There are over 130 posts on the blog, here is a description of each article with a link to it – hope this makes things easier to find! Please note some of the links are not coming up as such, I am working on this with wordpress to find out why and it will be fixed as soon as possible!
1. What IS unconfidence?
Why unconfidence develops and how understanding that it is just our unconscious keeping us safe can make a difference to our ability to rebuild confidence on a solid foundation
2. Why “just getting on with it” doesn’t usually work
An explanation of why gritting your teeth and pushing through fear isn’t usually a good idea – with some tips on WHEN to push and when not to!
3. The Confidence=Control conundrum: Confidence riding in company
Where we explore how riding in company often triggers the fear of losing control, which affects confidence – and where I share some tips for creating that “herd of two” that is so useful when riding with other people and horses.
4. How to build that “Herd of Two”
Where I share some ideas on building the herd of two from the start with your horse – on the ground and in the saddle
5. Confidence Kidnappers – how to negotiate with them
In this article I walk you through an actual technique that is useful for bringing together parts of you that seem to be in conflict, so if you have one part of you that wants to ride, and another that says “don’t do it”—use this approach to get those two parts working TOGETHER to build confidence instead of fighting each other to erode it.
6. Reasons to be confident part 2
A list of things that contribute to confidence – a checklist if you like. This is useful if you are not sure WHY you might be losing your confidence – have a look at this article and see if anything resonates with you.
7. What if confidence coaching didn’t work for me?
Sometimes you are RIGHT to not be confident – this article looks at why and gives you some ideas as to how to change that
8. So what IS a good hacking horse?
I describe a ride on Evie, a horse I would classify as a great hacking horse, so you can see what I consider important when developing a horse for hacking out – might give you some things to think about for your own or your horse’s confidence.
9. How can I keep TRACK of my confidence?
Where I give you a way of MEASURING your UNconfidence so you can keep yourself safe around your horse….
10. Why am I scared of mounting when I fine once I am on?
Answering this question I touch on how to collapse negative anchors and let go of parts of your horsemanship that are triggering fear and anxiety using repetition and NOT just gritting your teeth and getting on with it!
11. Two steps forward – then one step back: help!
How the very human desire to make constant progress can actually work AGAINST your need to build sustainable confidence: the importance of CONSOLIDATION when working on your confidence
12. Limiting Beliefs – and why they matter
Where I discuss what limiting beliefs are, why they are often USEFUL – and how to make sure they work FOR you and not against you
13. What happens when you allow limiting beliefs to become attached to your identity
What it says in the title – and how to cope with this
14. True relaxation in my horse
What is true relaxation? In this article I discuss that and how the presence of any brace means the horse cannot be relaxed…..with a few ideas as to how to handle the brace….
15. Three ways to work with limiting beliefs
Some tools to make sure your limiting beliefs do not have too much negative power over you….
16. How to build a horse’s confidence
A technique’s post about one way to actually build a horse’s confidence with a tarp
17. Taking a horse from “top five most difficult to trim” to “a delight to work with”
A detailed description of a session I did with Cheryl, her horse Tia and the trimmer Jaime – where we worked as a team to build Tia’s confidence in being trimmed so effectively that Jaime felt safe trimming her for the first time in ages!
18. Proving to your horse that you are trustworthy – a clipper story
An example of building a horse’s confidence in you using a step by step approach to clipping – but also going into the concept of proving yourself “trustworthy” by never asking your horse to deal with more than he can handle
19. Why some horses and humans can’t “hear” us: armouring and melting
How horses and humans use armour to protect themselves emotionally and physically from us – and how this makes it SO hard for them to hear what we are whispering. IF we can persuade our horses to “melt” and lose this armour, then they can hear the lightest murmur and we can have true softness in our horsemanship….
20. Physically sick at the thought of cantering
How to use mental approach and retreat on yourself to feel better about riding
21. Exploding horses and unpredictable tantrums
An article explaining how some horses are “stamp collectors”—gritting their teeth through worry after worry and then exploding when that last straw happens – and so appearing to be unpredictable when, if you KNOW they are stamp collectors, you can see this coming AND reset the counter to zero every time to stay safe!
22. Asking for help: support and ego
In which I describe how I too ask for help and support to make sure I am staying safe and not allowing my ego to lead me astray!
