Horsecity.com - Full Article
by Charles Wilhelm
Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The first thing when talking about mental training for the rider is that I believe we all need to understand we must be very positive thinking in our abilities. We must believe absolutely in what we are able to do. And that means recognizing what are abilities actually are no matter the level. At the same time, we have to bring into account negativity. Why negativity? Because while we want to be extremely positive about our own abilities, we also have to be realistic about where the horse is in its own training. Once we are truly aware of both the positives and the negatives in our relationship, we then also need to not become overly attached to those ideas and allow them to interfere with our intentions, meaning the exercises we have planned.
Intent and Focus
Clear intentions in training are vital. We need to identify what we intend our goals to be. And that includes where to start, how to get there, and where to end. We absolutely have to prepare our mental state to stay focused on these goals rather than to react to the environment around us. You may be working with your horse and have another horse get totally out of control, or hear another rider shouting at someone but you have to stay utterly focused on the horse you are working with. Find your center and stay on track with your own work. Don't allow yourself to get distracted and you will find your horse is much less likely to get distracted as well. If you are focused, your horse will be focused it really is that straightforward.