Timmie Pollock, Ph. D , C.C. – AASP
Equestrian Athlete Sport Psychologist
Your Horse Is Your Mirror Series
KNOW YOURSELF THROUGH YOUR HORSE
The examples that I have described are just a few of the many I have come across in which a person’s thoughts or beliefs interfere with their enjoyment of or progress in their sport. When this occurs, I have found, these beliefs are likely to be interfering with more than just riding. When the rider addresses what is necessary in order to remove any “riding roadblocks,” the results usually carry through to the other areas of life. What’s interesting is that, for many clients, their involvement with horses and riding provides the motivation to do some important psychological work that otherwise might be neglected.
The bottom line is, if you find yourself similarly “stuck” in your riding, do not despair. If you suspect that an outside issue is interfering with your progress, get to work. Do some introspections. Ask close friends and family members if they see any connections or contradictions that you might be missing- listen to what they have to say with an open mind. Ask yourself whether you hold any beliefs of thought patterns that might be limiting your success, both in and out of the saddle. Look at any other areas of your life in which things are not quite what you want. There are clues everywhere. If you wish, or if you’re unable to get to the bottom of the problem on your own, a sport psychologist or other mental-health practitioner may be able to help you clear out the mental baggage.
Even if it sometimes takes a bit of work to believe it, we all deserve happiness and success in whatever form matters to us. Remember that!
Now get out there and ride!
Dr. Pollock is a Clinical and Sport Psychologist based in La Jolla, California. She has worked exclusively with equestrian athletes from all disciplines of riding for over 20 years. In her practice she uses a variety of techniques including biofeedback, hypnosis, EMDR and TFT in addition to the basics of mental skills training.
Dr. Pollock is a lifelong horse owner, breeder, and rider and has competed for over twenty-five years, primarily in dressage. She has also competed in Hunter/Jumper and Eventing divisions as well. She can be found on her new equestrian athlete Sport Psychology at EQUExcellence.com