Sessions For Every Rider
Each rider psychology session is shaped by the personal experiences, aspirations and emotions that brought you here. Your goal could be to qualify for a championship, move up the competition levels or simply get better results at your current level, but you’re grappling with competition nerves or stress and this is inhibiting your progress.
Or perhaps you compete for fun and love the sense of fulfilment it gives you but a past traumatic experience has elevated your pre-competition anxiety, preventing you from enjoying riding as much as you want to.
Whatever your situation, Helen will work with you to understand what it’s like to be in your boots. Then we'll move forward with a plan tailored to your needs. This is how she help you ride with confidence and enjoyment.
How do we start?
We start with an initial consultation to discuss your goals, what you want to change, the challenges you’re experiencing, and what success looks like for you.
From there, I’ll establish how many sessions you’ll need and recommend a tailored package aligned with your riding aspirations.
I work with most of my clients via FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, and by phone.
If you have a preference for meeting me in person, sessions can take place face-to-face. It makes no difference, however; the techniques are just as effective when learnt virtually.
How does it work?
Through tailored sessions, you will gain proven techniques to boost your confidence, focus and performance at your next competition. You will learn how to manage your nerves so you have more control throughout your riding sessions at home, in warm-ups, tests or rounds. Learn strategies to help you build sustainable confidence and refine your focus so you feel in control at every stride. Each session comes with a tailored plan for each individual clients as well as access to podcasts.
Photo Credit – Grossick Racing Photography
Rider: Heather, Eventing
Horse: EBANO XXXVIII aka Manuel, 16.1hh 13 year old Bay Pre-Andalusian from Spain. Owned by Heather for 3 years.
Background: Neither Heather or Manuel had evented before. Heather by her own admission being closer to 50 than she would like to admit felt she needed help with her confidence before attempting her first BE as Manuel could be strong and spooky, and had history of rushing fences.
Session Type: Phone
Goals: To help Heather with her lack of confidence and make the step from BE80 to complete at least one BE90 by the end of the 2016 season.
How Helen Helped: Helen gave Heather techniques to help her control her thoughts so she could focus and relaxation techniques to help her manage her stress level. Helen helped Heather to create a clear competition plan so Heather could gain control and focus on each step of the competition process even in difficult conditions. Helen also showed Heather how to set goals to help Heather focus on what she wanted and what she could control so she could consistently improve her riding performance at competitions.
What Heather said: “The key things Helen helped me with was how to identify when I was focused and when I wasn’t, and how this impacted on my performance. Building a game plan, specific to both myself and Manuel helped me believe in us, giving me confidence and helping me build on my successes. I am still pinching myself that we did three BE90’s this season and my goal was for one! This year has been an amazing journey for Manuel and I, reliving childhood dreams and making memories that make me smile every day. Thank you Helen!”
What is Rider Psychology?
You’ll often hear me use the term ‘mindset’ when discussing Rider Psychology.
It’s a quick way to refer to your beliefs and assumptions that are making you worry about riding. The negativity that sometimes manifest into competition nerves, anxiety, stress, or a lack of confidence.
Through Rider Psychology, you will adopt different strategies designed to help you:
● Overcome pre-competition anxiety, nerves and stress
● Be confident in your abilities
● Control your emotions to consistently ride at your best
● Improve your performance at competitions
You’ll vanquish your doubts and fears and reconnect with your love for riding and competing and your goals that once seemed so far away will become attainable.
Rider Psychology works irrespective of your riding level, or how often you compete. It has less to do with ability and more to do with transforming your negative thoughts into positive action.
How Can it Help Me?
Do you often think about all the wonderful things you’d achieve if you weren’t a nervous rider or didn’t have pre-competition stress?
Getting to that point feels like an impossible task on your own. You can’t get past the fear or pressure, and the effort leaves you feeling frustrated and alone.
It’s not your fault. You simply lack the necessary tools to change your mindset. You also don’t have someone qualified to teach you how to use those tools.
At Rezone, Rider Psychology is effective because it combines those two essential factors. Whether you worry about what the ‘what ifs?’, doubt your abilities, or put yourself under pressure to consistently ride at your best, Helen will equip you with everything you need to:
● Build self-belief so you can ride and compete more confidently
● Be more resilient, enabling you to bounce back from setbacks with ease
● Control your emotions so you can be calmer under pressure and ride to the best of your ability
● Reject negative thoughts and replace them with positive focus for riding and achieving your goals
How Does it Work?
We’ll work on improving your rider mindset through sessions away from the horse that focus purely on you. Why?
Rider Psychology works better when you’re off the saddle. We want you to feel calm and focused during your session. You need clarity and space in your mind to grasp new techniques and different points of view.
The blend of sports psychology and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques that is used is highly effective and designed to get results fast. You can practice what you learn between sessions to consolidate your new coping strategies.
