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Mental Skills Part 4 – Keeping the Momentum, from Confidentrideronline

Making some changes? How Momentum affects your results and riding experiences!

You feel like you are really making an effort to turn things around. You’re being more positive. You know what you want and you are putting all the steps in place to get you to there. But still, things don’t seem to be falling into place.

If you’re really honest, it doesn’t feel like it’s working. Yes, you’re more positive, but the negative thoughts just keep pushing their way through. You know what you would like things to look like – how you want your horse to go, how you want to look as a rider – but that doesn’t stop the anxiety or the fear or self-doubt taking centre stage whenever you put your foot in the stirrup. Where is it that you are going wrong?

Something that I am in frequent discussion about with riders that I work with is the idea of momentum; having a working understanding of how momentum is affecting your results and outcomes is really crucial in developing the kind of persistence and “hang in there” attitude that we need whenever we are in the moments of instigating something new.

The reality is that whenever we have been moving in a certain direction for a period of time – be that on a mental level where our thoughts have been directed towards a particular outcome or result, or on a physical level where we have developed some habits or behaviors that we are wanting to move away from – we have created a certain energy or momentum in that direction also. When we intercept that pattern with something that we have chosen by conscious design – for instance, we want to train our focus and intention towards what it is that we want to create and away from that that is causing us anxiety – it can take some time before the our new way of being because the dominant pattern. For a while there, it may feel as though your efforts are misplaced – useless even – simply because you have yet to become as practiced at your new way of thinking or being as you have with those that are more familiar to you.

Transition times are always pivotal moments in any training situations, and it can take some time to build the strength that you need to manage mental and emotional transitions with ease and fluidity also. Instead of seeing yourself as “here” and wanting to be “there”, however, reframe your situation into one of “becoming”. Bear in mind that there are always two parts to every scenario – that which you don’t want and that which you do (or the absence of that which you don’t!) That said, have a play with some different versions of these to suit your specific circumstance and observe the effect that it has on your mindset.


I am not anxious, I am moving toward confidence.

I am not an inexperienced competitor, I am moving towards being an accomplished competitor.

I am not fearful, I am moving towards bravery.

I am not doubtful, I am moving towards cultivating self-belief.


Positivity, training your focus, initiating change in the direction that you want to go will never work against you. Recognize and celebrate the incremental changes that come with creating new patterns and taking on new challenges. We are never stuck in one place. We are always in the process of becoming.


Jane Pike is an Equestrian Mental Skills Coach at www.confidentrider.online. Her super power is giving riders the skills they need to ride with confidence and joy, and the mental fitness to be focused, on form and in the zone for competition.


All photos by kind permission of Katie Neat for e-Venting.


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