You’re listening to Episode 25 of the Confident Rider Podcast with Jane Pike.
Seems like I’m on the story telling train at the moment! The episode before last I shared with you what I consider to be some of the big threads that have led me to where it is that I am today. And when I got talking with some people about these who had listened to that episode, they said that they were super keen to hear about where JoyRide came from and how all of those elements came together as well. So once again, I am putting myself well outside my comfort zone by sharing the backstory behind that. And I don’t know why that feels uncomfortable. That’s something that I’ve actually been looking at. But I guess it’s just the whole talking about yourself kind of deal that takes a little bit of getting used to so let’s crack on with that now. Now JoyRide is my membership programme, and it has taken a number of different forms before it’s got to what it currently looks like. And I guess the purpose of me telling you this story is not actually to talk about JoyRide, in and of itself, but more talk about the processes that are necessary -is that the word that I want to use? Not necessary but form a part of what is required for us to really create a mindset that fosters resilience and confidence and allows us to really get the best out of ourselves. Now, I think that the one of the misnomers or misconceptions about doing this kind of work is that you’re going to get to a place where everything feels easy, and that if you ever fall off the bandwagon or have a wobbly day, or feel anxious or succumb to the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee that you’ve somehow failed, but what I want to say is that’s absolutely not the case.
As human beings, we are fallible, you know, and we’re going to go through stuff, which really causes us to feel vulnerable, and which puts us in a headspace, which isn’t useful for where it is that we need to be, least of all when we’re out there riding sometimes. And so it’s not about creating this kind of flatline mental state where you always feeling positive, or you’re always feeling upbeat, or, you know, things are always ticking along in the exact way that you want them to, because
that’s just not life.
And that’s just not horses. And it’s also not useful to us because it is those challenging experiences, it’s the bumps in the road as much as we would rather avoid them at times. I know that certainly
that give us the grit that we need to be able to make our way through to the other side successfully and experienced those upward cycles of progress. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about upward cycles of progress before, but to me, this is a really important concept that I hold dear to my heart, because it’s one of the things that can really tip us over and cause us to berate ourselves in ways that isn’t necessary. So what I mean by upward cycles of progress is that sometimes we feel like we’ve really done the work. Yeah, like we might have identified with being an anxious or nervous rider. Or perhaps we have had an experience in the past like an injury, which has really pushed us off our game. And we feel like our whole experience has been divided into a before and after story, and we might be ticking along, and all seems really well and good until we all of a sudden wake up one day,a nd it feels like all of those familiar feelings that have been a part of our experience in the past have returned. Now often, when that happens, we feel like a bit of a failure, you know, we can feel like man, like what is wrong with me, I thought that I dealt with this, and now here I am, again in this exact same position. But we’re really not in the exact same position, we are in a completely different experience. But what has happened is that we have experienced an upward cycle of progress. So an upward cycle of progress is when something that has been a feature of our past comes back to visit us. And if you can instead say that in sorry, let me reframe that, instead of saying that as something to trip you up, if you instead see that as an opportunity to actually renegotiate that whole way of going about things with a different set of understandings… You are not in the same place that you were before, you have a renewed sense of understanding about what it is you need to do to navigate your way to the other side, you have a renewed set of skills, especially if you’ve spent some time looking at what it is that’s going on for you. And you hopefully, and this is perhaps the thing that we all need to practice have a increased sense of empathy and self compassion for both you and your horse
about how it is you can successfully say
this through. So
now what I try to do when
I have something that comes up for me that is familiar in that way, I think, Wow, what a good great opportunity, this is to renegotiate this in a way that I wasn’t able to do before. So really, that mental strength process is about shortening the space between recognising what it is that you need to do. And being able to process that experience, take what you need to from it, and take constructive action moving forward. One of the words I’ve actually dropped from my vocabulary, and this might be
kind of a surprise, actually, for some of you out there
is the word positive because we we can get attached to this idea of being positive and use it as a form of judgement for ourselves. So that if we’re not feeling positive, then we think what’s wrong with us, I know that I should be feeling positive. I know I should be feeling grateful for what it is that you know for what it is that’s going on in my life right now. But the fact is that I don’t. And I think that I have the words that I’m using instead, instead of positive, are constructive, and beneficial. So what is the most constructive thought for me in this situation? What is the most beneficial thought for me to be having in this situation, because the truth of the matter is, sometimes the stuff that’s going to come up for us has some hard truths nestled within it. And it’s not always the positive, quote unquote, solution that is going to take us forward, it’s the one that actually requires us to look inside and re evaluate what it is that’s important to us and how it is that we need to move forward. It might be actually having the hard conversations or stepping away and doing the work that’s required in order for us to deal with fear or anxiety or move to wherever, wherever it is that we need to move. And when I’m talking about moving, I’m talking about moving towards a better feeling space. This is actually the whole purpose of my work, it is to give us the tools to be able to move towards better feeling spaces, so that we’re able to show up for our horses in a way that is congruent and aligned. Now when I started out on this journey, I think that the whole… let me reframe that the whole, you know that saying that writer’s talk about whether like you need to write the book that you want to read, I think this is the thread that I have really held on to when it comes to creating the programme that I have,
I have created the programme that
I wanted to take because I felt like it didn’t exist out there. And I still feel like that JoyRide is a really unique entity in and of itself, because it has undergone so many evolutions over the past few years, that it’s now in a position- and I’m going to talk about it like its own thing, it feels like my third child, where I am investigating and adventuring in the skills that require us to show up as integrated beings for our horses. When I talk about integration, I’m talking about the ability to be emotional flow. For most of us, we are not reacting to what it is that present in the moment. Or rather, we’re not responsive to what it is that presents in the moment that we are reacting to either past experience or projecting into the future and attaching ourselves to imagined ideas about what it is that we perhaps don’t want to happen. So the skills of emotional flow, actually being in the moment and checking in with yourself on not only a logical and intellectual level, but on an emotional and instinctual level and being able to say to yourself, you know, what is it that I am feeling and what does that feeling mean?
