Mental Roadblock

Riding has always been a mental game for me. If I didn’t have mental blocks I could accomplish so much more. Though that is probably true for all of us. Recently I have been facing an issue with the right lead. I tend to be more comfortable riding to the left in general but never really had much issue one way over another on Annie until a few weeks ago. During one of our first lessons with eventing trainer (ET) we couldn’t get the right lead. Since then I rarely face the issue when riding alone/ outside of lessons but every lesson since then I tense up about not being able to get the right lead. Sunday’s lesson was particularly awful and frustrating. I can’t figure out why I can’t seem to ride correctly but going to the right in lessons I want to throw my body inside and end up getting the wrong lead 9/10 times. Always things to improve on but I wish this hadn’t blown up on me in my last lesson before a week of  showing.

Do you guys have an achilles heel like this when it comes to riding? How do you get past the mental block?

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16 Comments

  1. I’ve been pretty open about my one-sidedness affecting my riding, all the way back to when I actually couldn’t turn Connor left. I think I’m telling him to turn left, but my body was saying “bend right!” Don’t beat yourself up about it being mental! We all have our things that affect us like that.

    1. I can definitely relate to your struggle now! I used to not like Hues right lead because it was much more uncomfortable but now on Annie I just have anxiety that she wont pick up the lead.

  2. Mental game is the hardest thing to develop. I am looking forward to the day that I actually get my brain in gear and stop making major mistakes.

  3. I always feel like once I realize I have an issue, I do it 500x worse. After a break from riding (unplanned or otherwise), I usually come back much better and with the issues resolved.

    Sometimes all it takes is a week of low key trail rides and minimal riding. Sometimes it’s a week of normal riding with lessons NOT focusing on my issue that help fix it.

    1. I haven’t ever thought about it like that. Usually stepping away works but the problem here is that I am fine at home and then in lessons and classes I cannot get her to pick up the right lead for my life.

  4. You’re going to laugh, but I have this same issue. I’ve been riding for like … 15 years now? And about once a year, I get the yips about canter leads and fuck them up CONSTANTLY for a month or so. Don’t know what it is… usually it goes away if I kind of ignore it for a bit.

  5. My mental roadblock prevents me from getting on my horse most days. I have a lot of irrational fears. Though to be frank, my entire life has a lot of mental roadblocks. Retraining your brain is hard.

  6. Mine was cantering at all, for the longest time. I still get a bit tense cantering outside the ring. And circling to the left at the canter was awful, but it’s all loads better than it used to be. Cantering a larger horse was never an issue, but the pony stride is FAST.

  7. The right lead canter was such a BFD to me, specifically on Archie, that when we finally got it consistently, I got a tattoo to commemorate it. 🙂 I’m still excited when he gets it.