“I Got Bucked Off- And Now I Have Trouble Riding Alone. Now What?” A Podcast Q&A

A couple of weeks back, I got tagged in a post on Facebook where the person in question had been bucked off and now found herself in the midst of two different riding experiences; when she is in company or with her instructor, she is fine to get on and ride. When she is alone, it’s a completely different story.

Given I had quite a lot to say on this subject (more than I could include in a Facebook comment!) I asked if I could use the question for a podcast episode, and the answer was absolutely yes. Here is an edited version of the original post:

“I bought my first horse last year. I had a few rides on her and everything was great-then one day she bucked me off.  It’s the first time I’ve ever been bucked off and I’m pretty sure I gave her mixed signals and was the cause of it. I sent her to a trainer and she has been going beautifully. I also took some riding lessons with her and it seemed like we were doing ok again- until I get by myself with her.

I can’t seem to make myself step up on her when no one else is around. If someone is with me then I’m fine. She does great when I’m working her from the ground and responds to even just voice commands. But I can feel myself get nervous and tense when it’s time to step up on her. I know she can feel my nervous energy and that makes her nervous and then she won’t stand still and acts scared of me. Any ideas on what I can do to get my confidence back? And get her confidence back in me?”

In this episode, we discuss the difference between these two scenarios- and what’s changing at the level of the nervous system- and I share my thoughts on the approach I would take to move beyond the reflexive responses created in the aftermath of an accident and injury.

You can tune your listening ears in here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Staging A Comeback: Finding A Way Forward After An Extended Break Or Injury

So here’s the current state of play.

Over the last little while, all three of my horses have had some time off. This definitely wasn’t in the game plan- they have all for different reasons had some physical niggles from unrelated incidents that made me think a few weeks of paddock rest was a good idea- and now I am finding myself in the position where we are needing to begin again.

This transition space is one that I’m in conversation frequently with other riders. There are so many reasons why we might find ourselves in the position of having to regroup after an extended break. It can be weather or seasonally related; it can be due to injury; it could just be that turning your horse out at specific times of the year is something that you do. Whatever the reason, there are some pretty common stuck points that rise up when it comes to picking up from where you left off including:

  • Overwhelm (and consequently procrastination)
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion about where to start and what to focus on

In this episode, I share the process that I have been going through and talk in more detail about what’s going on in your brain space when such happenings rise to the surface.

You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

Josh Nichol: On Leadership, Connection & Relational Horsemanship

A little while back, a friend of mine sent me a video of a trainer working with a horse who was suffering from significant anxiety. I watched them work together and loved not only the principles he followed but his thoughts about what was happening, and his intentions for creating trust and connection.

Josh Nichol was the horseman in that video, and I had the great pleasure of sitting down together and having a conversation about his work, and our shared passions and interests.

Our time together covers a lot of ground; we discuss Josh’s Relational Horsemanship approach, his definition and thoughts on leadership and the body-mind connection.

I look at relational horsemanship and reactive or emotional horsemanship. To me, relational horsemanship means that when a horse’s needs are unmet, they will demonstrate that through their physical being.

It’s our job then to exemplify what leadership feels like. So for any of us, when we feel when we have someone who we desire to be around or we look up to, it’s generally not just because of the things they’ve done. That may be what draws us in at the beginning. But the people we see or feel a desire to be around the most are usually the ones that emanate something we desire to have within ourselves.

So I look at leadership, at its essence as a sense and confidence, an awareness that we have within ourselves, a piece that the horse desires to have within themselves as well.

~ Josh Nichol

You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

The Importance Of Context: Understanding Free Floating Anxiety

In this episode, Anxiety has stepped forward as our volunteer to show us just how important context is!

Case and point:

Say I am a rider who has come to recognize anxiety as a fairly familiar part of my riding experience. In fact, I am so intimate with my particular brand of riding anxiety that I’ve started to view it as a part of my personality and identity.

This presents a few different problems for me. First up, I’ve taken something that is intrinsically mercurial- an emotion- and given it a sense of “fixed-ness”. Owning it as a part of me creates a sense of permanency.