So, when we are out of emotional flow, what happens is that we are not responding in the moment to what it is that is being presented. So perhaps I feel anxious, or perhaps I feel afraid. And instead of actually acknowledging that and deciding what the message behind that, we suppress it or we pretend to be something different. And we present basically, as hugely incongruent. Incongruent is when our thoughts feelings and how it is we are behaving are out of alignment, and that is something that is of vital significance to our horses. Because when we are in when we are incongruent, we are untrustworthy to them. Basically, they are relying on us to present in a way that is aligned to present in a way that has all of those things lined up. And the reason that that is important is because they are constantly scanning their environment and the things and people in it to assess whether there’s anything in there that they need to be concerned about for their own safety. Now, as beings themselves, they don’t have this capacity to project to a future space, and think about what it is that might go wrong. Instead, their ability to trust is based on a constant, clear communication that’s happening with all of the members of their herd.
So they’re assessing things in their environment, they’re talking to each other in ways that perhaps aren’t perceptible to us, and as a result of that interweb of communication, they’re deciding about how it is they need to respond or react in the moment. It might be that they don’t need to do anything, it might be that they can continue happily grazing, or they might decide that actually, they need to be on alert for a period of time, and you know, do whatever they need to in that moment. So when we take them away from the safety of their herd, and all of a sudden we are that person, if we don’t present in a way that is also responsive to what it is that’s going on around us, then obviously that puts them in this state of hyper alertness to need to take over that role for us. So us being able to be grounded or be present in the moment, be able to be in emotional flow is so so important, not only for our own mental, emotional and spiritual health, but for the health of our horse, and for our ability to create a really strong partnership together.
So emotional flow, when it comes to
recognising emotions, requires us to be able to understand what I call the motivating questions behind them. So every emotion has a motivating question. Fear is really asking you to decide what action it is that you need to take anxiety is asking you to really look at what it is that you need to prepare for. And one of the best definitions of emotions that I’ve heard that they are action requiring neurological messages. I know that’s a little bit of a mouthful. But basically what that means is if we experience a feeling, and we recognise and are able to interpret that feeling as an emotion, then we can decide where is it that I need to take this? Now when an emotion is repeated, so it’s something that is familiar to you as a pattern that you are a part of, then we can actually recognise that emotion as an experience that is not true for the moment. That is really common in situations of injury, or where we have got into a habitual patterned emotional response in relation to something that is actually separate to what it is that we’re experiencing.
So maybe in the past we’ve had an injury, that injury has caused an interruption on a nervous system level, which has
a stuck point, if you can think of that if you can think of your nervous system operating in that way, whenever it’s jolted and simultaneously experience as a high emotional charge, where you’re unable to exert the normal things that you need to exert to to keep yourself safe, like you can’t run away, or you can’t protect yourself in some way, then that creates it a glitch in our nervous system. And when there are triggers in our environment that cause that glitch to be activated, then what happens is that we fall into these pre-patterened emotional responses. You will know when that’s happening for you because it’s like a familiar feeling that comes up. And you might say, Oh, here we go again, or I always feel this way, or the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee might actually be talking to you well before you even step foot near your horse and creating those feelings states within you. So that is a pre-patterned emotion, that’s not true for the moment. That means that whatever stage in the past, for whatever reason you were pulled out of emotional flow, and you weren’t able to adequately negotiate that emotional experience at the time. And so what’s happening is you’re being re presented with this information so that you are given or afforded the opportunity to negotiate it in a new way. When I look at experiences like that, it feels so empowering, because now I can think okay, even though I may not have done this effectively in the past, or I may not have had the skills or understandings to negotiate how it was I was feeling in the past, now I can understand that I’ve been given this opportunity again, this experience has visited me again, and instead of allowing myself to sink to the place where I’m like, Okay, how we going to do this, or Here we go again, you know, the sorts of narratives or stories that we tell ourselves, unlike right, you know, I still might not know exactly what it is that I need to do. But I can honour myself and what it is that I’m feeling and reach out to the people and resources that I do have to try and get myself to a better feeling space.
