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This is a discussion on Relax? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    • 1 Post By Lexiie
    • 1 Post By tinyliny
    • 2 Post By existentialpony

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        11-16-2013, 06:39 PM

    Okay, I'm still a beginner and have a great instructor. No problems there. I have moved nicely up from posting trots to cantering and small jumps and I love it. I arrive to my lessons about an hour early and stay about an hour or two after my lesson just to clean and muck. I like just being with the horses. No problems there.

    My problem is not being able to relax in the ring. My instructor says I'm over-thinking and that a drink might help (she is kidding). I find myself often getting a bit tense in anticipation of my next step and becoming unbalanced. I then put more stress on myself to do better and of course that just usually makes it worse.

    I feel like I am trying too hard and making it much more difficult than it is. Im making nice progress overall, but this tightness is holding me back at times.
    So excluding alcohol, klonopin etc......any ideas on how I can chill before and during a lesson ?

    A large note of thanks in advance !
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        11-16-2013, 06:42 PM
    Just breathe!! I do the same thing, I'm just so excited to learn and I rush into it.

    Take your time doing transitions, up and down, take your time going to jumps. Just breath deep(:
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    bkylem likes this.
        11-21-2013, 01:56 AM
    Maybe some relaxation exercises while you ride? Before shows, my drama teacher would have everyone breathe in for four counts and out for four counts, four times. It helps to relax and remember to breathe!
    Also, try sitting in the saddle, and bunch your shoulders to your ears, tense your back, thighs, your entire body. Then just let yourself DROP! Go from that tensed state, to just letting everything fall down to proper posture, with your head high!
    What really helped me to relax was when my instructor put me on a lungline and had me canter with my eyes closed and my arms out. It may sound odd, but just taking some time to realize that you can just be silly at times and not have to stress about making every little detail perfect yet.
    But most importantly smile! Maybe even sing! Come up with games that you can do while warming up/cooling down yourself and your horse. That way when you go to work, you're starting with a blank canvas, and your warm up doesn't have to be perfect, and your cooldown can be a time to just relax in the saddle again!
    Sorry this is so long, hope it helps!
        11-21-2013, 02:06 AM
    Super Moderator
    Laugh. Even forced laughing will release tensions. Check out this video:

    A half hour before riding.
    farahmay likes this.
        11-25-2013, 01:25 AM
    Thanks for the ideas !

    Now if I can only not stress out that I'll forget to use them in the ring. :)
        11-25-2013, 02:12 AM
    Smile! Remember to enjoy the ride. :) That always helps me to relax. My instructor regularly has me release the inside rein and pat my horse's neck when we do something well-- for my benefit!
    RedAce and bkylem like this.

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