You’re out on a trail ride, walking through the grass along the fence line when your horse spots it – a big piece of plastic caught on the fence and flapping in the wind. She stiffens and snorts, then starts dancing sideways. You know you have to get past this plastic to get back to the barn but what if your horse spooks really big?
What if she bolts?
Will you be able to stay on?
Should you get off?
In an instant, you notice that your stomach feels queasy, your shoulders are tight, your hands feel cold and trembling, and you can feel your heart pounding in your chest… and you’re probably not breathing either…
This is the fear response. It’s normal and natural, and designed to protect you.
But it can hold you back too. When fear takes over, you can’t move as well, you can’t react to handle the situation, you can’t ride very well, and you certainly aren’t able to help calm your horse.
Why do we have these physical sensations in response to fear and how can we tell if our fear is warranted – maybe it is a good decision to get off and walk your horse past that flapping plastic – or if the fear itself is the challenge we need to work through?
In this video, I will explain why each part of our fear response, from being short of breath to feeling knots in your stomach, has an evolutionary purpose, and a simple way to consider if your fear is helping you or holding you back.
p.s. This training on overcoming riding fear and anxiety is from my Calm & Confident Rider Program. To learn more about Calm & Confident Rider, Click Here