5 signs negativity is sabotaging your riding

By Annette Paterakis

I believe that thinking in a negative way is a subconscious habit and it often stems from a fear of disappointment. You are scared to be optimistic and dream big dreams cause what if you don’t make it, what if you fail?

The disappointment will be unbearable. Or will it? What if, instead of wanting to “keep your feet on the ground” you want to fly, and you aim high? What if you work really hard at it and feel grateful for every tiny step forward you make and for all the things you and your horses achieve together. You might or might not reach your end goal, but you will have achieved so much more, than not aiming for it in the first place. Not sure whether your glass is half full, or empty? Here are 5 signs to find out.

1. You have lost your motivation

Struggling to stay motivated to work hard at the moment? Then ask yourself, “do I have negative thoughts or speak negative words more than 50% of the time”? If the answer is yes, you want to consciously change those thoughts to be more helpful and motivating ones, like, “what is the one thing I CAN do right now to improve my riding/horse/future. Let go of thinking you can only be happy once you get great results. Being successful without feeling fulfilled is the biggest failure. So start each day with 3 things you are grateful for and then envision exactly what you still want to achieve into great detail. Can you feel the excitement already?

2. Your horses have stopped improving

When we lose motivation and only think negative thoughts, this does not just impact yourself, but your horses too. If, for instance, you keep telling yourself that working hard doesn’t really help cause you can’t do it anyways, it’s not likely you will get on your horses everyday training new and specific skills. Instead, you might get on the horse, walk, trot and canter and get of again? If so, I suggest you think about why you ride in the first place? What is it about the horses and the sport you love so much? Let the answers inspire you to train new skills, in new ways and in new places.

3. You are feeling tired all the time

Have you ever met a person who managed to suck all the energy out of you? Was this person down, negative or complaining much? How much energy did you feel while or after meeting this person? The way we talk to ourselves, can impact our energy just as much. So remember that your thoughts impact your feelings and how you feel impacts your energy. So make sure you choose your thoughts and words wisely.

4. Your results are not what they used to be

So you had this great season where everything worked out and you and your horse were on a roll. But at the moment, circumstances or your thoughts have changed and your not getting the same results anymore. Instead of staying stuck in the past. Direct yourself to be more in the present and instead of trying to get back to something that was, aim for something better in the future!

5. You keep doubting yourself

Another sign you might be focused more on the negative than on what you have complete control over is that you keep doubting yourself. You keep looking for signs to tell you that you are on the right path and that you are good enough. Unfortunately, when we are in doubt we also get doubtful signs, mixed results and horses that sometimes do it, and other times not. So take full responsibility for your thoughts and focus completely on what you love about riding, your horses and believing in yourself!