Secondly, when I DO find myself in the midst of an anxious experience, I see it as a flaw or weakness on my part (enter the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee from Stage Left), rather than something I can learn to understand and work with.

And thirdly, I cut myself off from developing true understandings as to the nature of emotions and what it is they are trying to tell me.

In this episode, I provide three possible contexts for the experience of “free-floating anxiety” (you know, that anxiety that just “appears” in situations that seem to have no justifiable reason!) beginning with intuition, and ending with understanding the nature of traumatic stress and the formation of memory at both a conscious and unconscious level.

I hope you enjoy it!

You can tune your listening ears in here:

❤️ Jane

The Connection Between Bodily Sensation & The Emotional Brain

It’s a raw, uncut, unedited podcast for you this week! I had planned to release a different episode, but we made an executive decision to hold that off for a couple of weeks’ time (super excited to bring that to you then!). In the meantime, I had two options:

  1. Leave the podcast for this week and have a two-week gap
  2. Roll with whatever came up even if I didn’t have time to present it as a perfect package

Given this is here with you now, I have gone with the latter. So here it is for you, my Sunday morning conversation around the nature of sensation and relationship is has with our emotional brain and motor patterns and function (isn’t this what everyone muses over when they are having their Sunday morning coffee?).

What’s the deal with all of that? Here’s a brief breakdown.

Many of us find ourselves in groundhog day experiences with our horses based on certain feelings or sensations that arise in the body. Whilst those sensations can feel concrete and absolute, they are inherently subjective. Think of them as a mash-up of everything you have thought, experienced, or been told in relation to a similar experience in the past.

What then happens is that our body registers a certain feeling in response to the environment, and we label that feeling based on something that has happened in the past. That labelling or thought process then triggers a motor response and we find ourselves acting out the same experiences on a repetitive loop.

In order to move away from that, there are some key things we need to consider:

  • Our associations with sensation and discomfort in the body as a whole, and the decoupling of stories and labels around them
  • The secondary gain we experience from what we would primarily understand as negative behavior or experience
  • The true meaning of sensation and how we can use that to bring ourselves more into the present

We discuss all this and more in this episode!

You can tune your listening ears in here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane





The Mystery & Magic Of The Body With Alexa Linton

A little while back I was interviewed for the Whole Horse Podcast and for the first time “properly” had a chance to talk to the host of the show, Alexa Linton. I found our conversation before and after the interview so fascinating and enlivening that I knew I had to turn the tables and invite Alexa to speak to you all on my own podcast!

Aside from being one of life’s inspiring and engaging people (two of my favorite things!), Alexa is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things body-based; from the energetic to the nuts and bolts mechanics, she has spent over 14 years working as an Equine Sports Therapist, is in the final stages of studying Osteopathy for humans, has a degree in kinesiology and extensive experience in the energetic and healing arts.

Our time together is a winding discussion on horse and human connection, exploring the body from the skeletal to the emotional, sharing personal experiences of both, and highlighting just how incredible this structure is that we call the human form.

You can tune your listening ears in here 👇

And if you want to find out more about Alexa, the best place to find her is on her website: https://alexalinton.com/

Happy Listening!

❤️ Jane

Redefining What It Means To Be Brave

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed what I am learning from my horses is taking a much bigger and more expansive form.

The same dreams remain; to create a harmonious and energetic relationship together. To learn what I can about behavior, biomechanics, and horsemanship so I can be the best partner possible. But beyond that, I’ve noticed that my work with horses has gifted me with an increased capacity, strength, and resilience to show up in other areas of my life in bigger and bolder ways.

In short, horses have allowed me to access and find my voice in ways that I have never experienced previously. They have prompted me to redefine what it means to be brave and to understand the different forces at work that exert their influence on us and keeping us playing and feeling small.

In this episode I reflect back on my experiences and discuss:

  • The importance of strengthening our voice and developing a healthy relationship with the fight channel of our nervous system
  • Letting go of the rigid, masculinized view of bravery and offering a different viewpoint that allows us to ride and move with integrity
  • Horsemanship as a practice of everyday activism, that allows us to enter the bigger conversation on structural and systemic inequities

Happy listening!