23. Scared of riding – Why?
This article looks at that old question of when are you safer on the ground and when on the horse’s back – and how to transfer your ground confidence to in the saddle confidence – lots of tips and advice on reading your horse!
24. Tense when going into Canter – he Bucks!
An exploration of why horses buck – some tips for how to change this – and how to deal with your own confidence about the canter transitions too
25. Know anyone who isn’t 100% confident with horses – or life?
A short post where I ask anyone who likes the blog to click on the “follow” button – the more official followers I have, the more likely I am to get a book contract – oh and you will get an email update every time I put a new post up so will never miss a post!
26. How to handle those “What if’s”
A few techniques for dealing with the “what if’s” that often stop us from doing things with our horses – not the usual positive visualisation but something more practical! If you have ever let a “what if” stop you from doing stuff, then this post will be useful to you
27. What’s your confidence question?
In which I invite you to send in your own questions about confidence and I will answer them on this blog
28. What if it’s my horse who is unconfident?
Some ideas and things to do to help build your HORSE’s confidence
29. What’s stopping me from becoming confident?
An example of how the rest of our life can be what is affecting our confidence….
30. Bolting horses and fear – a natural reaction
Why being frightened on a horse that has bolted is a perfectly natural reaction – and some things to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
31. My horse isn’t just unconfident – he’s SCARED
Where I talk about how I am using positive reinforcement to help my horse, Coblet, who has a panic reaction to trailing ropes…..
32. Non-confrontational leadership
The story of how I approached creating leadership with Paddy, an extrovert, playful horse, without any arguments or confrontation
33. Confidence – it’s your journey
An article about how any coach you use has to be supporting you on your journey, whatever your choices are
34. The Bubble mindset: How to be clear and assertive without being aggressive
An article with more detail on how to maintain leadership, space and a positive relationship with your horse using the Bubble mindset.
35. Getting your unconscious to trust you and allow you to be confident
Where I share a story about my own confidence to show one way to handle fear when it seems to come from nowhere despite all logic: I call it “constructive negative visualisation”: by anticipating what MIGHT happen, you plan for it, make a contract with your unconscious to do certain things to stay safe – and so your unconscious realises you are trustworthy and allows you to be confident
36. Update on the “top five most difficult horses to trim”: the trimmer’s point of view
Jaime Hickman, the trimmer, writes a post on the experience from his perspective – a unique opportunity to see things from his point of view!
37. Anxious about riding but ok once I am on – what can I do?
A story about how gritting our teeth and pushing ourselves through our confidence thresholds can make things WORSE not better, and some things to do to change this
38. How do I know I am below a 5? And the difference between excitement and anxiety: the “phew” and “yay” measuring system!
How to measure whether you are in fact under a 5 and so safe to do what you are planning – a useful thing to know if you are not sure how confident you are. And how to know if you are anxious – or just excited!
39. Spooky horses: building my horse’s confidence
Answering a question about how to change a spooky horse, and I tell the story of Amazing Gracie’s first online hack with me to demonstrate some tools and techniques I use to deal with this
40. Jumping confidence – my horse is fine but I’m not!
A post about how to manage and build your own confidence with jumping using a step by step approach and making sure you consolidate before advancing – a proven technique that will be useful for many things!
41. Self awareness and Self management: the keys to self confidence
An article where I explain the Johari window, which I use a lot in my business consulting and coaching, to show how we can increase our self awareness and thus our self confidence. Some observations about denial and blind spots too!
42. The start of a riding journey…..
An example of how I work with my own horse, Amazing Grace, for her first ride with me
43. How we learn – and why it matters to our confidence
In which I talk about the different ways we process information and how this affects our ability to self coach our way through confidence crises. The process of Constructive Negative Visualisation works better for kinaesthetic learners than the more usual positive visualisation we are asked to do!
44. Let’s talk about Love – and Attachment
An exploration of how healthy love can turn into a negative form of attachment that makes it really difficult for us to work with our horses in a confident, effective way. Knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy attachment can make a real difference to our confidence and our horsemanship
45. What games do you play with your horse?
Where I describe how using the “That’s MY space” and the “It’s none of your business” games can help establish a non confrontational leadership that keeps the horse’s dignity intact and yet builds a solid, safe foundation for working together and listening to the human
46.Wind and rain – how can I help my horse stay calm?
