The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 120: Q & A-How can I switch mentally from one horse to another?

If you ride more than one horse, you might be wondering how you can effectively switch back and forth. In this episode, I share how energy, intention and awareness are important when you move from one horse to another, both in competition and at home.

Question: I ride quite a few horses and I am usually running 3-4 at a barrel race, from finished horses to horses who have just started entering.  Is there any little “hack” to help me switch mentally for each horse?

The first step is awareness. You need to be aware that you have to show up differently for each horse.

Next, you need to be aware of the energy you bring and determine if it aligns with your ideal performance state for each horse. You may need to adjust your energy for a laidback horse versus an energetic horse.

The key is knowing what each horse needs from you. 

Have an intention for how you will show up for each horse. The intention you have for an inexperienced horse will often be different than your intention for a finished horse.

Ask yourself, How can I show up in the best way for THIS horse?

You can energetically disconnect from one horse before moving on to the next one. You can use this at home and in competition. 

I’ve been to both Disneyland and Disneyworld. They are both awesome, but they are different.  Disneyworld is more spaced out and Disneyland is more squished together in a small area. I think of Disneyworld like riding horses at home – the rides are spread out and you have more time to transition. Disneyland is like riding horses in competition – you switch horses at a quicker pace. There is less transition time. 

The transitions between horses are just as important at home as they are at competition. You can start practicing some of these transition “hacks” at home so they become easier before you go to competitions.  

You can create an energetic cord to each horse. When switching horses, you can disconnect by doing a criss cross motion by swiping left shoulder and right shoulder with the opposite hand. The idea is that your intention needs to change. You can do this while you stop and take a breath. You can make it whatever motion that works for you. 

Make it part of your habit or routine to disconnect from one horse before you start thinking about the next horse. When you’re ready, start that next connection with intention and by asking how to show up best for your horse. 

Awareness and intention are key. 

Join the Conversation

Join the discussion in the The Rider’s Mind Community on Facebook. As a member of this community, you’ll also get tips and videos from me. 

Want to connect or ask me a question? Find me on Instagram or Facebook.

Learn with Me

If you’re looking to make changes to your mindset, be sure to sign up for my free Next-Level Mindset Mini Course.

You can also join Stride, my next-level barrel racing group. This group receives video training and coaching from me and Stride members have access to special guests. We work on becoming mindful barrel racers so we can show up, be present and perform with great partnership.


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