Let’s talk about getting nervous and how to avoid it affecting you!
First off and yes, I’ve said this 8 million times on OTRR, eating healthy and being fit will help anxiety and nerves. When your body and mind feel well you can handle things better. I’m a runner and have been for years.
I love it, it’s like therapy for me. I don’t run 10 miles a day but I do workout 5 times a week. I’m not the only one. Read the interviews on our site and you will find that the majority of these girls and guys work out and eat healthy. Read here, here, here, and here (those are just a few of the interviews on the site that talk about how important fitness is to being successful). I know how busy we all are, I GET IT! But listen, I can do a workout and a good one in 20 min. This video is an all body workout and is great for when you only have a 20-25 minutes. I do this arm workout too along with this core video. I do a lot of workouts on my treadmill. I sprint for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds. I do this for 25-30 minutes. Just take 20 minutes daily, work as hard as you can and then BE DONE. Find what works for you.
It will make a difference in how you feel which will help your confidence which helps keep your nerves in check. I PROMISE! Oh and here is a tip: I watch sports documentaries on my ipad when I run on my treadmill. You can always download a podcast to listen to as well. Learning while working out….getting it all done at the same time. BOOM!
Another thing that really helps me when I’m waiting to run down the alley is teaching myself to relax. You know how everyone says “OK, what I do is take three big breaths, concentrate on my breathing, blah, blah, blah.” I’m sure we’ve all heard this, we’ve all done this every time we start to feel the butterflies. I’m not saying it doesn’t work and for some it may work 100%. Wanna know what I have learned? A breath will take you to your seat. Hear me out on this.
From my experience when I take deep breaths to relax this is what happens. I take a deep breath and then I exhale and I feel myself relax from my shoulders, my lungs, my waist and then my seat. But then….that is where it stops. You know what I have found to be super successful for me? Start at the bottom and work up instead of the top and work down. Try this the next time you throw a leg over a horse. I do this every time I get on. Yep, every time I get on. I’m certainly not nervous every time I ride my horse, but I’m conditioning myself to teach my brain to relax every time, no matter where I am or what I am going to do with my horse. Muscle memory is a real thing, people! 🙂
The first thing I say to myself “relax your feet Leigh, just let them hang, basically just SIT in the stirrups. Then I make sure my hands are down with one hand on the rein resting on the withers or neck and the other sitting on my thigh. Now breath. This small exercise will make me relax my entire body and the minute I do this, my horse starts to respond. Tense muscles breed anxiety in your horse and in yourself. REEELLLAAXXXX! Work on this every time you get on a horse and eventually you will start doing it automatically. Remember, work your way up, not your way down. Start at your feet and go up to your nose. Give it a try and let me know if that helps.
Like I said before it’s 100% trail and error. I’ve been so nervous before a run that after I warmed up my horse, I made my sister hand walk him so I didn’t make him as nervous as me. I’ve certainly felt like I was going to be sick before a run. I’ve had people try and talk my ear off before a run. Uh, I can’t do this, some people can but I want people to leave me alone before I’m gonna run down the alley.
As we talked have talked about before, the most relaxed I have ever felt before a run was when I was PREPARED! I think knowing you are there and ready is half the fight. The other half is having a routine with your horse so he doesn’t get jacked up before going in. I have a particular routine I use with my horses and I keep that routine every time we run. Trying to calm your nerves while on a horse that is nervous is VERY hard to do. You want to work hard to find what helps you and helps them. Horses don’t do well with change, they are like humans…uh, we don’t either.
Don’t change it up on them, that creates anxiety. It does the same for you! For example, you’re at the rodeo and you’re up in slack and they are going to run the barrels last. All of the sudden they change it and they are going to run the barrels first. Immediate ANXIETY! You’re running around like a fool and this creates nervousness. Same thing in your horse. Find a routine and stick to it. Find what works!
My routine from years ago is not what it is now, I’ve changed it. Things that I thought worked, turned out…they didn’t. Things that I knew the pro’s did that I thought would work for me…turns out…they don’t. Things I used to not allow, I will allow now. Again, trial and error, folks!!
This is entry was one of our Enewsletters that goes out every Friday. If you like this, make sure you’re signed up!