Life, it is fair to say, doesn’t make being positive easy. Every day we are faced with challenges that make us doubt ourselves. For many people finding the confidence to become a positive person seems almost impossible and while reading articles about building confidence may help they are often hard to put into action.
One way to boost confidence is trying something new such as taking up horse riding. In this article we will look at how a person can build confidence while learning to ride.
The feeling of uselessness is one that is often linked to lack of confidence. Learning to ride a horse requires developing many skills, which can be learnt at the rider’s pace. Horse Talk revealed in a study that, “youths who learnt horsemanship skills showed better decision-making, thinking, communicating, goal-setting and problem solving.” These skills can be easily transferred to daily life. The great part of about learning to ride is that you do it at your own pace. As you learn more, your confidence is sure to improve.
The bond a rider can develop with their horse cannot be overstated in building confidence. The Horse Channel informs us that building a friendship will take time but it is ultimately extremely rewarding. If the relationship is built correctly then the horse becomes less an animal and more a partner in your development. Horses are great in that they won’t judge or try to pull you down. After getting to know a horse well you might never want to leave their side. As your riding skills improve so will your bond with the animal and so will your confidence. Riding a horse is like having a friend helping you overcome challenges together.
While the bond between yourself and your horse may grow so will your human relationships. A riding school or local stable is a great place to meet likeminded people. Many rides happen with a group of people and hopefully interacting with people who also love horses will help increase your confidence.
A real life example of how riding can be used as positive example is former British cyclist and Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton. In 2015 she was sponsored by horse racing specialists Betfair to train and compete in the 2016 Cheltenham Festival having never sat on a horse before. Betfair who also cover the prestigious event, probably never thought she would do as well as she did when they offered to sponsor her training. Speaking to British newspaper The Telegraph she admitted being apprehensive of the challenge yet was determined to push on.
There have been a lot of moments where I have been given ‘what not to do’ advice.
Indeed many racing experts wanted to see her fail. When the race came around not only did she complete the track but she came fifth beating many jockeys who had been riding for years.
Hopefully this article has demonstrated how riding is a great way to build up confidence. It is a hobby that not only helps you develop skills that can be used everyday but also helps you build a good relationship with other people and of course your four legged friend.