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Skills Bank

Skills Bank

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!


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

14 thoughts to “Skills Bank”

  1. I love April’s advice. I’ve had a few sessions with her and it changed my riding! You’ve got a fabulous skills base and I sincerely hope that listing it out and keeping it in the back of your mind will help you remember that you can do this.

  2. Love this post and the idea. Don’t be harsh on yourself – you are a great rider, it’s easy to see that just out of photos and videos, AND you love and care for your horse, and that says it all. It’s easy to blame your horse after a bad ride, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard you do that on this blog. All of these bad times will end up sharpening your skills as a rider even more.

  3. This is a great idea, and something I should consider doing to help boost up my riding confidence. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. these are all awesome! and lots to be proud of here too! that awareness is so critical as a rider, and yet one of the hardest things to develop imo

  5. This is a great idea! It definitely helps to remember the positives, especially when the road gets bumpy. It’s so easy to focus on what’s going wrong and forget all about what’s going right. Just now while reading your post, I found myself thinking, nope, I can’t do that… Nope, I pull too much.. nope nope nope… I guess someone best go and think about some yeses….

  6. So glad you found that article useful – it totally resonated with me too!
    You’ve got a wonderful skills bank 🙂

  7. Love this. 🙂 It’s so easy for a high achieving perfectionist to get down on themselves, but that doesn’t help anyone. I really love the book “that winning feeling” for this kind of stuff as well.

  8. I love that you made this into a post! Definitely something I should think about doing as self doubt is one of my favorite things to linger on. Bleh.

  9. That’s a GREAT list of super strengths! Very admirable and enviable at that!
    You’ve got this; I think you can do anything you set your mind to. =)

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