Lacking Motivation to Ride

Alex says:

I have no motivation! I still want to ride and think to myself every day “I am going to ride today and we are going to work on something specific”, and then when it comes down to it, my attitude changes to, “maybe tomorrow… it looks like it might rain… I have a headache coming on…” So many excuses! Is there anything I can do?

Hi Alex,

Thank you so much for your question. I know that a lack of consistent motivation is something that many riders struggle with. The reasons behind why this is the case is usually individually specific, and can also trace back to past experiences or negative beliefs and associations.

In this blog, however, I am going to keep it really practical and outline a few “likely culprits” for you in the hope that you will identify with one or a few of them and be able to create a much more inspired path forward!

1. Reconnect with your purpose

Lack of motivation can arise when we become disconnected from our purpose, when we have lost sight of why we are doing what we are doing in the first place. When we are divorced from our “why”, it is much harder to create the “what”, and we need both in order to create an effective, solid and uplifting strategy for the future.

Start first with your why; why do you ride? Why do you have horses? Why is it that you do what you do?

Reconnecting with why you ride in the first place will also give you something tangible to compare your current riding experiences against. For example, if you ride for the pure joy of it, but at the moment you aren’t having much fun at all, you are denying one of the basic values that motivated you to ride in the first place. If this is the case, all is not lost; quite the opposite! Instead, you now know what you need to adjust and alter in order to ensure that those core values or intrinsic drivers are present in your riding activities and relationships.

2. Keep it simple

In order to create momentum and ensure that you are aren’t feeling discouraged or overwhelmed at the thought of riding before you even get there, I would work to ensure that you have a really clear outcome for your ride that was achievable for you and your horse. You can stretch yourself if you feel the need, but for the moment concentrate of creating markers for yourself that are tangible and achievable targets. Essentially, set yourself up for success! The more “good” rides you have, the better you are going to feel about your riding experiences and capabilities. I’m not suggesting that you don’t aim higher in the future, but for the moment make your aim to create momentum; having enjoyable rides with successful outcomes is the best way to make that happen!

3. Have a talk to your future self

Usually, when we make a decision and create a strategy for the future of our riding, we do so from a very reasoned and intelligent position. We have looked at the facts, understand what is needed and are committed to following through with what is required. If we find, however, that the moment we step outside are are failing to put that plan in action, then we are allowing our current mood to override what it is that we ultimately want, and it is in this moment, in this moment of decision that our greatest power lies.

If you go outside to ride and you find you are talking yourself out of it, assess whether this is something that your future self if going to want and be proud of. We have made a decision to get out there and ride based on our dreams and aspirations, and we have an idea of what we want our future selves to look like or be capable of.

If in the moment you decide, uggh, I know, I know I should ride my horse but I really don’t feel like it, take stock of the moment and think intelligently. Think about what it was in the past that led you to decide that you need to ride in this moment and what that is going to create for you. Connect to something bigger than the present moment. Refuse to allow your mood to cast the ruling vote in a situation that ultimately you know you are going to regret later.

4. Make yourself accountable

Create a situation where you make a commitment to someone outside of yourself, and then arrange to report back to them once you have followed through. In many instances, it becomes easy for us to become a bit faffy because there is not immediate consequence to our actions; so no one will really see whether we ride or not, and maybe we even keep it to ourselves just in case we don’t actually ride when we say we will. Enough of that! It’s not about becoming militaristic, but it is about setting an intention and then developing the consistency of action that allows us to follow through. Tell someone your plans and then let them know once you’ve done it!

Let me know how you get on!

xx Jane

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