❤️ Jane




End Of Year Ponderings with Kathy Price & Tania Kindersley

Sitting down to write the blurb for this podcast, I pinged Tania and Kathy a message:

“I have no idea how to condense our conversation down into a few sentences.”

That remains the truth some time after as I attempt to gather our “life, horses, and the universe” into a palatable description!

So here is the truth of it! Kathy and Tania are two of my closest and most trusted friends and I couldn’t think of a better way to muse over the last 12 months and ponder the next 12 than to gather around the microphone together. This episode is a fly in the wall listen in on our ponderings covering everything from “Tania’s Top Tip” for dealing with difficult people to getting down to the nitty-gritty of what it means to show up for our horses (and ourselves) in an aligned and authentic way.


Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

It’s Not About Confidence, It’s About Capacity

For someone who spends a lot of her day discussing various aspects of confidence (and what’s more has it featured as a keyword in her business!), it may surprise you to hear that I think we have things a bit mixed up when it comes to understanding what confidence actually is… and what’s more, what we *actually* mean when we say we want to feel more confident.

Over time, I’ve come to understand the complex relationship so many of us have with the word “confidence” (let alone our feelings around it) and from the place I sit now, I think we are focusing on the wrong end of the stick. While we may want to experience confidence, what we need to be focusing on as a practice is increasing our capacity.

So, what, then, does that mean? When I say, “increasing capacity”, what’s that all about?

Well, think of it this way.  Every experience that we find ourselves in the midst of holds a certain energetic blueprint, or activation level. If I’m feeling Zen, there’s a relatively low level of activation present, and I can easily contain that experience within my body without it feeling like it’s a problem.

Anxiety, on the other hand, has a much higher charge. Our ability to hold that charge before it moves to a place where we feel disconnected from ourselves and no longer in control of the energy relates directly to our capacity.

Capacity is basically how much energy and activation you can hold without overflowing.

Exceed it and you move into survival mode.

Stay within it and you feel like you have a handle on things- even if those things are hard.

In this episode, I dive into our associations and misconceptions around confidence, share some personal stories with you… and get you to consider that it might be capacity that you are looking to increase rather than confidence.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

On Taking The High Road: Maintaining Integrity In The Face of Upset & Unease

You know, confrontation of any kind can be a hard thing to handle. In JoyRide, we’re talking all the time about the various communications (and miscommunications!) that happen within all the different types of relationships that we find ourselves in- both within our horsing life and outside of it.

I know way back when I was in my early twenties (when I was also reading a lot of different spiritual texts and throwing myself headlong into my own studies of body and breath), I convinced myself that if I was serious about this whole “mastering myself” malarky, that I needed to take myself off and live in a cave (spoiler alert: this definitely did not happen and actually sounds kind of ghastly to my present-day self. So cold! Those hard floors! But I digress…). What I’ve since understood is that the real learning happens in relationship. With yourself first and foremost, but beyond that with those we choose to surround ourselves with, and with those who temporarily, for a little while, or fleetingly cross our path.

When we are presented with the many faces of relationship, we get to see what our “stuff” really is. And it turns out, well… we have quite a lot of it. Stuff that is.

Enter at A our horses, and we are gifted with a magnifying glass that allows us to see things from a slightly different perspective. And in order to create a conversation, we have to approach things from a different angle, and with a new set of understandings; ones that require us to get out of our head, to let go of the stories we’ve told ourselves, and to be present to our direct experience.

In the last week or, I had an experience that allowed me to practice yet again. A confrontation that jolted me and temporarily knocked me off-center. It is in these moments I am grateful for the lessons that came before that allowed me, however briefly, to create a space between what I was feeling and experiencing and how I wanted to respond… which was ultimately with my integrity intact.

In this episode, I talk about exactly this and more. How we can manage the choppy waters of confrontation and discomfort and do so in a way that allows us to maintain perspective, integrity, and self-compassion.

You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

On Training Yourself With Kindness

You know, when things get tough, usually one of the first things to kick in is the commentary of the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. The “You should have done this, or you didn’t do this or why did you do that or what were you thinking-ness” in all its hues and colours and variations can pretty quickly throw a wet blanket over any feelings of hopefulness or possibility that we hold for ourselves or our horses- or at the very least suck the joy out of it.

