The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 43: Get Back in the Game

If you’ve had the experience of being a successful barrel racer, then stepping back for a while and losing your confidence, this episode is for you. Based on a listener question, I’ll be sharing ideas for getting you back in the game if you’re feeling like time away from barrel racing has left you lacking confidence and doubting yourself.

A listener who was a past successful barrel racer and trainer has stepped back a little bit from the training world to have a family, raise a family and run a business. She feels like she lost some confidence by taking this break. She has taken lots of clinics during the last few years, but feels like all the new training methods she has learned from the clinics have decreased her confidence in her training. 

How do you build your confidence back up to trust your training program and stop questioning your ability?

I can totally relate to this question since I’ve been down a similar path. I have definitely experienced a lowering of my confidence after attending clinics. It has nothing to do with the clinician. When I find areas to improve by learning from a clinician, my ego tends to point out all that I didn’t know. Or my ego causes me to compare myself to others who seem to know more.

Confidence is a feeling.

The feeling of confidence is often results-based. So, if you’re not testing your work regularly by competing, you’re not getting any results to learn from. If you’ve always gained confidence from results and you’re not competing, you might struggle to regain confidence.

Attending a clinic is like presenting your work. You pay someone to suggest how you could do better. Depending on how you choose to receive their feedback, you could really end up feeling like you didn’t know a thing. That is totally not true (but you can thank ego for that idea). If you’re attending a clinic, go with an open mind and be ready to learn. Make the conscious decision to override ego: don’t interpret the clinician’s feedback as a message of “you didn’t know anything”.

As we grow, our lense of perception changes. 

You might base your confidence off something different now. Consider this: if you did the things you did back then to reach your goal- would you be happy and satisfied?

Our expectations change as we mature and grow.

What’s important to us changes. Perhaps a partnership with your horse is more important now than it was then, so the path you will take to get results is not the same. Because you haven’t been down that path yet, you don’t know what it should look like. Therefore, the level of confidence isn’t there because you haven’t done it yet.

“How do I show up confidently? You show up until we are confident.” – Jasmine Star

As we learn through clinics and personal growth and aging, we realize all that we didn’t know. While our actual level of knowledge increases over time, our perception of what we know starts high and then declines over time as we realize what we don’t know. For some reason, as we learn more, we end up feeling like we don’t know anything. 

This is just a perception. You actually do know more.

You’re just a little off course because you’ve been learning and that’s been putting the focus on what you didn’t know. I also think it’s important to be careful you’re not avoiding the work that actually has to happen by being consistent with what you know. 

Sometimes we don’t stick to something because we don’t want that feeling of disappointment that it didn’t work. It can help to take the intel from these disappointments. 

Learn from your experiences and use that intel as a leg up.

Or we wait until we feel confident before we test our work. And we wait…and wait…because we will only gain confidence from actually doing it! We will keep trying new methods and new drills, but we really just need to stick to the plan and be consistent. 

I’ve noticed by taking clinics, reading Q & A’s and conducting the interviews I’ve done for the Stride group, there are many ways to train a horse to the highest level. 

The one thing that is common with these high-level trainers is that they have a program and they stick to it. They might adapt to each horse, but their fundamentals stay true for each horse and they have their own style. 

When we go to clinics, we grab pieces from everyone. But we are not those people. We might be built differently and we might gravitate to a different kind of horse. Our energy level is different and our baggage is different. We can pick and choose all that we like from what we learned. At the end of the day, we have to make our own plan and do what feels right for our horse. 

Horses thrive with consistency.

They gain confidence from consistent training. I don’t mean riding every day, but having consistent expectations and a consistent method of communicating with them.

Make a plan and stick to it. Stay open-minded and recognize that you may have to adapt, but make your own way based on all the information you’ve gained over your years of research. 

Don’t decide that what you’re doing is wrong because it didn’t work today.

Ask yourself if you could do something differently to communicate better. Consider maybe your horse is just a “next day” horse and he needs to marinate in all that you’ve set up today, so he can show you he can do it tomorrow. Give your horse and your work a chance.

What if you found your confidence in your heart as a feeling that you were doing the right thing for your horse, rather than finding confidence from a timer?

What if we didn’t find confidence in the arena at all? Maybe this the separation that needs to occur.

Think about your values as far as horsemanship goes. Your family values have probably changed. What you’re willing to give up for your horses has probably changed. Think about what you know to be true with horses. A lot has probably changed for you. 

Stick to your values. Have faith that when you keep showing up being true to yourself and true to what you know, you’ll be working from the feeling of confidence at all times. Find confidence in your “enoughness”. Work on your self-worth and recognize that your results in the arena have nothing to do with your worth. Your worth comes from within.

Stay true to yourself. Build a foundation on that. Make a plan and be consistent.

We go deep into this kind of work in STRIDE, my next level barrel racing coaching program. 

Continue the Journey with STRIDE

You can learn more about STRIDE here Enrolment is open for just a few more days if you’re reading this when it’s released. Otherwise, be sure to join our waitlist so you can be notified when we open again. 


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

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

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.

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