5 Tips for Keeping Your Confidence Up in the Saddle

5 Tips for Keeping Your Confidence Up in the Saddle

By Sarah Bachor
  1. Communication. This is listed first because without open and honest communication improving or keeping up your confidence will become stagnant. It is important to find a team whom you can have real communication with in a constructive and positive manner. It's important to feel safe in talking about things that make you feel less confident and constructing plans to improve your confidence. 
  2. Practice. Ok, ok. So you might be thinking *eyeroll* of course. But hear me out. By practice I mean not just mindlessly going through the motions. Thinking about what YOU need to practice. That means you personally, your horse or a combination of both. The things I have to practice on Enzo are not the things I need to practice on Ocelot and vice versa. I need to take each horse and each day separately and try not to hyperfocus on the past or present. Also, it is important to realize we unfortunately do not get better by practicing the things we are good at. Any of my (PA) students who have possibly opened this are nodding their heads at this because I say it all the time. We don’t study the things we know, we study the things we need to improve on. 
  3. Mindset. To piggyback on the last tip. It is important to realize we do not one day become (hopefully) great by only focusing and perfecting the things we know or do well. You also do not become a better student by scoring 100% every day. You become better by failing. You become great by failingand using those failures to tailor your training, studies, etc. to improve in the future. Mindset is everything, without the right mindset I humbly believe you cannot even begin to scratch the surface of confidence. 
  4. Honesty. Biting off more than you can chew can sometimes be the biggest detriment to your confidence. It is so important to have a team who knows when it is time to push you to the next level. It is important to be honest with yourself of your and your horses capabilities in and out of the saddle. That was where I went wrong initially as an adult amateur. I thought I could take a horse who needed a rider with unshakable confidence at horse shows to horse shows - new horse shows at that - with positive results. Guess what? I was wrong. I was not honest with myself and my capabilities and what suffered ultimately was my confidence. I am not a naturally confident human, definitely not so in the saddle, so I have to work on my confidence day in and day out. With that said I am now somewhat conservative - okay really conservative - when I ask myself “are you capable of this?” This is why being backed by a supportive, honest, encouraging team (bonus tip) is paramount for building and keeping up your confidence. 
  5. Laugh - a lot. Seriously. When you laugh we release dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. Dopamine is known to improve learning, attention and motivation. Oxytocin has been studied to reduce anxiety, produce a sense of safety, and improve one’s mood. Lastly, as Elle Woods says “endorphins make you happy!” I don’t know about you, but that trio to me seems to be backed by science to improve confidence. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!


About Sarah

Adult-Amateur Hunter Jumper/Equitation rider, Sarah Bachor, human to Ocelot and Enzo balances being an equestrian with being a practicing physician assistant and educator. 

Follow Sarah on Instagram: @oxers2oncology

Read her blog: Oxers2oncology.com

What Sarah loves about BOTORI:

BOTORI is timeless and trendy all in one. Better yet, they are affordable pieces for all riders. I love that BOTORI can be worn anywhere - the gym, barn, work, out on the town! Quite literally anywhere.

In this phot series Sarah is wearing the Adler Breeches and Riley Tech Top.

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