The thing about the Committee is they convince you of things that simply aren’t true. They tie your worth to the outcomes that you create, your value to how much you can get done, and your ability to feel good about yourself to a series of outside metrics that see you constantly chasing the carrot on the string. Those little critters can make life exhausting.

So it’s for these reasons and many more, that I now understand that being able to meet yourself with kindness- being able to separate the essence of who you are from the remarks of The Committee and to treat yourself with self-compassion is the highest form of practice there is.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why kindness and self-compassion is essential for ongoing motivation and momentum
  • How meeting yourself with kindness gifts you with a clear perspective and the necessary understandings to decide the next best step for you and your horse
  • Why kindness is the necessary antidote to low self-worth or feelings of not-good-enough-ness

You can tune your listening ears in here:


I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

A Conversation with Dr Sarah Le Jeune: On The Pressures of Veterinary Practice & Developing Awareness within Client/ Vet Relationships

A couple of weeks back, a collection of members of JoyRide gathered together on a Zoom call. The purpose of the call was simply to get together and find out what was going on for everyone and get some help and support if needed. Sarah, a member of the group, spoke up about her concerns about her students and if there was a chance we could possibly create something that would help them develop some strategies that would help them cope with what were sometimes significant stresses within their working life and ways to better manage the more difficult client relationships.

As an equine veterinary surgeon, a veterinarian, and clinical professor at UC Davis, Dr. Sarah Le Jeune is well versed in the pressures of veterinary practice. The veterinary field as a whole has some worrying and frankly heartbreaking statistics around mental health that speak to just how significant that stress can be. Dr. Sarah and I decided to team up in this episode to extend support to vets that might be struggling, help raise awareness and share our thoughts on how as horse owners and clients we can be more mindful and considered at our end within the relationship.

Beyond that, we are also interested in creating resources and hosting a round table discussion with equine professionals who would be interested in being part of this conversation. If you are interested in being a part of it, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

Please feel free to share this episode around. Although the conversation covers some difficult topics, it’s an important one to put out there and hold in our broader awareness.

❤️ Jane

Body Informing Mind: A Discussion on the Somatic & Interoceptive Nervous Systems & their role in repatterning responses

I’m always blown away by how simple changes to posture; how tangibly connecting with where feeling and sensation sits in the body in relation to a specific thought; how accessing experience through the body can allow us to not only shift our perception but integrate and metabolize experiences from the past that are showing up as challenges in the present.

It’s one thing to see this play out in real life and another to understand the mechanisms and systems at work that explains why working at the level of the body is so powerful.

Why is it that shifting things in the body changes our thoughts?

How does it work that we can make sense of traumatic or stressful events through body-based practices?

The answer lies in understanding the nature of memory and also the function of the somatic, interoceptive, and proprioceptive nervous systems, and how they work together to create templates of our experience.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Explicit and implicit memory; the basic differences between the two and how understanding their functions and role helps us integrate traumatic stress and change any unwanted patterns and behaviors
  • The somatic, interoceptive, and proprioceptive nervous systems; their role and function in memory and why it’s necessary to begin at the level of the body for us to make sense of past experiences making themselves known in the present
  • How our nervous system functions as an integrated whole, with body informing mind and mind informing body

You can tune your listening ears in here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Story Time Episode: On My Clinic Experience, Finding What Works, And Not Throwing Yourself In The Deep End

A storytime episode for you today! These last 12 months have been a period of big transformation for me (and if I’m honest the 12 months prior to that also). I talked in a previous podcast about a personal experience that was really the catalyst for changing lots of things up- for moving from a more mind-based approach to a body-based one, to diving deeper into nervous system understandings than I had previously, and to really committing myself to “doing the work” so that I had the tools to renegotiate and make peace with some things that I knew were really holding me back.

Horse wise, I felt like I’d come a really long way- not necessarily in terms of outward shows of success, but in my ability to be present and to hold my ground and my centre so I could show up for my horses in the way they needed me to show up.

