The Trust Bank, originally posted by Zen and the Art of Baby Horse Management, remains one of my all-time favorite blog posts. I think about it (and use the trust bank technique) often. Another blogger (Oh Gingersnap!) recently posted an article about Rider Self-Shaming from Horse Journals that really resonated with me. I’ve been going through some tough mental stuff with my riding lately, and I’m working hard to move past my fear and misgivings.
Tip #5 from the article suggests identifying and honoring your strengths by writing them down and creating your own skills bank. The author (April Clay M.Ed., Registered Psychologist) recommends placing the list “in a location where it’s easy to review” and using it as “a visual cue when you’re having a bad day.” Well, there no place more public and easy to find than right here on my blog. So today I’m going to start my own Skills Bank, and write down all of the super strengths I have as a rider:
- I know my trot diagonals and canter leads by feel
- I’m good at getting and keeping bend around corners
- I know how to get a horse on the bit and maintain contact
- I can always count my strides between poles and fences correctly
- I have great heels on the flat
- I have light hands
- I can reliably use my hands independently of one another
- I’m a soft rider
- I’m a very aware rider, and can accurately discuss details of my rounds
- I’m a forgiving rider, and hardly ever blame my horse for problems
- I’m a confident rider on the flat
P.S. Thank you to all the bloggers who responded to my last post with awesome advice. Thanks to you, I’ve been successfully changing my attitude and working through my mental block!