Confidence is a thing that we all struggle with at times as riders. Maybe it's fear after an accident, maybe it's self-confidence wondering if we're really a good enough rider for our horses, maybe it's the confidence to push a horse or ourselves through something spooky or difficult, maybe it's going to a show. Whatever the challenge of the moment is, there's always something. That's part of what we love about riding. It pushes us to push ourselves and become stronger, better people. No one said it's easy though!
Guided Imagery, visualization, and self-hypnosis refer to specific techniques used to help people mentally rehearse a desired experience. With the help of a skilled facilitator, you can use all of your senses to create a very real experience of having the desired outcome.
Julie Christensen of Mindful Living Hypnotherapy is a licensed hypnotherapist. She has teamed up with her daughter, Kathryn, to develop Hypno-Ride, a Guided Imagery/Self Hypnosis recording expressly designed to enhance a Rider's performance. Kathryn is a USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalist. Her business, Kathryn Christensen Dressage is located at Sky River Equestrian Center in Sultan, Washington.
High performance athletes have used visualization for years, and many Olympic athletes are coached daily in pre-practice visualization where they imagine themselves engaged in their sport. Brain scans of these athletes show that during these guided visualizations, their brain fires neurons in the same sequence as if they were actually competing.
Visualization is not simply dreaming, it is actually creating new neural pathways in your brain and strengthening existing, positive patterns. When you listen to our recording, your mind imagines sights, sounds, and feelings associated with quality performance during a ride. Skills can be enhanced similar to physical practice when you repeatedly call up these images. "With mental rehearsal, minds and bodies become trained to actually perform the skill imagined." (Visualization Techniques and Sports Performance, E. Quinn, About.com Health Sports Medicine, 2013)
Just as it works for basketball players and golfers, it also works for equestrians because your brain reacts to perceived experiences. Sherree Russell Ginger, conducting research at St. Mary's University College in Greater London found that "hypnosis is a very effective way of improving riding confidence and performance." (www.HorseandHound.co.uk)
Whether you are trying to overcome fear from an accident, give yourself an edge in competitions, or just to generally improve your faith in your own riding abilities, Hypno-Ride can help!