In this episode, I talk about two similar experiences of attending clinics 12 months apart. I discuss my journey, what I’ve learned in between, and what changed as I came into a week-long learning experience with my horses.

You can tune your listening ears in here:


Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Surge Capacity: A Conversation On Resilience, Awareness, and Managing Your Energy In The Hard Times

What is Surge Capacity?

Surge Capacity is the amount of energy and fortitude we bring to a situation that is challenging. You know when something happens that really requires you to step up and you gather yourself to rise to the occasion? That’s what we are talking about here; the surge of power that allows you to be able to do something difficult and make the most of it, even if it feels really hard.

In the ideal world, this would only be required of us every now and then and then we would have time to regroup, replenish our resources, and build ourselves back up. But what about in situations- like Covid or any long-term situation where we are being called to access our inner resources in more unusual, taxing, and unexpected ways… what happens then?

Our Surge Capacity decreases. We find our ability to muster energy growing less and less. And as a consequence, our feeling of resilience can be compromised, our attitudes become increasingly despondent and our mental, emotional, and physical health all suffer.

In this episode, we talk about Surge Capacity and how an awareness of it can help us make better decisions and take proactive steps to ensure we are looking after ourselves in times when we need to be in it for the long haul. I discuss three things that I consider vital to pay attention to maximise our resilience and ensure we are showing up for the things that are important to us.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

The Problem With Goals (And Why They May Not Work For You)

It’s interesting how, when we’re fed something over a period of time, we don’t stop to question that there might be another way of going about things. That’s certainly been the case for me in the past when it’s come to goal setting. Despite recognizing that it’s a system that doesn’t work for me; despite not having used the traditional model that we are taught for a couple of years now, I never really gave much thought to the fact that a whole new way of planning and creating a framework for yourself to live and ride by was possible.

The reason for this is pretty much everywhere I looked it was all very much the same. If it’s a system that works for so many, I thought, it must be me who is the problem.

Set SMART goals! They yell from the rafters.

If you don’t write your goals down, you are already behind! They tell you pointedly.

What do the top 1% of the world’s achievers have in common? Goal setting! They enthuse.

Side note: Who is this elusive 1%, I ask myself, and who is deciding that?

The other thing? Having worked with literally thousands of riders up until this point, I knew it wasn’t working for a lot of them either- so much so, that I have coined a couple of phrases to describe what so many people felt. Goal Shame and Goal Panic (I describe what they are in the podcast).

So, I sat down and got to work. I haven’t set goals for years, and yet I have my own successful business, 3 horses in work, a husband, and two young children. Life was working for me without “goals”. I took everything I knew and distilled it into a completely different approach that I could share with other people- a non-planning plan- that combined all of the important elements that we need to pay attention to that allow us to be a sustainable presence in our own lives and create a framework for living and riding that allows us to follow our curiosity, tune into our intuition, and is full of the essence of what’s important to us.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How your nervous system is impacting your planning style (and your ability to dream and vision ahead in the first place)
  • The origins of the traditional goal-setting process (and why it might clash with how you approach your riding life)
  • Elements that are important to consider when creating a training framework for you and your horse

You can tune your listening ears in here!

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane




Making Room For The Past: On the Process & Practice of Integrating Traumatic Stress

A week or so back, a message pinged into my inbox from a rider in the recovery period of an accident that was really affecting her riding. She used a really common phrase that I often hear alongside descriptions of traumatic stress which is:

I feel like I’m living in the past.

I know so many of us can relate. It can be upsetting, frustrating, and frightening to find your mind and body looping around in a spin cycle of concern, worry, and anxiety in the aftermath of an injury and what’s more, easy to convince yourself that the chances of making it back to a good feeling place are slim to none.

Maybe this is just how it is now, you tell yourself. Maybe this is my lot.

The good news is, this is very far from the truth.

When the body holds trauma, what it is essentially holding is unintegrated activation, energy, and experience. If we think of ourselves as an interconnected puzzle, trauma is a piece of that puzzle that fits in somewhere- we just haven’t found out quite where. As a result, it floats in our orbit, out of context with what is happening in our present-day life and wholly misunderstood.

