Whatever you do with your four-legged equine friend, from pottering around the fields to jumping enormous hedges or tackling a course of mammoth show jumps, I bet you take plenty of steps to help ensure your partnership with your horse is a happy and successful one. From the basics such as feed, forage, farriery, tack, vet visits, stabling and grazing to the ‘extras’ such as a physio or chiropractor and feed supplements, there are plenty of things to think about.

Then there’s your actual training, particularly important if you have really competitive ambitions in mind. That might include lessons with a coach, training days or camps and endless schooling and fitness work. There’s no doubt that horse folk are some of the most dedicated sports people out there – even more extraordinary when you can do all that, box up and head to a competition full of excitement only to refuse the first fence or take a tumble at the second! 

But of course, a partnership means two not one, so what about you? What can you do to ensure you keep up your side of the bargain? There has been an increasing focus on rider fitness, ensuring we are as able as our horses to perform under pressure, which can only be a good thing. But as with any sport, for a rider to perform the body is only a part of the equation. What about our minds? Our brains are incredible things and allow us to achieve wonderful things, but sometimes we need a helping hand to ensure our conscious and unconscious minds are working together to take us in the right direction. It’s easy to feel confident on the floor, but that can melt away when you are in the saddle. Or perhaps you overthink everything that might happen on your ride before you even get in the car to go to the yard and end up dreading putting your foot in the stirrup! That doesn’t mean you’re any less of a horse person, it just means you need to find a way to combat the nerves.

Thankfully there is help at hand. Tracey Cole is a certified Master Practitioner and Coach of NLP (neuro linguistic programming), Time Line Therapy™ and Hypnotherapy and… she’s horsey too! It was actually due to her looking for a solution to help combat her own riding nerves that Tracey came across NLP for herself. She was so impressed with the results that helping others benefit from NLP and other tools like it has eventually become her life focus and her career. Now, Tracey works with a wide range of riders both professional and amateur to help them combat their nerves and find their inner riding confidence. Some professional riders happily tackle fences that would frighten us mere mortals to death, but suffer in silence from paralysing nerves and anxiety stemming from the pressure to win for their owners and supporters.

Tracey has developed a range of ways that anyone can use to access her assistance from distance learning (thank goodness for the internet!), workshops for groups at people’s yards and amazing riding confidence holidays in beautiful sunny Spain. Her courses and programmes are all a labour of love, every element carefully researched and remodelled to ensure fast and efficient results. What’s really exciting for every rider out there is that Tracey has been busy compiling everything she knows about using NLP and hypnotherapy to boost rider confidence into a book. Imagine being able to settle down with a glass of wine and read about techniques that you can use the next time you ride to help banish those butterflies? Now that is something that I know will interest my fellow riders (and wine lovers!).

For more information, please visit https://www.traceycolenlp.com.