An article about why wind and rain affect horses – and how we can use the games we play to build their ability to calm themselves, and build our herd of two. This post shows the difference between playing the games mechanically – or playing with with a real purpose and meaning.
47. Update on the horse trimming – the value of listening
An update on Tia’s story – and taking the lessons from there and applying them to a pony
48. Tolerance vs Acceptance
What is the difference between the two – and why does it matter to us and our horses? I also tell a very personal story of when I realised there was a huge difference between the two….
49. Sometimes it’s not about the horse…..
Where I discuss how in some cases, the lack of confidence with your horse has nothing to do with your horse, or your horsemanship – and is everything to do with other stuff that is going on in your life….
50. Are you working with reality – or magic?
How magical thinking (the stories we make up about ourselves and our horses) can get in the way of our confidence and horsemanship – and what to do about it
51. Kisses and Kittens: It’s good to be in a safe place, but not so good to stay there too long….
It’s great to have a safe place, and good friends to share with when you lose your confidence – but how can you make sure you don’t get trapped there – by yourself or others?
52. Love your horse – and love yourself
How important it is to love your horse, and work hard to help them progress – but don’t forget to love yourself and invest as much time and energy in your OWN development as that of your horse…..
53. Find the Inner Donkey: How to make sure your horse is safe to ride
Building that mental connection is the only real way to stay safe on your horse…..
54. Can’t vs Won’t – the confident horse….
How to tell the difference between a “can’t” and a “won’t” – and how sometimes even a “won’t” is best handled like a “can’t”……
55. Beyond Mechanical Confidence: the difference between talking and listening
How just knowing the answers can erode your confidence – -the important thing is to have the confidence to let the horse tell you his questions……includes an insight into how riders can end up doing things like hyperextension and rolkur
56. How to help others with confidence….
Examples from students about what does and does NOT help them when they are looking for support from friends — plus some insight into why some people who ask for help just won’t take it!
57. How to be resilient: Why can’t I STAY confident?
An explanation of some of the reasons why, when we think we have our confidence back, it can go at the slightest knock — and how to build SUSTAINABLE confidence; exploring how our “locus of control” can affect how resilient we are and what to do about it..
58. The Confidence-Control Conundrum: how our need to be in control can make it hard to build true confidence
How being in control can help us BE confident – but if we NEED to be in control, this can get in the way of building true confidence — includes an example of a game you can play to help your horse build SELF confidence AND help you let go of your need to be in control. This allows real trust to grow and leads to true confidence.
59. What’s the rush? Don’t let the “should”s get you down….
Why you can feel “let down” and negative after finally getting your new horse home, or after a big achievement — and what to do to sustain your confidence when everyone else is telling you what you “should” be doing
60. Are you sitting comfortably? How to get Connection and Confidence with a “good seat”
Where I explore what a “good seat” really means and some ways to get one!!
61. And Breathe….
An explanation of how breathing affects our confidence and our horse’s confidence, and some ideas on how to use it effectively.
62. FIRST GUEST BLOG!
The first ever guest blog appears! One person’s story of her confidence journey.
63. Frustration and Patience: two good friends of mine!
Where does frustration come from? Why do we get frustrated? How can I develop more Patience with my horse? Read this article and find out…..
64. Trust your instincts? Well, it depends….
When is it a good idea to trust your gut? and when is it NOT a good idea? What makes some instincts unreliable? Tips for making sure your instincts are useful and keep you safe!
65. Guest Blog: A Lifetime Resolution
Where Jesse Skof tells her confidence story
66. If you think you can’t, you won’t
I was invited to give a talk to the International Equine Touch Association on confidence — and look at why so many people who study equine touch don’t use it on their horses, even though they know it’s a great thing and horses love it. We look at the difference between single loop and multi loop learning, the importance of practice – and how EGO and our need to be perfect gets in the way of us being good at things.
67. Safety first: for you AND your horse
The importance of feeling safe and how it affects your confidence — with examples of how YOUR confidence can affect how safe your horse feels, and have a real impact on your horse’s behaviour. How an unconfident horse can act “aggressively” when he is just being defensive — and some things you can do to keep yourself and your horse safe.
