12 May COVID-19: Become a better rider while you can’t be in the saddle
From pandemics to injuries, there’s a long list of reasons horse riders may be out of the saddle. In the meantime, there’s no reason you can’t work on making a strong comeback…
Here are our top strategies for getting back on the horse in style:
1. Work on your fitness
Horse riders need to be fit in order to perform at their best. We know this. You’ll notice a huge difference in your fitness by simply doing a workout a few times each week. Gyms might not be an option for you right now in COVID-19, but home workouts are always on the cards.
2. Develop your plan
A training plan or ride outline is a vital tool, whether it’s to set you up for success in the show ring or to help you move up to the next level. Your training plan should lay out the structure that you follow within your warm-up, the training section and the cool down.
3. Work on your mindset
We couldn’t name a better time to work on your mindset than when you’re out of the saddle. Mindset is massively important – the way we think about our skills, abilities and the challenges we face defines the way we ride.
A growth mindset is the optimum way forward, rather than a fixed mindset. When someone has a fixed mindset, they believe there’s a limit to their abilities. A growth mindset empowers a person to look at both success and challenges as part of the necessary learning they have to undertake to get to the end goal.
Not sure how to start working on your growth mindset? Try these suggestions:
- Read equestrian mindset books such as Inside your Ride by Tonya Johnston or Perfect Mind – Perfect Rider: Sport Psychology for Successful Riding by Inga Wolframm
- Practice visualisation – whether it is a challenging movement or something new that you are working on visualising your riding can be incredibly helpful
- Book a session with a performance and mindset coach
4. Set goals
Set yourself a few goals for when you do get back on the horse. Preferably, these goals should reflect factors that you can control. For example, ‘I will focus on breathing every few strides in the canter’ rather than ‘I will win my next dressage test’.
So there you have it. Riding conditions may not always be perfect, but there’s always a way to keep your riding front-of-mind.
Have any other tips and tricks? Make sure you share them on the Baxta App!