I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of this series of blogs on rider confidence 🙂 Today I am going to look at the importance of wearing warm and technical clothing to keep you relaxed and calm as well as the importance of mindset.
Don’t forget to enter our competition too! WIN: I’d also love to hear your stories and your words of wisdom, maybe your favourite quote! Use #boudicaconfidence to keep us in the loop! The best story will win a prize from Boudica’s gorgeous range of rider and horse wear! 😊
The Right Gear
Most riders will quite rightly buy the best saddles, bridles, rugs, boots and everything else they can afford (or put on the credit card!) for their horse. But more often than not riders will forgo their own clothing and wear old, worn breeches or tracksuit bottoms and not fit for purpose jackets or boots! Lets think how this may effect us…..
We as riders are athletes and when we look at athletes in any other sports, even amateurs they are strongly focused on wearing the best shoes, having the best gloves and jackets and wearing the top base-layers they can afford.
Why? Well because it allows them to perform at their best. Coats & jumpers keep the body warm so the muscles can move correctly and stay relaxed. Flexible materials let the body move well and perform as needed. Technical wicking materials keep the body cool/warm and prevent sweat sticking to the body and making us feel cold and uncomfortable.
To ride at our best, feel comfortable and relaxed we need to dress as well as we can (or can afford!). This is one of the reasons I started Boudica, I wanted to help other riders find affordable clothing that they could wear all day (not just at the yard), that was technical enough to support the body when riding and also that looked fab!
Here is some more information about how our riding gear can help us perform at our best:
Flexible and comfortable breeches & leggings
These allow our legs and hips to move and flex with the horse so we can give aids correctly. Well fitted breeches help us feel comfortable and relaxed as well as keeping us the correct temperature. Shop some of our breeches & leggings here
Base-layers keep you cool in the heat and warmer in the cold weather as well as wicking away moisture from the skin so sweat doesn’t make you cold or uncomfortable. Some base-layers also have UV protection to keep our skin safe (see the chillout UV base-layers). Shop our base-layers here
Warm Jackets & Jumpers: It is important in the cold weather to keep the muscles warm so they can work at an optimum level and stay relaxed. What happens when you are cold? Your muscles tense and in turn this makes you a tense rider. Layers are great for riding because you can take them off as you warm up while riding. I have been careful to select jackets & jumpers that are stretchy so they move with your body while riding. All our long jackets have two way zips so they can be easily ridden in too. Check out our gilets & jackets here as well as our jumpers here.
Technical Gloves: These ensure we can have a secure and elastic connection to our horse so we can support them confidently. It is important to keep our hands warm to keep the muscles working properly too and allow our fingers to remain relaxed. Have a look at the range of gloves we have which include the sell out SuperXCountry gloves here.
If our body is comfortable and able to do its job properly we are more able to stay calm and relaxed and be in a good mood. We know that if we do this we are creating a better and happier environment for our horse.
Our thoughts are driven by what are know as our core beliefs. That is, how we see the world, ourselves and the rules we live by. These have been developed and influenced over time from the day we were born by our parents, peers, experiences and personalities.
Thoughts come and go all the time and we may or may not always be aware of them. You can imagine our thoughts as clouds floating around in our head. However which ones we engage in and hold on to are often driven by how we are feeling at the time. For example if you are feel anxious or worried, thoughts that match that state of mind are much more readily accessible to you. For example ‘i’m going to fail’, ‘i’m useless at this’, ‘i’m a bad rider’, ‘everyone will be judging me’. These negative thoughts can often spiral out of control and influence our behaviour negatively. For example you may avoid doing anything that triggers these worries, pull out of a show or feel very tense and scared.
The good news is that if we have positive thoughts or at least more balanced ones, these can drive our behaviour in a more positive and helpful way. Here are some useful phrases and quotes that you might find helpful to keep written down somewhere:
‘These are just thoughts, they aren’t based on fact or reality and will pass’
‘i’m here to learn and enjoy this experience’
‘let’s just have fun’
‘im going to be positive and calm so I can help my horse as much as possible’
‘lets focus on just achieving one of my short term goals today’
‘Focus on the learning not the outcome, from every experience we learn something new’
There is a lovely new business which creates cards with lots of positive notes on. Have a look at Kick On Cards on Facebook.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog. The next blog will look at Imagery & Relaxation techniques. Happy reading!