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Overcoming Fear - cont. Page 2

Third, build confidence. To start, I recommend that everyone get in shape and healthy. If you generally feel sick, weak and vulnerable you will have trouble building confidence in your own abilities regardless of what you are working through. Working with someone to partner with you in this endeavor will help insure success also. The next thing I do is break down the problem into progressive steps so we start doing something that the person has confidence in then increase the challenge and have the person work on each step until they have total confidence in their ability at each step.

For example, the fear of falling. Many of my students start out with this sometimes crippling fear. So to get through this I have them practice falling off. We start just falling from standing on the ground (drop and roll). Then, we move to jumping off increasing heights. Finally, we work both sliding off bareback and jumping out the saddle hitting the dirt and rolling. It has a two fold affect. One, the student finds out they can fall and do as much as they can to minimize injury and two, they know how their horse will react to a sudden dismount. This also is an opportune time to teach a horse to stop and stand still if a rider parts company with the horse while riding. We always do this in a controlled environment to give a better odds of success.

If you have a problem with a specific individual you must figure out what exactly frightens you. Ask yourself, is the horse reacting to me or am I reacting to it? Sometimes problems are simple miscommunications between horse and human. This is where a trainer or knowledgeable friend can help you define a problem, most of the time you will be too close to it to see it. In any situation break down the fear and build steps to gain knowledge and confidence in each step. Donít sit back and hope through time and maturity it will go away. Be aggressive, follow through. The only thing you have to lose is your fear.

If you need help in this area I am very happy to help you define your fear and develop a plan of attack. I can be reach by phone or email. Feel free, I am here to help.

For those who find wisdom in the bible ponder the following verses:

PS 56:3-4: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid... NIV

JOS 9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." NIV

Check out - Controlling performance jitters for those with performance anxiety

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