Overcoming limiting beliefs

As parent you can see our kids talents so easily but how do you convince them. Believing in ourselves has nothing to do with talents or skills, but all to do with how we see ourselves.  

In this video I am going to share with you my own, very personal story of how I doubted myself even though others believed in me. 


Does your child have aspirations to become an Olympic competitor?

Then this might be something worth reading.....


Is Talent enough?

Many riders believe that in order to be at the top you have to have talent.

But the question is, is talent enough? Or in fact is talent a prerequisite to being successful?

Is it possible for a not so talented rider to be more successful than a naturally talented on?

This is a question that many parents ask themselves when their kids voice a desire to make riding their career. Particularly when money becomes an issue and a deciding factor. 

So, let's have a look.

In order to sustain a long and successful career in our sport you need to be   

  • Willing to do the work
  • Be adaptable to different horses
  • Deal with ups and downs
  • Able to think clearly under pressure
  • Having horses trust you
  • And most importantly, believe in yourself!!!


  • Willing to do the work

You need a solid foundation in order to build a successful partnership with your horse. The foundation is the basis of training that allows you to be one with your horse when it counts under pressure. Building this foundation takes time and consistent schooling, only then is a rider and horse able to communicate instantly and effortlessly with each other.

For a talented rider it might be tempting to take shortcuts when it comes to the foundation schooling and that would give them a clear disadvantage in the long term.

We need to make sure that we also instil this into our younger riders, that no matter how much they win they are still building their foundation and that takes consistent effort.


It’s the extra 1%or 2% a rider puts in that makes the difference.


  • Be adaptable to different horses

Again this is where the foundation is so important. If a rider has learned to ride correctly, has feel and understands that every horse is unique, then it is much easier to adapt to different horses.

We often blame the horse if we can’t get it to do what we ask of it. I think this shows a clear arrogance from the rider, rather than good horsemanship. We need to learn and accept that in most cases the horse does exactly what we are asking it to do, just that often what we ask and what we think we have asked are two different things.

Instead of rushing to get to the next level we need to encourage riders to learn as much as they can from every horse they ride at every level. It is often the more difficult horses that teach us the most.


  • Deal with ups and downs

Every sport has ups and downs. It’s called maintaining movement and growth, which is part of the natural balance.

It is important to learn to deal with success as much as it is important to learn to deal with failure. Both are invaluable and we can’t dismiss them. I have seen many talented riders struggle with failure at a higher level because they weren’t used to dealing with this in their earlier career, whereas a not so talented rider was used to it from an early age, as they had to work hard at every level.

Failure has to be embraced as part of invaluable learning.

A rider who wants to succeed can’t be scared of failure or it will cripple them. We have to be good at winning and losing!

 Overcoming limiting beliefs


  • Able to think clearly under pressure

Again this is a learned behaviour. The more solid our foundation and training the more consistent the rider can be in their preparation for competition. Thinking clearly under pressure becomes easier when the rider has a set routine he/she can follow on competition day. It is something we need to practice over and over again until we can trust that the warm up strategies are right. Being disciplined and consistent is the key.


  • Having horses trust you

Trust is something we have to earn, we can’t expect it or demand it.

Trust comes back to how much time we spend with our horse and if the work we have done at home was fair. We can’t take our horse for granted and expect it to perform for us just because we feed it and look after it. The rider/horse bond has to be established over time and it can’t be rushed. We have to learn to listen to our horse and only ask of it what it is capable of giving to us.

This is a very important lesson to learn for our younger riders and they need older mentors who lead them by example.

 Building a bond

  • Most importantly - believe in yourself!

Believing in yourself is much more important than talent. Belief is what drives you to do the work and to form a solid foundation.

Your belief is what gives you the determination to work with every horse you ride.

You can only learn to embrace the ups and down when you believe you are good enough and deserving to get to the top.

Thinking clearly is also easier when you have a strong self belief and your horse is looking for a leader it can follow.

You don’t need talent to believe in yourself, you need to let go of any limiting beliefs and embrace your ability to do whatever you choose with whatever it takes.


So be the best you can and remember that a rider without a horse is only a spectator, so be kind to your horse!