely, horses are remarkably perceptive creatures and have an uncanny ability to tune into a rider's feelings and emotions. They can detect changes in body language, breathing, and even the slightest movements, and their responses may alter accordingly. To demonstrate, if a rider feels uneasy or tense, the horse could mirror that unease or restlessness. It's crucial for riders to maintain a composed and alert manner while interacting with horses. This helps develop a solid partnership and prevents the horse from growing anxious or uneasy.


Sharon Shinwell, hypnotherapist and experienced horse rider.

The Confident Rider website was created to help nervous horse riders overcome their anxiety and fear through the use of Self-Hypnosis.

Our online store offers a variety of affordable downloadable audio sessions, written and recorded by me, Sharon Shinwell, a UK qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a lifetime of riding experience.

These sessions cover a wide range of pleasure riding and competition disciplines and are designed to address specific issues related to riding. These include:

By using proven techniques, our audio sessions help riders relax and feel more confident in the saddle. Our website is user-friendly and all of the sessions can be easily downloaded and accessed on any device.

In addition to the Self-Hypnosis audio sessions, we also offer advice and resources about all aspects of owning or riding horses and ponies through our Blog. We welcome suggestions for topics that you would like us to cover.

I am a co-author of the popular book "Ride With Confidence," which was forwarded by Kelly Marks, the well-known Horse Whisperer.

Our Self-Hypnosis sessions have received positive reviews from customers and have been featured in various magazines such as Your Horse, Horse and Rider and Horse and Hound.

The Confident Rider Nervous Rider Action Plan:

A nervous rider falling from her horse

Experience the thrill of riding like never before with the Nervous Rider Action Plan - your ultimate gateway to conquering those persistent feelings of anxiety, tension, and fear that have held you back. Click the link above to find our more about how this comprehensive plan which you can download today can help you start to enjoy this leisure activity that you have chosen. Look at the image above, how would you deal with this situation? The plan can teach you to be more assertive when you are in the saddle and more able to avoid these mishaps when you are riding. The plan is packed with a fusion of self-help workbook exercises, cutting-edge relaxation techniques, and a profound hypnotherapy session. Also included is our most popular session Hacking with Confidence

If you're ready to overcome your anxieties or fears and become a more confident, relaxed rider, visit our website to access our Self-Hypnosis audio sessions and take advantage of our special offer of a discount, when you join our mailing list, at the bottom of our home page. Don't worry, we won’t bombard you with emails, perhaps just the occasional one to tell you about something new.

Just follow the link to go to the main site.

Last but by no means least.

Why not share your experiences with almost 3000 members of our Facebook Group?

"This article represents the personal views and opinions of the author and should not be taken as representative of the official policy or position of any organization, professional, expert, or individual."

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