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You Got This Equestrian – Tales of An Anxious Amateur and Hearing Loss


Welcome to You Got This Equestrian Confidence Series by Hayley at Red Bear Equestrian.

This week I am joined for part two by Nadia from Tales of an Anxious Amateur.

Join us while we talk equestrian and rider confidence alongside hearing loss and the impact this has.

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Hayley x

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Watch Nadias first You Got This Equestrian Video .

Watch the first episode and see where You Got This Equestrian started.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Website

Instagram

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You Got This Equestrian – Your One Task This Weekend. Building your horses confidence.

Happy Friday.

This one is a short one, but one I would love you to take action on this weekend.

We concentrate a lot on our confidence and how to build it, but what about our horses confidence?

So before you ride, after you ride, instead of or even while you are riding, take some time to work on your horses confidence.

Set up some scary obstacles, tarpaulins, umbrellas, halloween or christmas decorations, balloons, wood to walk over, footballs, radios playing music, whistles, mirrors, flags, let your imagination run wild.

You do not need anything special, just get creative.

Then allow time, you cannot rush your horse with this. They need to be allowed to explore and be reassured to build true confidence.

Supporting our horses to build their confidence helps us to build our confidence.

When we believe our horses wont spook, worry or similar we ride with a different attitude, that attitude breeds even more confidence in our horses which in turn effects us more.

Making this part of your routine, just five minutes three times a week, makes such a difference.

I would love to see some pictures of what you and your horses get up to, please share on social media and tag us @redbearequestrian

To find out where the You Got This Equestrian Series started click here.

Hayley x

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Website

Instagram

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You Got This Equestrian – 10 Top Tips for Equestrian and Rider Confidence

I am so excited to be compiling some of the top tips that our followers shared with us as well as the tips that we use ourselves.

  1. Think of your confidence like a muscle. When you first start a new sport or take up exercise, your muscles are still, sore, they ache. However with small steps it improves and gets easier. Some days are better than others, some days you will over do it. Your confidence is the same. It requires small steps, time, patience and the acceptance that there will be good days and not so good days.
  2. Keep a diary. We often do not see our own success and progress. Simply as we focus on the negative. Keeping a note of our rides means you can look back and see how far you have come, celebrate the wins, no matter how small. When we see progress we are spurred on to do more.
  3. Keeping on the topic of seeing progress, so many of those featured in the You Got This series so far have talked about the power of video. Filming your rides and lessons means you can watch them back and not only learn from them but see what went well. Again we often focus on the negative, rather than all the positives, when you watch it back often you see it wasn’t as bad as you thought, and again celebrate that, celebrate your wins.
  4. Take the pressure away. Sometimes a week off either riding, in hand work, hacking, schooling, whatever it might be is just what you both need to reset. Then restart slowly. There is nothing wrong with a week of grooming and bond building.
  5. Breath! Honestly its the first thing to go wrong when you are worried or panicked. Practice taking slow deep breaths, when you regulate your breathing it also has a calming effect on your horse. If you find this really hard, try singing or talking or telling your horse a story. This forces you to regulate your breathing. It really does work. i have many times been seen riding around singing away or talking about what has happened in my day (yes to my horse).
  6. Phone a friend. Is there someone who could walk out with you, just be there, be on the end of a lunge line? Often just the reassurance of someone there (the right kind of person) helps us calm and also gives us someone to talk to, regulating our breathing.
  7. Remember the sayings you always heard when you first started. “Heels Down”, “Back Straight”, Boobs Out”, Don’t Look Down”, “Shoulders” “Point your hips where you are turning”…. all of those and more. Position does help. Easier said than done sometimes, but the right position helps us feel more in control and our horses to feel calmer.
  8. Try some ground work. It is a great way to build a bond, learn new skills, try out seeing scary things and teach you to relax. We wrote a blog on this previously here.
  9. Rides or any work with your horses do not have to last an hour! They can be 10 mins. Small, tiny steps, break it down and take it slowly. Ending each time on a high for you both. If that means riding to the end of the road and back, once around the arena and working up from there. Do it. There are no rules.
  10. Don’t rule out additional support. No matter if that is an instructor (and try a few until you connect with the right one), a trainer or a course that specialise in confidence building, hypnotherapy, mindset work, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). There are so many options out there. Asking for help is not a weakness it is a strength.

To find out where the You Got This Equestrian Series started click here.

Hayley x

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Website

Instagram

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You Got This Equestrian – The Stories We Tell Ourselves.

Welcome to You Got This Equestrian Confidence Series by Hayley at Red Bear Equestrian.

This week join me as I ramble through this weeks thoughts on how our inner voice can hold us back and the limitations we bring ourselves.

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Instagram

Website

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You Got This Equestrian – Anxious and Excited Horses

Sometimes as an equestrian we put our emotions onto our horses and how we feel impacts on them, although it can work the other way. We can think our horses feel a certain way and this impacts on us.

In this situation how we react is key.