Emotion that is true for the moment is emotion that is not familiar to you in that way that I’ve just described. So it might be that you experience fear in the moment, and it comes up for you. And instead of feeling you know, actually out of control within that if you can get into the habit of asking yourself these motivating questions, then you can decide what action you need to take off the back of that emotional message and move yourself towards the next stage. When you’re able to do that you’re in emotional flow. And this is such an important skill. It’s really the base skill, I think that we need to develop that gives us emotional autonomy. So that ability to recognise the experience of someone else, or something else, such as our horse and ourselves as being autonomous beings who are able to, you know, decide what how it is that we want to behave or respond, and also allows us to free form through life, you know, instead of feeling stuck in these patterns of behaviour, which come up time and time again.
Now, the reason that I mentioned this is not only because I see it as such an important skill, but also because it really forms a huge part of the foundation of my work. And it’s something that’s really only become relevant to me, or pertinent, I think over the last couple with years. Now, when I started this whole journey, I, I’ve always had a fascination with psychology, I’ve always wanted to make sure that I could be in control of my own mind. And as naff or as corny as that sounds- and I won’t go into it in a lot of detail now, because I talked about it in the episode I referenced earlierbut having been in a situation where I witnessed someone not be in control of their own mind at certain times, to a level that was really disabling, I was motivated from that place from a sad place, I guess, to want to make sure that that wasn’t me. Now, the other thread within this is that I also loved competing, and I really want to optimise my ability to get out there and do my thing in the competition ring. And what I recognised needed to happen in that space was I needed to develop transferable mind state.
Now this idea of a transferable mind state is really, really important because not only is it relevant to competition, it’s relevant
to everything that we do with our horses. Competition is a really good example because there’s such a black and white differential between what it is that we’re describing, but an example of a transferable mind state is you being able to ride your horse at home in a training environment, and also be able to access those same, not only the same skills, but the same feeling states when you get out there and competition. Now typically what happens for those of us who are in situations where this isn’t happening is under pressure, we ride or behave or feel differently, we’re unable to access the same skills. So it feels like all of a sudden, the things that you do at home, you just can’t even coordinate your left and right hand together. So all of these are examples of you not losing this skill sets that you have, that actually not being able to access the skills that you have, because the mind state that you’re operating from, isn’t allowing you to think of it this way, if you think of the brain or the mind, like a computer. Basically, if you have a set of skills, I’d like you to pretend that you are storing those skills on a little photo in a little photo on the desktop of your mental computer. Now, even though that informations there, you need to be able to access them in a specific way. So we’re going to use that metaphor to parallel the idea that in order for you to open the folder that says be able to trot successfully, you have to be in a certain frame of mind to be able to get there. So from a very base perspective, that would mean that you need to be able to turn the computer on, you need to be able to navigate to the correct folder and click on that link. And then you need to be able to obviously open the specific file that relates to the skills that you have. So when you’re in training, and you’re essentially within a fairly small window, operating from the same feeling state you’re operating with also within a network that allows you to open those folders that are available to you.
