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The Importance of Rider Self Image

TUALATIN, OR- We all have an image of ourselves as riders. Either of our past selves, present, or future. This image can show us our goals as riders, shows us how far we've come, and yet can hold us back depending on whether this image stems from a place of positivity or negativity.

We all do it. Imagine where we as riders are going to be in the future, and/or playing a movie of what we imagine ourselves to look like when we are riding and showing. Yet sometimes this movie isn't always accurate. We can either build ourselves up to a rider beyond what we actually are (ouch), or we can actually demean our skills and hinder any progress that could have potentially be made. The latter I like to refer as putting ourselves in a self made 'worry box'.

One must have the proper balance about one's mental state. On one hand we must be confident and kind enough to ourselves to allow our acquired skills to shine and speak for themselves. On the other hand we have to be modest and honest enough with ourselves to truly let criticism sink in, and more importantly change us for the better. Our horses way of going and behaving can all too often be the mirror to our own mistakes and habits as the rider, handler, and/or trainer - and let me be the first to say we are not always going to like what we see!

Cheers, Mercedes.

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