I have worked with riders across the UK and globally in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. 80% of my clients have their sessions via a video or phone call using FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp or phone.
Will it Really Make a Difference to Me?
During our initial consultation, we will decide whether Rider Psychology is the right course of action for you. This will be based on your needs and expectations to ensure you can succeed in your goals through working with me.
I will never say “probably” or “maybe.” I have supported over 400 riders, some on a short term basis and some as part of their day to day teams and I know exactly what works and what doesn’t. If I believe Rider Psychology can help you, it will.
So far, the success my clients have experienced through Rider Psychology has been a joy to witness.
Take Becky, for instance. Competing was incredibly important to her, but it was during BE100 where she noticed her dressage scores were a long way down the scoreboard.
The stress of not fulfilling her potential as a rider was overwhelming, and this manifested into anxiety, which drastically affected her overall performance.
She felt lost, but after attending one of my talks and hearing about how I have helped riders overcome similar challenges, she decided to try Rider Psychology sessions.
The relaxation techniques I equipped Becky with resulted in a huge reduction of her pre-competition anxiety. She discovered how to rationalise her worries and manage pressure from the competition environment.
I also helped Becky design a structured competition plan. This enabled her feel more in control, reducing her stress both on and off the saddle.
Positive thinking was the catalyst that rebuilt her confidence. And this change spurred her into positive action, enabling Becky to get past her competition stress and nerves to be a success in the arena.
Want to Learn More?
Gain unlimited access to Rider Psychology knowledge, theories and resources today by contacting me to book an initial consultation.
You can also read my book, ‘Transform Pressure to Power’, for eight mindset strategies that will help you achieve your goals.
Rider: Anna, Eventing
Horse: Rosie, 15.2hh 8 year old, Connemara xTB. Owned by Anna for 1 year, their first season eventing together.
Background: Anna had a horrible fall showjumping where Rosie fell and Anna was stood on at an event halfway through the 2016 season. Anna ended up retiring at the next 2 events because her confidence had been badly knocked. In addition to working with her trainer to help rebuild her showjumping confidence, she decided to seek help from Helen to regain control of her mindset and overcome her nerves. Anna said “I was letting my nerves take over and completely over riding fences when I didn’t need to and completely putting Rosie off. She is a careful jumper with a short stride so likes to get in a bit deeper to a fence and then jump it carefully, not be fired into it on a ‘long one’!”
Session Type: FaceTime (video call)
Goals: To help Anna overcome her nerves and rebuild her confidence showjumping following her fall.
How Helen Helped: It became clear that the memory of the fall was one of the key triggers for Anna feeling nervous, so Helen guided Anna through an exercise to remove this trigger, so that although Anna could still remember what happened, it no longer triggered nerves. Then Helen gave Anna a series of tailored relaxation and visualisation techniques to help her consistently reduce and control nerves, so she could rebuild her confidence. Helen and Anna also discussed a number of catchphrases to help her focus positively on what she wanted and what she could control in the showjumping ring to help her overcome negative thinking. The breathing techniques also really help focus the mind and settle the nerves. This combination of techniques enabled Anna to regain control of her mindset, develop positive focus and build confidence.
What Anna said: “Not only did Helen help me regain my confidence showjumping after a nasty fall but she helped me to finish the 2016 season with a top 10 placing. We’ve since been out showjumping and every single show this winter she has come home with a rosette! I use the visualization and breathing techniques all of the time, when riding at home and at shows. It’s given me the confidence to step up to 100 classes and on our first attempt at stepping up at an arena event over the winter we were placed 3rd. I am so pleased that I had the sessions with Helen because even if I hadn’t had a fall, it’s massively helped my riding. She has also won 2 out of her 3 BSJA showjumping classes at British Novice and Discovery level, winning and qualifying for the Blue Chip Discovery Winter Championships.”
Dressage is a window into the connection between you and your horse. It is the ballet of equestrian sports where movements must flow seemlessly from one graceful step to another.
But when you’re experiencing nerves or stress, it’s easy to lose your confidence and with it, the cadence.
You’re more likely to make mistakes or send mixed signals to your horse and a faltering move or a tense transition can leave you with low scores and a heavy heart.
It can be overwhelmingly frustrating when you’ve practiced so hard. There’s a special buzz that comes with achieving excellent scores and when you don’t experience this despite your best efforts, your confidence and motivation can take a serious knock. Realising your full potential as a skilled dressage rider is possible. You are capable of a flawless performance.
Through a personalised Rider Psychology programme, you will regain control of your emotions to overcome competition nerves. This will help you improve your riding and reactions during a test and achieve the results you’ve worked so hard for. We have a lot of experience working with dressage riders and look forward to helping you be the best you can be. To enquire please click here
Rider: Christine, Dressage
Horse: Louada Festival (Lulu), 12 yr old 14.3hh reg Welsh Dec D by Trefnant Brenin Ap Harri out of Brickell Darkie.