For example, we were out for a hack this week, my daughter was on my fell pony, who decided a particular tree may spring to life and attack him ( as they do ) had she panicked, it would all have escalated quickly, however this time she noted how he felt, reassured him and allowed him to pass the very scary tree in trot to get past it quicker as walk was just making him worse. We passed it and within a minute he was fine and the ride was amazing.

So how can you calm your horse? I want to share my top 5 tips for you to try next time your four legged friend decided life is either very scary or very exciting.

1 – Allow them to get rid of their energy in a safe controlled way. This may be by a canter down a track or in the school, or it might be a trot down the road. Allowing them to place their energy in another place (movement) can shift their mindset as well as getting rid of that initial energy which is causing the reaction. (only do this in a safe space where you are in control)

2 – Ask your horse to lower its head, this automatically cues them to relax. I have walked alongside riders with a lunge line on to encourage their horses to lower their heads at times. If you can teach your horse a cue to do this it is a great skill to have.

3 – Set boundaries. Horses are not like some other animals who will do what you ask because they love you, yes your bond helps as they trust you, but they will do as you ask because they know you have set boundaries in which they are safe. If you have boundaries they are more likely to respond when they are anxious or excited to what you ask.

4 – Let them look, sniff, touch. We are very good as riders at asking our horse to go past scary things or to think they will react in a certain way. By allowing them to explore they build up a reassurance and a knowledge that all is ok and they can remain in a calmer state next time in the same situation.

5 – Consider a dismount. This very much depends on your horses and its personality. Sometimes getting off and leading until they are no longer so anxious or excited works really well, for others this makes it worse. I know for one of mine this makes him worse, so I long rein him when I know he will be going past something scary as he finds this reassuring ( I will chat more about the benefits of this another time)

All horses at times react in ways which we would prefer them not to, no horse is bombproof, however it is our job as equestrians to understand how to support them and build their trust in themselves and in us.

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Let the team share their top tips – You Got This Equestrian – Rider Confidence Series.

Welcome to You Got This Equestrian Confidence Series by Hayley at Red Bear Equestrian.

This week we welcome some of our Brand Ambassadors.

Nadia

Lolly

Lily-May

Alice (and Charlotte)

Caleb

Winnie

Join us while we they share the best parts of being an equestrian and their top tips.

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Website

Instagram

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You Got This Equestrian – Horses and Heat

Hey,

Welcome back to You Got This Equestrian – The Equestrian Confidence Series.

This week I am writing to you as tech and video was conspiring against me, but I will be back on video next week.

It has been so warm in the UK recently and our horses are not used to it, in fact as riders we are not used to it, so I wanted to share three top tips that I have been using to keep my horses cool in this heat.

There is the obvious keeping them in the shade exercising early before it gets hot or in the evening (mine hate this, they want a mid morning or after lunch ride out) however there is other things you can be doing to keep them cool in the heat.

  1. Keep them hydrated – easier said than done. Mine always seem to drink more in winter than summer. I will add electrolytes to their water to ensure they are not getting dehydrated and also will add a splash of fruit juice every now and again to encourage them to drink (just a small amount and only occasionally) One of mine also loves drinking from the hosepipe so I will offer that every now and again as even if he isnt thirsty that will always make him drink. Or my daughters favourite way to get them to drink is by getting them to bob for apples and carrots (I did a previous blog on this) but we simply drop them into the water in front of them and they naturally drink while grabbing them. However always supervise them when they are bobbing.
  2. Get the garden sprinkler. i discovered by accident that if I set the sprinkler just outside the field so they cant get to it, they love standing in it. It myst be calming and refreshing. They also love rolling in the wet cold mud (although thats not a plus point for me) This keeps them cool and is something they can have for a longer period of time to cool thm down. Although I usually find the kids and dogs in it too.
  3. Ice lollies. My horses love these. Water, a splash of fruit juice and some cut up fruit in a container. Put in the freezwer and once frozen remove from the container and give to your horse (always making sure you supervise them) this only cools them for a short period however mine always seem more refreshed especially in the heat in the middle of the day.Plus it is additional enrichment and play for them.

Summer is so much fun with horses but we need to be mindful of how hot they get in the sun.

What are your top tips for keeping your horses cool? head to our instagram page and drop me a message, I cannot wait to hear from you.

Don’t forget to check out our You Got This Clothing range too as the t-shirt has just had a new summer colour released.

See you next Friday on video with some of our Brand Ambassadors.

Hayley x

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You Got This Equestrian – Horse Rider, Equestrian Anxiety Tips

You got this equestrian episode 13

Anxiety is a huge part of us holding ourselves back when it comes to not only our riding but time with our horses in general.

What is anxiety?

Why do I feel like this?

It is generally wither conscious or subconscious anxiety.

Conscious anxiety stems from something that has either happened to you to someone you know or it is caused because there is a very real possibility of something happening.

Subconscious anxiety is something that you have formed in your mind either from a dread of what if of an association with something seen or perceived.

However the anxiety feels the same no matter where it comes from and it can start even before you get near your horse.

For some once they face what is causing it will subside, for others it will do the opposite.