But then if all of a sudden you change to a completely different environment, which you might perceive as being more pressurised or being you know, you’re under the pump in some way, in terms of thing being required to produce a specific result, the mental framework that you’re operating from changes, and so does your operating systems. So all of a sudden, you don’t have these ease of process where you’re opening your computer, turning it on accessing the file and liberating the document that you need. And instead you just find yourself banging on the keyboard wildly hoping that the right thing will open up. And this is actually what it can feel like we’re out there. So that transferable mind state, you can say how that would apply to so many different situations where perhaps we’re riding in the arena, or we’re out on the trail and our horse does something that is catches us off guard or that we ourselves have been concerned about happening, and the mind state that we need to be able to see that or navigate that through to a successful conclusion doesn’t seem to be possible,
not because we don’t have the skills. But because we aren’t
in the framework, we’re not in the mental framework that we need to be in order to make those skills available to us. So this transferable mental state idea was something that I had been musing on for a really long time, and started the whole journey into being really fascinated with sports psychology, the trauma work that I’ve done, and the mental health background that I was a part of with my family. That whole general psychology element was really fascinating as well, the whole idea of happiness, but I was specifically interested in sports psychology also. And the sports psychology piece is really interesting because I often have riders that have come to work with me that have worked with sports psychologists, but they are not familiar with equestrian sport. And I think we’re in this or not, I think I know we’re in this really unique position, where unless you do have an understanding of what it means to partner with a horse, it’s very difficult to compare the same principles that might be used with say golf or cycling, for example, because there is another variable that is involved, that is so so important. And to me, this is where the specifics of it become really vital. When I was studying the sports psychology and behavioural psychology work, I found it to be too dry for what it was that I was wanting. And actually what I really want to create besides other things out there, but when I’ve, I’ve done a lot of other people’s programmes myself and just as part of the studying, and I’m always really interested in how other people present ideas and opinions. And for the most part, not everyone, but for the most part, what is presented is relatively formulaic,
and quite dry, I guess
that’s the word that I keep coming back to. It’s too simplistic, and there’s so much more to what it is that’s available to us, as opposed to just you know, thinking positive and holding a confident posture. Whereas all these things are really important, no doubt, but that they are surface level stuff. And they’re also based on a pretty well I would consider to be outdated premise that still circles around psychology arenas, which is the whole fake it till you make it philosophy. To me, that is the last thing that we want to be doing without hoses. It pulls us out out of emotional flow. If we are faking it, we are not being responsive to how it is we’re feeling. We’re not taking the messages behind what it is we need to understand as a result of that experience. And we are therefore out of the ability to be able to action, effective action, make effective decisions and just really honour that experience in its totality. So I said the sports psychology pace, although I found it interesting, really didn’t take all of the boxes for me. And I guess that that’s a part of my own personal background as a coach that feels really relevant in that, although I have studied and have qualifications in a range of different things like I’m a qualified NLP coach and practitioner, I’m a master hypnotherapist I’ve, you know, I’ve done the sport psychology training, I’m a Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator…. When someone identifies me as just one of those things, I cringe a little bit and I recoil because I don’t feel like I’m a purist in any of those things. I feel like I’ve taken elements that I have found to be interesting and relevant, but the experience of working with hundreds, literally hundreds of riders now has told me that as humans, we are not a formula, you know, we are not prescriptive in that way. And when we try to fit ourselves into a box, it doesn’t work because we have unique needs, our horses have unique needs, and we are individual prescriptions, basically.
We’re also not something that needs to be fixed. This is something that I really strongly believe in, like, when you come to JoyRide to work with me, I don’t consider you to be something that I need to fix or there’s a problem. It’s just like this is what’s presenting for me and my horse right now. I don’t know exactly how to treat this in a way that is honouring of me and my horse, or that allows me to successfully negotiate this in a way that feels good to both of us, so how is it that we could go about that? That’s the question that I’m looking to answer rather than thinking right? You know, we’re all screwed, how can we get to the other side of this. And that’s really important that so those backgrounds, although they inform and a definitely a part of JoyRide, there’s no purist element to it, because I think what I’m really interested in is treating everyone like an individual. I don’t think I know everyone is an individual, we’re all so special and unique. And although there are threads of similarities that we share, obviously, you know, we’re human, so we have to have the heart element, which leads me beautifully to the next part.
That heart element was what was missing. When I started out, I was desperate to be professional. I really wanted to be a professional and so, I tried to remove my sense of humour. I tried to remove personality, and I try to remove anything which might have appeared today to woo woo from my work. Now the reason that I did that was because there is this fairly Oh, what’s the word that I want to put in here? Well, when it comes to things of around the nature of self improvement and emotions, and you know, mental strength and all of those things, for the most part, and again, I’m wildly generalising there is a very masculine presentation at least material, right? So the psychology presentation, the sports psychology presentation, it’s all about toughness, you know, all that words that we use toughness, strength, you know, bulletproof, all of those words, descriptive words are very masculine words that don’t speak much to the heart. And when it whenever it is that you’re learning something, I think you do go full on into it before you can
before you have enough experience to really be able to add your own flavour to it. And that was definitely the experience for me. So when I first went into the whole sports psychology study, I got into that wholeheartedly. And I was thinking about, you know, how to make ourselves bulletproof thinking of this kind of mental amour. And it’s really interesting when I listened to those words, now, the feeling that they create in my body is actually not what it is that I’m looking for. Now, I recognise it, that might be what some people are looking for, and the and that’s totally fine. So this isn’t a criticism of working in that way or wanting to be that way at all. It’s just that what I recognised was nice me kind of dissatisfied with that approach was that it was completely missing out the element that I consider to be vital in horsemanship, and that is heart. That is our heart. And that is our instinct. And that is our intuition. And those things are not things that are readily discussed within this material.