When we experience a “trigger” what we are in the midst of is the invitation of the body to have a corrective emotional experience. An unfinished cycle of activation and energy seeking out completion. It is that missing puzzle piece in our orbit searching for connection and reintegration.

While this experience sounds romantic, it is far from easy. Allowing ourselves to accept and process experiences of the past means that we need to have established a felt sense of safety in the body and have resourced ourselves with the tools and skills to ground and centre in the midst of discomfort. It’s a body led experience of increasing capacity and of accepting and allowing for the parts of ourselves and our experiences that felt too hard for us to hold to be welcomed back into the fold.

In this episode, we talk about the nature of injury and how traumatic stress is held in the body. I expand on the hows and whys of what I teach, and the process I follow that allow us to integrate the uncomfortable, expand on the good, and resource us to meet ourselves and our horses in the moment.

You can tune your listening ears in below or by searching The Confident Rider Podcast on your fave podcast app 😍👏

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane


A Mash Up Session: On Comfort Not Being The Goal, The Joy Of Movement & Grounding In The Midst Of Social Pressure

So as it goes, I had a very specific idea in mind for what I was going to talk about in this week’s episode, but as soon as I hit record, something very different came out! When it came time to give it an actual title, the only thing I could think of was, well, it’s kind of a mash-up of a few different things so I’ve decided to roll with exactly that- a combination episode of a few different things all rolled into one!

Here’s a brief snapshot…

⭐️ The role of social and systemic frameworks and their influence on us “doing the work”

Let me unpack that a little bit more now…

Something I’ve become more and more aware of is how the structural and social frameworks that we are a part of cannot be discounted when we are involving ourselves in any kind of self-development work. We are fed this idea that if we have concerns, anxieties, or things aren’t going the way that we would like them too that doing the inner work is both the start and endpoint to our “problems”. Naturally, taking care of our “stuff” is super important and developing the resilience, tools, and self-awareness to be able to show up in the world in a way that aligns with what’s important to you is the foundational piece. However, changing things up on a personal level, unfortunately, doesn’t necessarily mean that the world shapeshifts to support you; it’s important to understand that kickback and resistance are in some instances inevitable, especially where there is structural and social inequity. If we aren’t aware of this essential piece, it’s easy to internalize the sharp edges you come up against as a failure on your part, and it’s this misunderstanding that prevents us from truly stepping into our own power.

⭐️ Why comfort isn’t the goal (I go into this one in quite a lot of detail!)

⭐️ The joy of movement and the role of movement-based practices in my work

I hope you enjoy it, happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Developing Responsiveness: The Importance Of Seeking Out Novelty & Embracing The Unusual

Ok team! Let’s think about what it means to be responsive and to have cultivated a way of being that allows us to respond appropriately to the moment and doesn’t see us stuck in any one spot in our nervous system for longer than we need to be.

What does it mean to respond appropriately? It means that whatever comes into our experience, we are still able to mobilize our body- to stand our ground, to move away if necessary, or even to move towards the object or situation in question should that be required- and simultaneously be able to anchor and centre in the midst of that.

It means there is an intentionality to how it is we are in relationship with the energy- that even if what we are feeling is big and powerful, we are still able to contain it within the edges of our skin, and as a consequence, we can choose to direct how and where that energy is going to be channeled.

Responsiveness, then, requires familiarity and the ability to still have access to our own personal agency under pressure or stress. Familiarity means that we can hold power without it causing us to feel frightened by that experience and move into shutdown (for example).

How do we train for that? By intentionally creating experiences that are novel or unfamiliar so we can observe our responses, learn to control the physiology of the experience (how it shows up in our body), and develop a flexibility and adaptability to the world around us and how we move within it.

We talk about all this and more in this episode!

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

“I’m afraid to canter”: Increasing Our Capacity for Bigger Energies & Experiences

Let’s talk about nervous system capacity and how it relates to the experience of being afraid to canter. Before we get into it, I just want to put this out there- some of you will explicitly relate to this example and for others, it’s not going to register on your radar. If you fall into the latter group, take out “being afraid to canter” and drop in there any challenge of choice that you fill like is a sticking point right now. Chances are the same principles will apply….