Background: Christine was given Lulu by a close friend in 2015 after the loss of her previous horse. She found she had lost almost all of her confidence riding, however she desperately wanted to make progress with her and was keen to get back into the dressage arena. In June 2015 they entered their first unaffiliated walk & trot test and came last. But Christine was so thrilled to have done it, that she persevered, and started winning walk and trot tests, and then moved up to unaffiliated prelim and then novice.They affiliated in 2016 and did their first Pet Plan Area Festival in September. But Christine found she was still struggling with crippling competition nerves, and so enlisted in the help of Helen to try to overcome this. Christine had started to feel extremely nervous about competitions, with one venue in particular becoming an issue as she had experienced some problems with napping from her mare at this particular venue.
Session Type: In Person (Clinic) & Phone
Goals: To reduce nerves at a competition to help Christine deal with her sometimes temperamental mare. Her goal was to produce a relaxed test and enjoy themselves.
How Helen Helped: Helen gave Christine techniques to help her control her thoughts, put things into perspective and apply logic to their visit to the competition venue she feared the most. A set of mantras and breathing techniques helped Christine to control her thoughts and calm herself when nerves surfaced. Christine also applied this to her everyday riding with great success, helping her to deal with Lulu’s occasional high spirits in a calm and relaxed manner, both schooling and hacking.
Results: Christine managed to channel her thoughts and control her nerves to gain a credible 67.95% and second place, an outstanding result at a venue that had previously caused her problems. She also achieved her goal of producing a relaxed and enjoyable test. Since then Christine has successfully competed at the BD Petplan Area Festival and then the Finals, achieving a top 10 placing.
What Christine said: “I was suffering with crippling nerves competing, which was affecting me not only on competition day, but weeks beforehand. As dressage is my passion, I really needed to be able to compete with a much clearer head and was desperate to start enjoying what I do. I had seriously considered giving up! So I had a few sessions with Helen where she helped me control my thoughts and put things into perspective. Over the last few months, I have had a far more laid back approach to my competing, focusing on the experience, regardless of the outcome. Looking at the bigger picture, that this is just one more outing, and we will learn from it, whatever happens. This has helped me control my negative thoughts and focus. The breathing techniques Helen taught me have been invaluable on competition day, even in the arena. I feel much more in control of my negative thoughts and more relaxed as a result. I’ve learnt so much just from a few sessions and the techniques Helen gave me have also had a massive impact on my everyday riding as well. My relationship with my horse has massively improved. Whilst we do have the occasional wobble, it is manageable. I have even had people comment that I have conquered my nerves. It’s taken work – it isn’t something which fixes itself. I have spent months practicing what Helen has taught me but it was so worth it. We are now just starting at the next level up, and plans for next year include dressage to music. I’m super excited about the future now!”
Photo Credit – Permission from Charles Teton Photography
Imagine going into each event phase calm, focused and confident. Your every move during dressage is precise and fluid. You clear jumps with confidence and control.
Each success spurs you on to try harder. Your competition scores improve, and your ambitions grow. It’s the vision you don’t want to lose sight of, because you know how happy achieving and surpassing your personal bests will make you feel.
While you train with the intention to get better, the worry or the pressure to do well during every phase of the competition sabotages your efforts. You’re finding your goals to be less and less attainable. You might have even considered giving up.
Work with me, and that thought will never cross your mind again. You don’t have to be a nervous rider anymore, nor should you feel overwhelmed by stress.
With a personalised Rider Psychology programme, controlling your emotions and overcoming your fears, concerns and doubts is possible. This is how you can reach all your eventing goals and unlock your potential to surpass them. To enquire please click here
Rider: Emma, Eventing
Horse: Connor, ID/TB Gelding, 10yo
Background: Emma has owned Connor for almost 5 years. She bought him as an all rounder, although his previous owner had mainly done showjumping with him. Emma had evented years ago so coming back to Eventing was a new experience for both her and Connor. After attending a workshop with Helen, Emma used the techniques she learned to help her achieve placings in 2 consecutive competitions and also won prize money of £30.
Session Type: Workshop, Phone & In Person
Goals: To help her control her nerves throughout all 3 phases at her upcoming BE80 competition.
How Helen helped: Helen gave Emma a personal coping strategy to control nerves, reduce self-doubt and help her focus on what she could control.
Results: Emma jumped double clear and finished on her dressage score of 35. Emma has since completed her first BE90, came 3rd in the Riding Club Team showjumping at Hickstead (out of 120 teams) and achieved 9th place at Aston Le Walls Pre Intro.