So to me, those are elements that I want to address right from the start, right from the start. A couple of years ago, when I redid all of the material in my membership programme, I sat down and I created this wheel, where I made sure that everything that I did, addressed or fitted into thedifferent parts of what I call our four intelligences. So that is logical intelligence. That is our physical intelligence, that is our emotional intelligence and our instinctual intelligence. And all of those things need to be working together as an integrated whole, in order for us to be complete in how it is that we’re going about things. For the most part, all of us have a hyper developed logical intelligence. And the reason for that is because we have a culture and educational system thatreally values, logic and intelligence. Now, there is nothing wrong with logic and intelligence. But when we start to be switched off from our emotions, when we’re switched off from our instincts and intuition, then we actually have a problem. And there is an epidemic of overthinking out there, which is a classic example of that overdeveloped logical intelligence, simply because we are unable to connect to what it is that we actually feel anymore. Most of us actually quite distrustful of our own intuition and instinct, and we’ve been trained out of trusting ourselves. So we become, you know, we become hyper reliant on our instructors or the opinions of others. Andwe actually give that more credence and how it is that we actually feel or what it is that weactually think.
We have become reticent to actually take action for fear of making a mistake. So that’s actually another example of that hyper logic at work. And so you can see that when you become divorced, in a sense from these different parts of ourselves or disconnected because you can never be completely removed from it, how that could create a problem. Now, the other thing that ironically, and this might be a shock to actually say, that is, forms a part of that is this obsession with goal setting. And the thing that came up a lot for me with the riders that I worked with, and even for myself was that I found goal setting to be kind of a vacuous process, like I could go through it. And I could set a goal for the future. And I could reverse engineer my way back to where it is that I am now decide on the action steps like I was very good at that. But again, it was missing these heart element that same, so vital, and also took me out of process. So the things that were coming up for me around goal setting and for other people that I was working with around goal setting was goal shame- so either feeling like the goal that you were setting was not big enough or was too small goal panic, in that
you weren’t sure that you even wanted to set a goal because what if you failed and didn’t say it through or what if all these things came up, and you were unable to actually show up for your horse and yada, yada, yada, and goal fear as well, which is you either don’t want to set a goal or you know, any one of these ingredients, which fades into actually not doing the goal setting process. The other thing that comes off the back of it, like I just mentioned is this hyper focus on results orientation. And especially with our horses what that leads to or can lead to- I don’t want to put everyone in this box- but it can lead to a transactional approach to our horsemanship, which is where we are actually engaging with our horses with the idea of needing to produce a certain result. And when we don’t produce that result, we either say that as an intrinsic failure on our part, rather than a failure of the process, quote, unquote, or we become so fixed on that, that we actually lose our ability to be responsive to the moment. Now this term transactional was a key one for me because what I realised at that point was I was not interested in transactional horsemanship, I was not interested in just working with my horse for the sake of producing a particular result. For me, my horses are a life practice. They are the lens through which I experienced life and they are really the biggest motivating force aside from my family, to actually better myself. And that is that is a huge gift and that is so much more than a transaction. That is transformation.
So for me, my horses and my work is all about transformational horsemanship. It is about how we view our life and what it is that we bring to the table through our horses, and they reflect back to us what it is that we need to do to stay in emotional flow, in order to be present to what it is that’s presenting, and really be able to show up in the best way possible. So everything that I’ve done within JoyRide has that as its foundation, has these transformational element as its foundation. Has these recognition that we are not formulaic as humans, that we need individual attention and that we need love and that there are these other elements that require are required in order for us to feel whole, you know, in order to be able to practice wholehearted horsemanship.
And that is not just the logical element, that is not just us needing to be positive and thinking a specific way. That is us being in touch with our instinct and intuition. That is us honouring our horses as conscious and sentient beings. That is us, yes, wanting to do great things, yes, wanting to be competitive, that recognising that there is a way of going about that, that honours at us and our horses in a way that is real. And to me, that fires me up every day. That is absolutely what it is that I’m here for. So in order to address that in the beginning when I first started JoyRide, a few years ago now, and there was a different manifestation of it prior, which was called something different, but I won’t get into that because it’s not that interesting, JoyRide, in its first incarnation was a series of 40 lessons that were drip fed week by week that created this process that I consider to be really important for creating mental strength. That is still a part of the programme now.
