I’ve worked with a handful of riders who had deep fear-issues, some of whom had many years of riding and horse-ownership. What needs to be understood, and addressed, is the way the body stores fear-memory at the cellular level. Yoga, breathwork, grounding and relaxation techniques need to be incorporated- otherwise the trainer and the horse will always be working “upstream”..against that existing current of fear-memory.
another big aspect of addressing the “overcoming fear”…is the absolute release of expectation and outcomes. Again, at the cellular level, it is re-training the energy-body. On the first level, it is essential to create safe-space. Even if it is sitting on the horse at the Mounting block and never taking one step.
Additionally, work with all new students on a longe line- even if they have ridden with other trainers or have experience coming into the barn. Teach them that it is about calibrating to new-horses, and not about their skill level as a rider. If a rider objects to this, as an insult to their skill– this also speaks volumes about their pride, versus their intuition-empathy. Pride and ego are not the most compatible companions for building relationship and partnership with horses…. those need to be put aside, before intuition, connection can come forward to create genuine rapport. Ultimately, it is always about “building relationship,” and those need to be grounded in trust and awareness. Read more »