Riding and confidence have an interesting relationship. I have so many good memories of feeling totally confident, and achieving really exciting things on horseback. And other times, filled with nerves and tension, being barely able to coil a rope, feeling incapable and stupid. When I look back on those memories, my capability was completely hindered by my internal dialogue.
You know how you can’t back a horse trailer when someone is watching? It’s like that.
It’s so important to find a good teacher who believes in you and your ability. Sadly, the horse world is full of people who manipulate, yell, demean, and treat students terribly. I’ve ridden with many like this. But, it’s also full of some really wonderful human beings who show great caring for their equine and human students.
Constructive criticism is important. Some teachers are tougher than others. But if you find yourself with a teacher who yells and demeans, leave.
I’ve spent many years working around the confidence lost from bad teachers. They are not going to get better, and you aren’t either. When you are tense, you relay poor information to your horse, so if you can’t yet do it for yourself, do it for your horse.
You have so much more ability than you think!