However, with every presentation with every person that I work with, with every unique story with everything that came to me that I thought, I need to know more about that, like, I want to be able to help this person in a more effective way, I want to be able to help this horse and rider combination in a more effective way. And so I decided to be responsive to what it is that was coming at me and actually create a whole host of new material. Now within the narratives and within the stories that I was seeing and the people that I was working with, there were familiar threads that came up. And the goal setting one was one of them, that was something that I was personally experiencing as well. And so I decided to do away with the goal setting practice. And I developed process oriented ways of going about things, process oriented understandings that actually say you take a dream and bring that to life in the moment. So instead of creating goals, we create these big a dream or vision, or we tap into that bigger dream or vision that we have for our horses. And we boil that down to what I call our pocket sized dream, which is basically the defined daily practice of your dream. It means that whatever
it is that you are out there hoping to move towards, instead of seeing that as something that you are going to attach yourself to in the future, or hopefully, a box that you’ll take off in the future, I get you to ask and this is, you know, once again, everything that I present is what I’ve asked myself as well, I’m interested in knowing like how can you actually what is the smallest vision of that dream that you can practice now? Like, what if you were to boil that down with the resources that you have with the skills that you have in the position that you’re in? How can we practice that now? What would that look like? And that is the whole first pathway JoyRide. That is the All In Pathway, whre I’m all about connecting to that intuition, moving those four intelligences into this beautiful mix and saying what is it that you dream about? Ironically, dreaming is a really scary thing, you know, and that also is a byproduct of this hyper developed logical intelligence where it feels like to create a vision that is perhaps divorced from the reality of what you’re experiencing right now
feels like a hugely brave
act. What we’ve been trained to do is actually observe what it is that’s going on in our present day reality, and use that as a predictor for what’s going to come in the future. But actually all that you’re experiencing, when you observe what’s going on now is the manifestation of all of your decisions and actions and experiences that have come prior. If you continue to observe that and say, well, this is what’s going to happen in the future, then all you’re doing is actually drawing the past forward. And instead, you have to actually observe and say, okay, this is what’s happening, but what is it that I actually want to happen, that can feel really scary, because it’s not something generally that’s culturally supported, that feels like a really big deal to do. So in order to do that, you actually have to allow yourself to vision, you know, you have to allow yourself to dream. And that is detaching yourself from the immediacy of what’s presenting to you, and taking yourself to a future space in a way that’s actually beneficial, and attaches to that vision, and allows you to get excited about this potential possibility that exists for you and your horse, and then decide if this is my bigger intention for how it is I want things to be, how is it that this is going to inform my actions in the moment.
The other piece that’s really important here is the transformable element. So transformables are the being states. And they are things that are typically something that we would think of as a byproduct of something else like confidence, like bravery, like all of these lovely emotional feeling states that we would love to be a part about daily reality. So instead of thinking of when I do X, Y, or Z dead, or when I tick off X, Y or Z, then I will be confident or I will be brave, instead the All In Pathway goes well, how is it that we can practice bravery? How is it that we can practice confidence? So we transform them from a noun, and we allow them to become a verb. And those things are key, they’ve really key. And I think they are a differential between the classic presentation of sports psychology and what you might get in other programmes to what it is that I offer, because I think that that is a really unique process to go through. And one that I’m really excited about. The other the second pathway, and there are nine or 10, I’ve lost track, there’s so many pathways in there that address different things. But the first three ones, the All In pathway, which is that practice and process pathway that I just described. And the second one, which I want to talk about now is called the Aware pathway. And that goes into the very first skill set that I asked you to develop around emotional flow.
So the ability to ground yourself the ability to recognise that you have not only a physical boundary, but an energetic boundary, and then asking yourself, you know, am I taking up all the space that’s owed to me in the world? Like, how is it that I’m presenting to my horse with an awareness of not only my physical space, but my energetic space, because your horses, whether or not you choose to believe it or not have both of those things going for them as well. You know, when you work with a young horse, or a horse that has perhaps had some kind of traumatic event happened to them, and I use this example, because it just gives you a really clear indication of what it is that I’m talking about. And you can go to touch them, but even before you enter their physical space, so even before you put your hand on their body, they flinch or they have a reaction. And that’s because you’ve entered their energetic bubble. So all of us have these energetic bubble, these proprioceptive receptive zone, we we might describe as our physical comfort zone, you know, when your physical comfort zone has been breached, because, you know, if you if for the women out there listening, which I think is most of us, if you have a man come into your zone in kind of like a lecturous way, all of a sudden, you’re really aware of where your energetic bubble is. So all of us have this energetic bubble. And what is really curious to me is how we can start to actually create or utilise our intention and utilise our energy in a way that is transcending just what it is that we’re presenting physically, and how it is we show up physically, but is using that energetic zone in a way that is beneficial to both ourselves and our horses. So that’s what that second pathway is all about. It’s about grounding. It’s about recognising that energetic boundary and how it is we can use it to best effect. But also utilising breath work, which I’m so much into, I think that our breath is key.