Back to the canter…

All of the work that we do with our horses exists on an energetic continuum. The walk, for example, produces less energetic resonance than a big trot or a canter. Typically, we think of the gaits from a rider perspective as very compartmentalized but how I prefer to think of them- and what is infinitely more helpful when it comes to learning how to match them- is to think of them as existing on an energetic sliding slide, beginning with lower power states and moving through to experiences of higher power and energy.

Our comfort level and ability to integrate with the energetic experience our horses offer us is wholly dependent on our capacity to hold that energy. I refer to it as activation and from a nervous system perspective, the amount of activation you can hold in your body equates to how much of the same experience you can handle before the experience gets bigger than you, and consequently, you move into a survival response of flight, fight, freeze or collapse.

In this episode, we are going to talk about exactly this and more including:

  • The necessary process to increase our ability to hold activation and energy in the body so we can work in higher power states with our horses
  • The coupling together of that same energy with the feeling of being under threat or is danger (and how to parse those apart)
  • Relaxation Induced Anxiety: Where the experience of opening and release in the body creates a reflexive response back into tension (and what you can do about it).

You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

Riding The Growth Edge: What To Do When You Reach A Stuck Point

Stuck points! We all experience them, we all understand them as part of the learning process but what we also know is there’s a big difference between reaching a blip point and feeling like you’re continually running up against the same brick wall day in and day out.

And what’s more, if we do find ourselves stuck in a pattern of behavior without the context of understanding how our nervous system operates, it’s very easy to start to internalize experiences as personal flaws or weaknesses, rather than direct expressions of our capacity and our body and minds best attempt to keep us safe.

In this episode, we discuss how it is you can move beyond a stuck point in your riding or training and how it is we can begin to understand our responses and resource ourselves to better deal with challenging or uncomfortable circumstances that habitually send us into flight, fight, freeze or shutdown.

We look at:

  • The hallmarks of traumatic stress and the common default responses that occur when we are extended out of our zone of “I’ve Got This”
  • How showing up is your superpower (and why the key to it involves living with less perfection)
  • The “dead zone” of awareness and the path between “I’m ok” and “I’m really not ok!”
  • Looking out for your own calming signals (as well as those of your horse)
  • Parsing about habitual responses to better understand when to keep going and when to drop it back


Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Understanding Positivity & Catastrophising From The Level Of The Nervous System

Ever thought to yourself, I wish I could think more positively! Or what’s more, found yourself catastrophizing about every situation that comes your way until you’re mentally drowning in worst-case scenarios? It’s a vicious loop to get caught up in and one that can feel almost impossible to step out of.

Most conversations around this topic approach it at the level of the mind, which at first glance makes a lot of sense. After all, if it’s the mind that’s causing the “issues”, surely that’s the place that we need to be doing the work?

What if, though, the thoughts that we were having were a symptom of underlying nervous system dysregulation, and we were approaching things from the wrong angle?

Think of it this way: When we are operating from a place of chronic hypervigilance or stress, we are operating from the smoke alarm part of our brain. When we are in that place, we are primarily interested in safety and survival. It makes sense then that if this is where our nervous system is sitting, that our thoughts will be demonstrative of that also. Trying to change your thoughts without addressing the underlying dysregulation then means we are always going to be chasing our tail. At best, our system is always going to override our best attempts in its ongoing quest to keep us safe and we will also be stuck in an ongoing war between what we THINK we should be thinking, how we actually feel, and what we are projecting.

We discuss all this and more in this episode; a bottom-up approach to negative thinking and how it is we might be going about things the wrong way around.

You tune into the latest here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Tuning In & Tuning Out: A Broader Conversation On What It Means To Look After Yourself

The belief of not being good enough. The endless quest to be “better” than we are now. The constant busyness….

What we understand about all of these things is that they are not specific to only a handful of people but have come to be a predictable part of our shared psyche and habits. Consequently, when it comes to looking at new ways of going about things, we need to go beyond individual assessments and understandings and look at how our community and cultural beliefs are informing us and influencing our understandings and behavior.

