The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 94: Overcoming Rider’s Block

“Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” ― Babe Ruth


Don’t let the fear of getting it wrong stop you from getting started. This idea is really meaningful to me right now.  I’ve been thinking about getting started with new ideas with horses and trying to overcome some resistance about getting out to ride. Listen to this episode for ideas about how you can get out of rider’s block if you’ve also been feeling some resistance to spending time in the saddle.

I’ve been overcoming rider’s block. I’ve been resistant to riding. 

Normally, I would drop everything to go ride. Lately, I’ve had to make myself ride. There are connections to the pandemic and to my changing views on horses and horsemanship.  

I think I’ve got a fear of getting it wrong.  

There are no jackpots and no rodeos here in Manitoba (due to the pandemic). Previously, those events got me motivated. I am very goal oriented.  The desire to compete gets me out to ride. Now that I don’t have those events to work towards, things have changed.

I’ve been working on my rider’s block (like writer’s block or artist’s block). I was recently inspired by conversations on Warwick Schiller’s podcasts when he had Mark Rashid and Josh Nicol on as guests. A couple of ideas stood out to me. Josh said “Our enlightenment is drawn out by horses” and Warwick said horses are our art.

Everyone has a tool to bring out the best in themselves. It could be art or sports or something else. Horses are what we’ve chosen.  

Horses are instigators for growth.

What if a horse was your assigned tool of expression? (Like a paint brush for creating art). Your horse is becoming a piece of art.  Are you really proud of that piece of art?

My fear of getting started with my horse has to do with getting it wrong. I’ve been journaling about this. I think we can all create art, but some people are born more natural artists. A true artist who hones their craft makes a lot of pieces before they get an amazing piece.  

Sometimes the only way to true beauty and artistry is to keep building and creating. 

Even the beginner artist can become a master. There are different ways of becoming a master. You might watch videos, hire a teacher, make a plan and follow the fundamentals.  It’s the same with horses.  We ultimately develop our own style. 

There are things that I want to do a little differently than my coach. When we try to ride just like someone else, we have to keep in mind that we are not that person. Allow yourself the freedom to create your art differently, with your own feel. The idea is that we all create different pieces.

I think sometimes when we try to imitate a different style, that’s where we go wrong. We fail to consider our horse’s conformation and personality. What you might consider beautiful could be ugly to someone else. We have to work from our own heart and feel to create that masterpiece.

Your methods might change as you learn to apply different teachings. Each horse is your piece of art. They won’t always be masterful, but they will always teach you something.

You can pick a piece back up and change it. You can remold and reshape it.

Competition is like an art exhibit. Some won’t like your art. Some will love it. Judgement comes through the filter of what you value.

The horse comes with his own paint – his own body. It’s up to us to prepare his body for the exhibit and enjoyment for the eyes. The art is in the beauty of the movement and presenting the canvas in its most pleasant way. It’s about making our horse the best it can be by increasing our abilities. 

Improvement in your abilities might come through riding many horses, finding a mentor, studying biomechanics or allowing your horse to move in its most efficient way so it’s a thing of beauty. 

I hope these ideas help you. Get out there and experiment and learn with your horse. Don’t let your fear of getting it wrong stop you from getting started. 

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Mentioned in this Episode

Episode 29 and 32 of Warwick Schiller’s The Journey On podcast
https://www.warwickschiller.com/podcast/ 

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