So the skill of being able to breathe, sounds silly, doesn’t it, but it can really be a skill, when we’re able to consciously utilise the breath in a way that supports the type of responses we want to have and the way that we’d like our nervous system to operate, then we can really start to play in a whole new paradigm. And it gives some pretty exciting results. The third one is called Calm, and that’s all about the processes for managing anxiety, because I think that no matter what it is that is going on for you, if you show up with your horses, and you’re going to be pushed out of your comfort zone in some way, these skills are key. So I won’t go into them in a lot of detail because that’s a podcast in and of itself, but I did a little one, little one, I did an episode a while ago on anxiety that talks about the two different frameworks for it. And it’s basically anxiety that is situational, so in, in anxiety that is as a result of an emotional or environmental trigger. And then anxiety that is more thought based, so you projecting to this future space where you imagine the the worst case scenario coming to life. So those two things are dealt with in quite a lot of detail. And of course the ability to do that is a fundamental skill that feeds into managing anticipation anxiety when it comes to competition, being able to come back from injury, anything really that you can think of that is providing you with that space, again to renegotiate something which might be familiar from your past.
The other element in there that that is really important that we haven’t touched on so far that I feel like is a pretty unique quality to JoyRide and something that I have so enjoyed going downthe rabbit hole of is really connecting to the wisdom of our body. I feel like that’s such a naff phrase like it’s something that’s thrown around a little bit, isn’t it, but that somatic understanding and that understanding that out when we have an experience, especially if we’re talking about how it is that we want to renegotiate trauma, or how it is that we want to come back from injury, that experience is not only an intellectual one, you know, that experience is also a physical one. And we store that in neurology, we store that in our body, so that if we’re in situations, for instance, let’s do this, let’s do something come experiential here!
We’ve all had moments where you have come into contact with someone or you’ve been in asituation where intellectually and logically It feels like there is no reason for concern. However, in your gut and in your body, you feel quite different. Because the memory of your cellular makeup has triggered something in you that has cause the remembrance of something that happened before or is alerting you to something that might be actually outside the range of what your logical mind can pick up for that moment. So when it comes to negotiating that, like when it comes to actually being able to integrate experiences from the past which have been traumatic, or where you have those experiences with your horse where you’re like, I don’t know why I do this, but I feel this way that another etc, that is a somatic experience that is, you know, a neurologicalexperience and trading that just psychologically is not going to be effective, it will take you part of the way that we also have to invite your nervous system to have a corrective emotional experience, so that you’re actually able to ease yourself back in in a way that is gentle and loving and supportive. So the comeback pathway is all about that. It recognises that there is the strong psychological element
that is dealt with through the All In
Pathway, through the Aware Pathway and through Calm but also as we come into the Comeback Pathway, then we say okay, we also have these somatic experience, these bodily experiences which we need to address also. And so how is it that we can avoid shrinking into the experience of hard or difficult emotions? And that’s something that we all do, hey, like when we have an experience, which feels difficult, and it might be nervousness or anxiety, and I keep using those examples, because so common, we shrink into that, so we actually contract into the emotional experience. And what that pathway calls you to do or gives you the skills to do is say, well, that’s okay. But let’s actually recognise that there’s much more available to us in that moment. The whole experience, like the whole Joy Ride experience is really about you being able to, in the face of challenge point towards the resources that you have, rather than contraction into the experience and feeling like there is no way forward. What’s always makes me laugh in a sort of like laugh cry kind of way, is the on Facebook, I get tagged a lot in posts about confidence or anxiety or yada yada yada like you can, you can imagine the types of things that I’m that I get tagged in. And it’s really a curiosity to me the types of solutions that people pose. That one thing that strikes me is that people feel like that it’s actually something that you have to toughen up and say through you know, like, get on a man up. Totally not the case. Like there is nothing wrong with feeling anxious. There is nothing wrong with feeling afraid. There’s nothing wrong with having had an injury in the past or wigging out at competition. It’s just like, it is what it is. This is what’s presenting right now. And how is it that we can actually create what it is that you want to experience in a way that honours what it is that’s going on, but at the same time allows you to redirect your compass towards what it is it’s actually going to serve you.
