It’s normal for a horseback rider to be afraid occasionally and want to find freedom from fear so you can enjoy your rides. After all, you’re dealing with an animal that outweighs you by 10x. Plus, he’s a reactive creature that has survived because of his flight instinct. So, he’s not always going to be predicable.
But you CAN find freedom from fear. You don’t have to be a victim of your emotions. You see, you don’t “get” emotions. You “do” emotions.
That is, you don’t “get” afraid, depressed, discouraged, or angry. You “do” fear, depression, discouragement, or anger.
You “do” these emotions with a very specific physiology. For example, think of the body language of someone who is depressed. He slouches with shoulders down and chest closed. His eyes are down, and his facial muscles are slack. If he were to speak, his voice would probably be soft and slow. If you mimic the physiology of depression, before you know it, you’re going to feel sad.
If you don’t like feeling depressed, “do” something else. Action precedes emotion. If you want to be excited instead of depressed, change your body language. “Do” excitement. Throw your shoulders back, smile, fling your arms in the air, dance around ecstatically, sing one of your favorite songs at the top of your lungs, and laugh hysterically at how silly you look. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling great!
By the same token, if you feel nervous or afraid when you canter, go for a trail ride, or compete, act “as if” you’re Steffen Peters or Debbie MacDonald. Sit on your horse like you’re an Olympic champion.
Mimic their physiology, and before you know it you’ll feel find freedom from fear too.
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