We all have this "all or nothing" mentality in life, whether it be with horseback riding, dieting, work etc... We decide that we are going to ride 6 x a week and drop our stirrups for 40 hours before Sunday. We set goals for ourselves that are not achievable and downright miserable.
Whether it be in life or in the saddle we have to start going a bit easier on ourselves and set goals that will still give us a sense of accomplishment but not be so overwhelming that we want to quit after every off ride. When we are overwhelmed we clench onto this goal so tightly that we start to clench onto our horse very tightly and we all know that does not equate to a good ride.
Tips from yoga: 1) Non attachment to goals- set goals but do not get so attached to them that you stress over them. Once you trust in the Universe paired with your hard, but not forced work amazing things will happen.
2) Honor our bodies (And our horses)- Understand that we all have days that we feel more or less limber than the last, be kind to our bodies because they do so much for us. This goes for our horses as well, unfortunately we are not practicing on a bike, we have to understand that some days our horses are just having an off day.
3) Use mantras- "Peace begins with me" "I feel relaxed and my horse appreciates my calm energy" You will physically feel your body following.
Riding just like anything else in life will go in ebbs and flows, go easy on yourself and your horse. Forgive silly mistakes, remember that this sport is supposed to be fun and it is our job to make it a pleasant experience for our equine companions.