When Fear Wins…Brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products
This is a topic I have heard a lot about lately… some people can’t get past their fear of messing up, being in the arena, around competition, or out of their comfort zone. I don’t know ONE person who hasn’t experienced fear in their lifetime! It’s perfectly acceptable and nothing to be ashamed of, its an honest reaction. I think where so many people struggle, is they are so concerned with the fear and the anxiety it brings, it becomes the only focus.
Before you even get your saddle on your horse, you mind is racing with all the things that could go wrong… concentrating on “are they watching me”.. “is my horse ready”… “this is going to be a disaster”… We have ALL been there in some capacity! First things first, instead of continuing on with that thought process, stop and recognize what you’re doing. Take a moment, breathe and start a new line of thinking.
Easier said than done.. I know this.. However we never become better without practice. Practice is the ground floor of success in any avenue of life.
In order for your horse to be better, you must commit to practice. In order for you mind to be better you must commit to the same level of practice. Developing a good mental game will NOT happen over night, however it will happen if you practice it.
I have learned in my life journey there will always be something to work on, we are never a “finished” product. If you can begin to tackle the first steps of getting past your fear you can always put those principals into place for other avenues. You may find that, the warm up pen is no longer intimidating, you feel comfortable there, your body is relaxed and you are at ease. Now it may be when you hear “_____ you are on deck” that your heart starts to race and you begin to breathe heavy, and no doubt your horse sucks up and starts to feel the extra pressure. Now both of you are a tense ball, when this is exactly what you didn’t want. Now.. I do believe there is a fine line between fear and adrenaline (maybe a little of both) but either way, this is the moment you wanted to stay relaxed.
You envy those girls that literally walk up there on a loose rein and their horses is never too excited, but focused to make a run. I promise this didn’t happen for them immediately. Their mental game has been a priority in their life for a long time. It takes practice and eventually you can get there as well. I do believe mantras are always good for you mental game and doing breathing exercises help as well. It is a trial and error situation, but one you can work on daily. The typical response to fear is to run.. that is what most people do, they run and avoid the situation, some to never return. By practice you will become more comfortable, recognize why you are scared, what is causing it, and go to work. Don’t get mad at yourself, feeling angry will not fix the situation. You’re already trying that is where you succeed!
What was once very uncomfortable can become comfortable.
Be sure and PIN!