Destroy Fear with an Attitude of Gratitude

Hi Guys,

It's completely reasonable that occasionally you'll be afraid when you ride. After all, you're dealing with a reactive (reactive means bolt, spin, buck, shy, or rear!) animal that outweighs you by a lot! But you can destroy those fears by adopting an attitude of gratitude.

The first thing you need to remember is that ninety-nine percent of the things you fear never come to pass. So why waste all that energy worrying about things that will probably never happen. Mark Twain summed it up when he said. "I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."

So don't focus on what you're afraid of. Destroy your fear by focusing on what you're grateful for. Are you afraid of getting bucked off your horse? Be grateful that you get to spend time outdoors with beautiful animals. Are you afraid you’ll bomb at a competition? Be grateful you're strong and healthy enough to compete. Are you afraid of getting sick? Be grateful you’re not blind or crippled. Are you afraid of becoming blind or crippled? Be grateful that you have a sharp mind. Are you afraid you're not smart enough? Be grateful you have a loving heart. Maybe you don’t like your job? Be grateful you have work so you can pay your bills (...and then go about finding your passion so you can do what you love and love what you do!).

Gratitude actually attracts more of the things you appreciate and value into your life. Do what Oprah does. Start a gratitude journal. Everyday, jot down five things you’re grateful for. If you can't think of five things, at least write down, "I'm breathing!"

If you're having a really bad day, and you ask yourself what you're grateful for, you might end up growling, "Nothing!" If that's how you feel, ask a better question. Ask, "What could I be grateful for?" I bet you'll come up with all kinds of answers to that question.

I'll get you started. How about:

The kindness of strangers
Your health
Your family
Your horse
Not having to cook tonight (my personal favorite)
Toilets that flush
A cleansing rain
Doing a great job and having your efforts appreciated
The smell of gardenia
Air conditioning
Your favorite song
A nap
Petting a dog
Bright colors
Eating popcorn at the movies
The absence of pain
Old friends
White chocolate
Modern appliances
Finding a parking space exactly where you need one
A good book
A hot shower
Savoring the scents of life (flowers, food, the earth, your child's hair, the barn)
The gift of sight
Days off
A gentle breeze
Rocking chairs
Restaurants that deliver
Your plane landing safely

Annihilate your fears by nurturing this attitude of gratitude. Suddenly your horse's behavior won't seem so scary, the jumps won't seem so big, the course won't seem so overwhelming, and the judges won't seem so threatening!

Happy Horse

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Comment by C Tanner Jensen on April 2, 2009 at 6:37am
Really good advice.I apply these principles in my everyday life,but I never extended it to my riding life.Thanks,I believe I will be able to direct my mind and heart to a much calmer and more productive place.
Comment by Eva Rapp on April 1, 2009 at 7:15am
This is great philosophy! When I was young I would get sunburns that blistered (as an adult I've learned it's easier to just stay out of the sun). On my worst days when my mom would asked me how I felt; I always said "at least I'm alive!" Some times you have to look hard for the good parts of the world but they are always there.
On the same vein when my dog is being a pain I tell him that he's the best behaved Quincy in the WHOLE house. Ok so he is the only "Quincy" (that's his name) in the house :). He can work on being the best behaved Quincy on the block tomorrow!
Comment by Lucy on March 31, 2009 at 1:20pm
Very true and very inspiring.
My list for today is as follows
-having a loving and loyal horse,who has taught me so much about life and living in the two years I have owned his thus far.
- having a family who despite being non horsey support my horse habit and my school habit too (I am on university degree 2 right now)
- having the opportunity to get an education at the post secondary level
- having a great riding coach who is an even greater friend.
- I appreciate that I had a great lesson yesterday and a great hack home with a fabulous friend.
Comment by Jane Savoie on March 31, 2009 at 12:46pm
Love it! Good for you.
Today so far:
The bright colors of the bougainvillia (sp?) beside the road where I hack.
My Golden Retriever puppy, Indy.
My car started.
A Yummy breakfast!
My friend Ruth who is helping me with my latest project.
Comment by Lallanslover on March 31, 2009 at 12:06pm
Really inspiring (as ever) post! I'm going to treat myself to a pretty note book and make a gratitude journal...Today my list of five is:
Having the ability to smile.
Being blessed with good friends.
Having a supportive boyfriend and father, without them I couldn't continue with my passion for horses.
Breathing spring air.
Being appreciated by my cats (including the ones I sneak food to at the stables!).
Comment by Shirley on March 28, 2009 at 12:58pm
I love this! Soooo thrue! I will be sharing this with others and reminding myself.
After spending the first 18/20 years of life worrying about everything (if I didn't have something to worry about...I'd find something...was my general attitude on life) I realized I was having to get thru the things that really did happen and then the many more things that did not happen and I was able to STOP doing that for the most part and life has been soooo much more enjoyable.
Comment by Vanessa Fraser on March 28, 2009 at 12:09pm
This is so true :)

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