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The Confidence to…
Confidence. We all want it, yet few have it. Recently, another horseman asked me, “Byron, what makes you so confident?” The ironic thing about this question was that I don’t necessarily wake up every day considering myself confident.
As a riding instructor, I see a lack of confidence in most beginning riders and even in some experienced riders. I don’t think there is a single soul out there that would say they don’t want to feel more confident, especially when astride a thousand-pound animal with a mind of their own.
We all go in search of things to give us this confidence, something to make those trepidations melt away. A lot of people will ride hour after hour with no results, all in pursuit of increased confidence. They will try to sit the horse a certain way, read articles, or listen to motivational tapes, again trying to pursue this elusive commodity. Let’s ask ourselves, “Why do I want to feel confident?” Sounds silly, but it’s important to know why you are pursuing confidence. Subconsciously, I bet you are thinking, if I just feel confident, then I will be confident.
Most of us have an idea of what it feels like. But let’s take a moment to identify what it looks like. Now, I’m not talking about overconfidence or arrogance. That’s actually the opposite of confidence. When a person carries themselves well – shoulders back, chin up, look you in the eye, grips your hand well during a handshake, walks with purpose, speaks with an adequate volume, and can stand squarely on both feet, then that’s a person who looks confident.
The point is you can be confident before you feel confident. Most of us, however, are not willing to make the physical changes needed to feel this way. We all know that if you frown long enough, you’ll feel sad or mad. And the opposite is true when you smile long enough, you start feeling happy. Why wouldn’t this work for confidence?
That said, the problem is further complicated by identifying the source of our confidence. Sometimes we use a pass or fail system, gauging confidence in how good we are at something. We try to gain knowledge and be the best at whatever we’re doing, and somehow at the end of that rainbow, we will again feel confident. And if others believe in us or even like us, we again will feel a sense of confidence. Problem is, it’s simply not true. You will never feel your way to confidence. It must start with intentional, deliberate acts on our part, founded in truth.
So, if we consider including the horse in this process of gaining confidence, the aspect of taking riding lessons is one of those choices to do something to help produce it. But, how?
You only get confidence by actually making changes; a lot of them, physical. One of them is changing the way you exist on the horse. That change in your existence does not end when you step off your horse. You get to take it with you.
Most parents want their kids to have more confidence and the answer just might be in riding a horse. At Stormwalker Ranch, we serve all ages of riders and can certainly work with your busy schedule. To learn more about what I and the other instructors do here, contact us today. You’ll be more confident if you do!