68. Guest Blog: Merlina’s story
A lovely story of how one mare found her forever home — thanks to the support and confidence building work of a good instructor
69. How to say no — and how pressure can be pain, discomfort – or information!
A close look at ways to say no to our horses that won’t demotivate them — and an exploration of how pressure can be a positive thing — includes and explanation of Skinner’s “errorless learning”
70. Fitness and Confidence: is your horse fit enough – -are you?
Some thoughts on how we forget the fitness aspect of our horse’s willingness to work WITH us — with some examples and simulations to help us understand.
71. Heroes and Gurus: how the Guru syndrome (c) can stop you getting true confidence
An analysis of how instructors can fall victim to the guru syndrome — and how students can assign it to them — and how this is bad for our confidence
72. Confidence Cartoons by Jo Titman
The first cartoon from the Confidence Blog book!
73. Coming to Terms with Fear: the six stages we have to go through before we can move on
Understanding the usual process of realising we are frightened and the difference between realising it and accepting it can make a huge difference as to how ready we are to ask for or accept help. This article explains the process and will help you know where you are — and how to help yourself and others.
74. Do you believe?
The role of belief in confidence and some examples of how you can build and strengthen belief in a safe way to build your confidence too.
75. Another confidence cartoon by Jo Titman
76. Balance and confidence: for horse and human
Looking at the physical and emotional things that affect your horse’s balance — with examples of how to help; and thoughts on our OWN balance and how that affects our confidence
77. Your chance to have your confidence questions answered:
A post saying that over the Christmas and New Year period I would be focusing on answering people’s confidence questions rather than writing the usual longer articles.
78: Aggression and Confidence: one question answered
A post exploring the sources of and reasons for aggression, and looking at how these things affect our confidence. Some advice for how to manage ourselves to reduce aggression and increase confidence.
79: Another Confidence Cartoon by Jo Titman!
80: Merry Christmas message — and a cartoon by me
81: Dominance is irrelevant: another question answered
An analysis of what dominance can mean, and how our way of thinking about it can block our confidence and affect our horsemanship
82: A Guest Blog: Espejo
A beautifully written piece from a student who is on her own confidence and horsemanship journey with her very special partner, Espejo
83: Another Confidence Cartoon by Jo Titman!
84: Winter Confidence Building: a question answered
Some ideas on how to keep your confidence progressing during the winter weather, includes some specific exercises you can do with your horse that will make a real difference to your confidence once the better weather comes
85: When life gets in the way: another confidence question answered, sort of
Where I explore the whole concept of “life getting in the way” of our horsemanship and suggest a different way of thinking that is more useful….
86: Quick fixes and missing the lifeline: a question answered
How looking for quick fixes can actually lead you to miss the real lifeline when it is offered to you…
87. Another confidence cartoon by Jo Titman
88. HOW many times???? The value of repetition in building sustainable confidence – a question answered
Looking at how to make your confidence sustainable — and resilient by using more repetition in your work
89. Another confidence cartoon by Jo Titman
90. Taking the Power away from Fear
How to make your fear powerless to stop you — and reduce the impact it has on your horse-time and your life. Take away its power….
91. Another confidence cartoon by Jo Titman
92. What if it’s my HORSE who is not confident
A repost of an earlier article in answer to a question asked and as I had flu and couldn’t write a new post! Many people found the reminder useful
93. Building your Horse’s confidence — a question answered
More on building your horse’s confidence – in response to a question about a horse being spooky
A post where I examine how our assumptions can get in the way of our horsemanship…
95. GUEST BLOG: Confidence returns and not just with horses!
Lucy shares her experience of how things have changed for her, her horse Maya and her life through regaining and rediscovering her confidence in herself. Lovely story
96. Touch and confidence
How the way you touch can have a huge impact on your horse, yourself — and your confidence – -and some tips on how to touch….
