Getting the Most from Your Riding: Relaxation and Focus for Equestrians

ESDCTA Workshop Series:
Sessions were Recorded June 1st and 15th, 2021

Presenter: Lori Washton, Ph.D, Clinical Psychology and FEI-level Competitor

Overall goal is to enable participants to learn how to focus on what they want to achieve and ride their best, whether on a day-to-day basis, in lessons or competitions. The objective is for the rider to gain more awareness of the body and mind in order to maximize the effectiveness of the aids for riding.

Each workshop is about 60 minutes long with two weeks between sessions to allow for practice.

Session 1: Body Awareness and Riding
Tuesday, June 1st – 7 p.m.

Employ exercises that focus on different areas of your body so that you can identify tension and create relaxation. Since we use our body to signal the horse the more effective the control of tension in the body, the more effective the aids to the horse.
Learn how to focus your mind using a calming image. Once you are able to calm your mind then we can apply the relaxation to riding imagery. We integrate the body and mind work and go mentally into the saddle and apply it to riding.

Session 2: Increasing Stress and Maintaining Focus
Tuesday, June 15th – 7 p.m.

Take the skills you practiced in session one and apply them to competition.
Competition adds a level of stress that can interfere with focus. Or it can increase focus and provide positive motivation and improve performance. Maintaining focus under stress will be practiced.