What Emma said: “At first I was quite sceptical, I thought sports psychologists were for professional riders, not for amateurs like me. I’d had a fall at the end of the last season and wanted to see if Helen could help me. The first weekend after I attended Helen’s workshop we went out show jumping, we were placed in both classes and won over £30. The next time out at an eventers challenge, we were placed. We have since had a great run at our first ODE, and now looking to go on to our first BE90. I would recommend Helen within an instant for anybody who is either gripped by fear or just wants to get on, get riding and do it!”
Showjumping is an athletic display of the trust, love, skill and courage this equestrian discipline demands.
It is communicating with your horse using confidence and assurance and having faith in your own abilities whilst being a courageous and patient rider. This is what’s required to achieve a clear round. With so many pressures in the arena, being focused and composed during a competition can be a big challenge. Difficult jumps test your ability, and big crowds can be daunting and when you’re feeling nervous because of fear or overwhelmed because of the pressure to do well, the likelihood of poles down and refusals increases. Your showjumping scores might have already taken a hit because of your struggles; perhaps you’re starting to wonder if it’s even possible to feel confident or calm again in the arena.
This is what a personalised Rider Psychology programme will help you achieve. You’ll learn how to filter out your negative thoughts while competing. By renewing your positivity you’ll be able to jump each fence accurately with unbroken rhythm and flow.
Discover how to soothe your competition nerves and release tension so you can think and ride more positively. Your results will soon be as impressive as the jumps you conquer. To enquire please click here
Rider: Nicky, Showjumping
Horse: Quincy, Homebred British WB Gelding, 15.3hh 7yo
Background: Nicky has bred and produced Quincy for showjumping. Due to a health issue, he wasn’t able to compete for several months and therefore hadn’t been able to gain as much experience as Nicky had planned. It meant that she and Quincy had to take a break from competing whilst he recovered.
Session Type: Phone
Goals: Nicky wanted a session to help her control her nerves in the showjumping ring so she could take Quincy through the levels from British Novice to Discovery.
How Helen helped: Helen gave Nicky techniques to improve her confidence and focus in the showjumping ring so she could give Quincy the confidence and reassurance he needed to jump new fences and spooky fillers.
Results: After jumping clear rounds and being placed at Novice, Nicky stepped up to Discovery and is considering stepping up to Newcomers.
What Nicky said: “Helen has helped me feel more confident at competitions and as a result my horse and I have jumped lots of clear rounds and have achieved a 3rd place in a British Novice class. I’m now competing at Discovery as a result because things are going really well.”
You don’t have to compete professionally to benefit from rider psychology. Perhaps what you enjoy most is competing for fun at Riding Club or at an unaffiliated level.
But nerves or stress is taking you away from the thrill of the moment, impacting your ability to focus as soon as you mount your horse. This may manifest into a poor performance that makes you feel exasperated especially after you’ve been practising hard and investing in lessons. When your efforts aren’t being reflected in your performance during competitions, it’s easy to feel dispirited. If this sounds familiar, what you’re going through is a vicious cycle of negativity that’s tough to halt on your own. When you work with Rezone Coaching, taking back the reins of your emotions is much easier.
Through personalised Rider Psychology sessions, you’ll gain the confidence, skills and techniques needed to overcome any challenges you face and by regaining control over how you feel in the saddle, you’ll fall love with riding again. To enquire please click here
How can Rider Psychology help you achieve better competition results?
Helen answers this question in her book, Transform Pressure To Power. It guides you through eight mindset strategies to help you achieve your eventing goals.
Whether you want to get better results at your current level, raise the bar higher or qualify for your first CIC/CCI event, gain the techniques to build your confidence and focus.
This isn’t a sports psychology textbook. Theory is important but knowing how to apply it to your riding is critical.
Helen has designed this book to be the next best thing to having rider psychology sessions. Deal with pre-competition nerves and stress as you work through the chapters and exercises.
Helen specialises in rider psychology coaching for riders at all levels. Read more about Helen’s skills and experience.
This book is the first psychology book to be written specifically for eventing and the demands riders face in the three phases.
Helen’s book has been featured in Horse & Hound online, Your Horse magazine and was named Book of the Month in Horse magazine.
“You’ll learn mindset techniques to help you train and compete. It covers everything you need to help you stay focused and deal with competition nerves.”
Allison Lowther – Associate Editor, Your Horse magazine
“Unlock your potential for eventing with this straight-talking self-help guide. Helen reveals pressure is something that can actually benefit riders, and shows you how to use it in order to improve your competition performance. She also gives you the tools to change your mindset and enhance your skills. The author’s aim is for competition riders to achieve better results, by improving confidence, dealing with challenges more effectively and overcoming setbacks quicker. This book is the framework for helping you get there. Helen’s advice makes a lot of sense and her book is a fascinating read.”
Horse Magazine “Book Of The Month” May 2016 issue