97. Bardo – the space between
How to change our binary thinking of good/bad and right/wrong to a more useful approach: creating scales between the two, giving ourselves time to choose and act. Applying the buddhist concept of bardo, the space between, to ourselves and our horses
98. Another confidence cartoon by Jo Titman
99. Give yourself permission
One of the most read posts on the blog: about giving yourself permission to be where you are and who you are — and how to do that
100: Questions Questions: and how they can really help your confidence
How asking your horse questions rather than giving orders can build both your and your horse’s confidence
101: Questions Questions part 2: a thinking horse is a safe horse
How to create a “thinking horse” that asks you questions when they are worried, rather than making their own decisions
102: Midweek bonus blog: the challenge of change
Some thoughts on how challenging change is for us, and the three main issues…
103: Confidence to Learn
In which I explore the challenges to confidence when we are going to a clinic, and how we can make sure we have enough confidence to learn when we get there
104: Letting go – the Zen key to confidence
An exploration of fear – and how three steps to “letting go” can really make a difference to your confidence
105: Guest Blog: utilising space
A guest blogger’s views on how to utilise space to impact your relationship with and yoru confidence around your horse
106: Managing change: This time it’s personal
A blog that looks at what we need to know personally to be able to change – and then some tips for the stages we need to go through to accomplish the change
107: Guest blog update: Espejo
A photograph showing how far the horse and human in an earlier guest blog have come
108: How to be mindful – and why it matters to our confidence
Where I explore the difference between Adrenalin and Endorphin based horsemanship and share some tips for how to get to the latter…
109: Be Kind to yourself: give yourself the space to come up with options to increase your confidence
In which I share a humourous link about how to stop worrying, and give you a reminder to be kind to yourself when you ARE worried, and a way to come up with options that will boost your confidence and help you past those worried moments
110: What CAN I do? A rather personal blog about focus
In which I share my own example of how I am having to focus on what I CAN do and not get too upset about what I CAN’T do right now….
111: What type of change works for you?
In which I explore different approaches to change, so you can work out which approach will help you build your confidence more easily…
112: The three keys to confidence
In which I share my current thinking on what the three keys to confidence really are….
113: an apology for no post due to my father being ill
114: Getting Stuck!
Looking at the place where we tend to get most “stuck” in confidence (when we are Consciously incompetent) and how to get out of there…
115: Guest Blog: Learning and Confidence
A guest blog by Mary Anne Campbell on how learning means being a constant beginner – and being ok with that…..
116: How to know when you don’t need a confidence coach!
An article that shares two tools with you: confidence scoring and the IDEAS approach – these things help you identify WHERE and WHEN you might need help in supporting your confidence – and also show you where you can do it yourself
117: Sometimes it just takes time: Ghosts, Memories and being hurt
Why it is important to give yourself the time to get over things, and not expect instant cures
118: Having the Confidence to Learn: why you sometimes just can’t hear the good advice
A story of how sometimes when we find one thing that works, we find it hard to hear other things that may work as well – or even better…
119: Faux Amis: False friends: when confidence may not be what it seems
How false feelings of confidence can get us into trouble, and how important it is to be authentic with ourselves
120: The power of Allow
The importance of allowing our horses to be horses, and how to stop ourselves from acting like monkeys: how to stop saying “no” to your horse
121: Art vs Sport and how it affects our confidence:
An exploration of how viewing horsemanship as an art has a profound impact on our confidence, compared to when we view it as a sport
122. GUEST BLOG: Embellished Horsemanship by Maja Lisac
Where Maja shares her thoughts on horsemanship and how our egos can get in the way
123. A story of leadership — and confidence
Where I share a very personal example of leadership and followership, and how it relates to confidence and horses
124: Confidence: a Matter of Mindset — Joyous Learning
Which explores the false dichotomy of work vs play and looks at how you can create a state of “joyous learning”
125. The Key to Confidence: Listening
How listening to your horse, having your horse listen to you — and listening to yourself- is really the key to confidence for you AND your horse
126: Being there: how to make more magic moments
In which we look at how being in the moment with our horse and letting go of ambition and future goals can help us have more magic moments
127: Beating the Blahs: emotional awareness and confidence
How understanding emotional awareness and having strategies for those “blah” days can really help our confidence
128: The attitude of gratitude
How saying “thank you” instead of “well done” can change your relationship with your horse – and yourself
129: Advent offers announced for Christmas 2013
130: apologies for absence the blog will restart soon
131: announcement about a blog revamp
132: The confidence wheel
In one of the most popular blog posts ever, I reveal The Confidence wheel which can be used to analyse and build your own confidence in any area – take a look!
133: What’s life got to do with it?
In which I explore how life affects plans and confidence – a rather personal blog as it comes after a break of a few months
134: Bouncing Back: ten tips for emotional resilience
The third most read article on the blog, this explains what emotional resilience is, how it affects our ability to bounce back – and gives the ten tips for building it explained in a way that makes sense for horse-people and our confidence