That’s where we want to go with this. So drinking more wine. I mean, you can do that as well. Taking a variety of illicit drugs, these are things that I recommend it often on the threads. Reading a book, I mean, books are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but what I want to flag up at this point is the other thing that is really important that I feel like is JoyRide’s got this going on is the community support element. We cannot underestimate just how important support is to the process of transformation, because when we are trying to re patent behaviours that take us out of a certain way of being, and put us into a new feeling state that needs to be supported, because it is actually interrupting our natural equilibrium point, this is a really important thing to mention, actually. So when we are in the place of trying to create change, or trying to initiate a behaviour, what we’re actually doing is trying to step into a different frequency, we’re trying to step into a different emotional frequency. And as human beings, or this is the case for all living beings, we basically have an internal homeostasis point, an equilibrium point. And there’s variables below that, and variables above that which way might, for the sake of example, refer to as negative variables and positive variables. And that’s your comfort zone essentially. So we had this equilibrium point, when things go a bit crap, then we would consider that to be moving into the negative variables, and there’ll be so much of that, that we’re able to tolerate before it becomes really uncomfortable. So that’s the bottom of your comfort zone, right? And then we have this top part, which is how much success can you handle? How much change can you handle that actually moves you in a positive direction? And those things are super challenging as well. Because no matter which direction we’re going in, we are challenging that internal homeostasis point. When we decide that we want to create change, or we want to commit to a new way of going about things, we have to recognise that we’re actually changing or altering our internal thermostat, and that takes some work. And it’s really easy to fall back into the old patterns because basically, our whole programming on a, you know, an emotional, logical, a neurological level is set at that point. And we need to keep tweaking the elastic band until it stretches enough to encompass the new zone that we’re moving towards. And that requires some support. The other thing that support is so important for is this element that is quite often attached to feelings of lack of confidence, whatever their manifestation is. So that can be from, you know, professional competitors to people that would consider themselves to be happy
whatever it is like really how that showing up for you is so individually dependent, but shame. We have this feeling like we’re the only ones that feel this way or that we’re ashamed that we feel nervous or that we shouldn’t feel this way. And shame, one of the superpowers of shame is that it causes retraction and disconnection. So we hide away or we don’t talk about it with people or we watch from the sidelines, or we orchestrate these ways of going about things where we get ourselves too busy to ride or we sabotage ourselves in some way, so that we we don’t have to show up in the way that we want. And entering a community where people are doing the work where we’re like, you know, we are interested in this transformation, we know that there’s more available to us and to our horses but most importantly, you know, we want to do this stuff together, then that shame barrier gets cracked because you recognise that you’re not the only one. That this is not a personal flaw. That there is nothing wrong with you that this is something that shows up for so many of us in so many different ways. I would actually say all of us, and it’s okay. You know, that’s totally okay. And that honesty and realisation can be a liberation in and of itself. So do not underestimate the value of community support. It is an incredible community. I have honestly, like in the whole time that I’ve been a part of JoyRide there hasn’t been one person that I’ve had to say, dude that was out of line, like everyone is on board with each other. We
our biggest cheerleaders. So it’s really an exciting community to be a part of. Phoof, covered quite a lot of ground in there didn’t we!
If you are
in a situation
where you’re wanting more,
you know if any of these things that I’ve describes, has hit the point for you or resonated with youin some way.
I want to offer this to you because
adventuring with you in this way is what I consider to be my life’s work. And how do I describe it? You know, I hear so many stories and I see so many stories of people struggling and they don’t think that there are ways or means out there for them to actually turn it around. And what really makes my heart sad, and I’m so, aarh, I don’t know what the right way to say this is without coming across as like total cornball, but there are so many amazing people that I want to shake by the shoulders and go, you know, if we could just tweak your compass by two degrees, you would say things so differently. You would see how possible things are and how brave you actually are, and how strong you actually are, and how much there is available for you. And it’s so hard to say that without coming across, like I said, like a total cornball. But that’s really how I feel because I think that we deserve it. Our horses deserve it. And I know that the stuff that I’m putting out there works because like I say, I’m writing my own book, this is why I’m doing it. It’s selfish, I need this work as well. I’m adventuring in this way also, and I consider this to be such a privileged and precious path to tread that I would like to invite you to join me if it hits the spot as well. So if you want to read all about what it is I’ve been talking about and join up you can do so by visiting my website, confident rider.online/joyride. I think we’ll be having a lot more conversations around emotional flow because it feels really important, and I don’t think it’s something that I have discussed enough of. So it’s definitely a dedicated thread in all of the pathways, but there’s the presence pathways that I just created recently that really talks about those motivating questions and allows us to get into that flow state in a way that is really empowering. So I encourage you to check it out if it feels like it would be useful to you. Alright team, thank you again for hanging out. It is the ultimate pleasure for me and I am looking forward to speaking with you again in the next episode.