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Rider Psychology

Mindfulness Exercises for Nervous Riders

Nervous tension in a rider is transmitted to the horse. Try these mindfulness exercises to get over your nerves and calm down quickly and efficiently.

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By: Megan Pinfield |

Any time we are working with horses there is the possibility that things could go sideways, and someone could get injured. It’s a fact that every equestrian must accept. However, just because we accept it doesn’t mean we stop worrying about it. To understand why this is, we first need to understand the fear response in humans. Fear is an inborn response to a perceived danger. Our bodies were designed to keep us safe from large predators, like tigers and bears. When we perceive danger in our environment, we get one of three responses: fight, flight or freeze. As riders, we are very familiar with the first two because our horses also have these responses when they perceive a threat. The freeze response is more complicated, but you can think of it like this: if you were in a situation and you could not run away (flight) or fight your…

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