When it comes to anxiety often your brain is in its fight, flight, freeze mode and that will be controlling and over ruling the rational side of your thought process. What it needs is to be reprogrammed and taught a new way of thinking which allows you to move forward.

I want to share 5 tips that you can try today to calm your anxiety when it comes to either riding or ground work as we have all been there.

  1. Concentrate ion your breathing. As simple as it sounds. When we start to feel anxious our breaths shorten, just by consciously breathing longer and deeper we can change how we feel about a situation.
  2. Everyday or as often as possible do something small (with support if needed) to take you one step closer, for example if your fear is riding in the school. Firstly ride near the school working closer to it or start with some in hand training or watching someone else ride your horse in the school, or riding on the lung. There are so many possibilities, it is choosing how smaller step you need to take.
  3. Think about your 5 senses. Every time you feel your anxiety building think about your senses and run through them, naming one thing you can see, hear, touch, smell, feel and taste. This does help to ground, centre and distract you.
  4. Use visualisation. How many times has this experience been positive? Think through the best case scenario and relive it in your mind as if it was happening now. Record that scenario like a story, filling it with emotion and positives onto your voice recorded on your phone and listen to it time and time again.
  5. think of a time when you didn’t feel like this, and think of something you remember from that situation. Was it a smell, a colour, an item of clothing, a ribbon on your horse? Then use that. Have that prompt while you are riding, or working your horse and when you start to feel anxious look at, touch or smell it then remember and focus on that positive experience.

Anxiety doesnt have to be the end of your good experiences or mean that you cannot do something, all it means is you have to re-look at how you see something.

I would love to hear some of your top groundwork tips too so head to our instagram page and drop me a message, I cannot wait to hear from you.

Hayley x

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You Got This Equestrian – Groundwork, Trust and Bond Building.

We all know ground work is one of the key elements to building a bond and total trust with your horse or pony, but it is one of those things that we either love or hate. Plus for many of us either us or our horses have to be in the mood for it, then we have to have the ideas of what we will do, so often riding is easier as it takes less brainpower beforehand and less stuff to set up sometimes.

The last few times we have shared groundwork ideas they have proved super popular so I thought I would share a few more to inspire you for over the next couple of months.

Plus not all groundwork has to be done by adults, with the right instruction and supervision many of these can be done by children to build their bond with their ponies too.

1.Cross a bridge – Exactly as it says you just need to build a bridge, this can be from wood (although make sure its strong enough to hold you and your horse), it could be a tarpaulin, stones, bark chips, matting. Anything that is unfamiliar. This is great for trust building. However the key is to allow time and not rush. You need to allow your horse to explore, to take their confidence from you, your actions and your ques. If you can also add in a vocal aid you can then translate this confidence giving vocal aid into your riding to give confidence in those scary situations. As we all have those.

2. Go for a walk. Yes take them somewhere different in hand. Spend time allowing them to graze, sniff and see new things, to have new experiences. This is not only a good relaxation technique for you and your horse to just be together, it also creates that bond without any pressure. You can use this time to introduce them to new objects or situations. While grazing and relaxed, having a positive experience means what they are being introduced to will be more positive.

3. Water for play – find any water and just allow your horse to see what it does, try it, play in it. It could be a stream, lake, paddling pool, hose pipe. Whatever you have access to. Often they love for you to play in it to and make this into a shared experience. Water fights between my kids, horses and a hose pipe are a firm favourite here as much as it sounds crazy they all love it.

4. Worming or sedating practise – We have all been there trying to get that syringe into our horses mouth, angle it the right way, push the plunger……and our horse throws it all over us! Now is a good time to practise this. Fill an old (clean) syringe with something yummy (ours love homemade apple sauce) and show them it isn’t really so bad, or try putting it in the middle of a carrot or apple to get them used to opening their mouths .Then work on reducing whats around it or in it and adding in a vocal command until you can put the syringe in easily without any aids. Always make sure you reward their efforts.

5 Learn your horses normal vital signs – their pulse, temperature, breathing, etc and teach them that it is OK to have this checked. Often this is only checked when there is something wrong and our horses then associate it with them being hurt or unwell. Making this into a normal fun thing to do, again rewarding their efforts will make life so much easier if they do get hurt or become unwell.

6. Teach them a trick just for fun – Our horses are meant to be fun, otherwise why do we have them. There are so many tricks you can teach them all with varying difficulty, get on YouTube and find something to try out. One of ours, Tom pulls funny faces on command! A totally useless trick but very funny when the kids have friends round. We have also recently started learning about liberty and how we can use that alongside natural horsemanship, so I will keep you updated on that.

I would love to hear some of your top groundwork tips too so head to our instagram page and drop me a message, I cannot wait to hear from you.

Hayley x

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Nadia from Tales of an Anxious Amateur talks with Hayley on You Got This Equestrian

Welcome to You Got This Equestrian Confidence Series by Hayley at Red Bear Equestrian.

This week we welcome Nadia from Tales of an Anxious Amateur.

Join us while we talk equestrian and rider confidence and our journeys.

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Instagram

Website