It’s my belief that we are at a transition point in our collective and individual consciousness which leads to us navigating two different tensions; the one we are emerging from tells us that motivation and empowerment come from continual striving towards a future marker, the belief implicit to this telling us we aren’t good enough as we are now; the other calling for more introspection, presence, and responsiveness to the moment. This leads to a struggle between heart and mind as we seek to reconcile the conditioned thoughts that tell us how we should be or how things should look if we were successful according to the traditional paradigm, and a more intuitive sense of our place and how we would like things to be.

In this episode, we look at the intersection of self-care, the concept of flooding, or systemic overwhelm and how this feeds through to how we are showing up for our horses.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

Connecting To Your Backbone: A Conversation on Power & Empowerment

What’s your relationship to mindful anger, aggression, and power? When you read or say those words to yourself, how do they sit in your body?

We all have a somatic, or body-based relationship to language, and it’s a big part of why the words that we choose matter and how describing something from a slightly different angle can open up a new perspective for us. In the first instance, when I think of anger, aggression, and power, I think of dominance and force. My associations with these words have, in the past, led me to lean away from any demonstrations of them in my own life, rather than towards. After all, if our connections to what they mean don’t represent something “positive”; if we don’t have healthy role models or cultural contexts for what they represent in an empowering form, why would we seek to include them as part of our experience?

The thing is, the experience anger, aggression and power are part of what it means to be human. Our preference for them doesn’t remove them from our lives. If we don’t develop a healthy relationship with these parts of ourselves- and it goes without saying not every presentation of them is healthy- then we inadvertently get ourselves into a situation where they are the master of us, rather than us being the master of them.

The key lies in being able to harness the physiology of what it means to hold activation in the system and to be able to contain the energy within the container of our body so we have a choice about how and where to channel it.

When we talk about the mindful versions of anger, aggression, and power, we are talking about your inner connection to determination and strength; a feeling of something in you that connects you to your backbone, and a restoration of integrity and dignity in the body in the face of what can be challenging circumstances.

Within this, we understand that truly harnessing the power of these energies mindfully does not exist at the expense of the less hot emotions, such as kindness, compassion, and love, but in partnership with them.

The ability to cultivate a healthy sense of your own power is an internal circuit system that allows you to step up that allows you to say “come on, I can get through this part that’s currently challenging me and do this thing I want to do”. It’s a necessary, welcome, and intrinsic part of our humanity.

You can tune into the episode here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Resetting The Smoke Alarm: Uncoupling Emotional Experiences From Personality & Identity

Let’s consider for a moment that our nervous system exists on more than just an individual level; it exists on a collective level as well. Not only are we working within the context of our own, personal experience but we are also living within the dynamics of the social and cultural nervous system also, creating a broader ecosystem of feeling, response, and reaction that we are all in constant relationship with.

Having an understanding of how the nervous system functions and the tendencies that we all share that lie under the umbrella of “being human” is vital in order that we can zoom out from our individual experience and recognize the context that informs much of our behaviors and responses. Without context- without recognizing how we are set up to survive and thrive as creatures on the planet- it’s all too easy to internalize challenges or feeling states, such as anxiety or fear, and own them as an inherent part of our personality, rather than an understandable response of our nervous system in the face of traumatic stress.

This is where it gets interesting. Let’s say that at some time in the past, I experienced a high-stress event, but at the point of high activation there has also been a highly charged emotion attached- say in the case of an accident, injury or trauma- which has not been effectively addressed or integrated, that energy can stay stuck in the body. It’s possible then that we find ourselves in a situation- sometimes shortly after, sometimes many years down the line- where we find ourselves skilled and able but having a disproportionate response to something in front of us. One that seemingly has no context and appears inappropriate for the moment. If we have enough reactions of this nature, we internalize the experience and instead of understanding it as a result of chronic stress or trauma, we see it as in intrinsic part of us, or what’s more that we are flawed and incapable.


I am a nervous rider
I am an anxious rider
I’m not very brave

… and so on and so forth.

This internalization of experience as some sort of weakness or flaw is problematic in many ways. Firstly, if we believe a “problem” is “inherently part of us”, we distance ourselves from the ways and means to move through it.

Secondly, we desensitize ourselves from our intuition and instinct that gives us true and real indications of how to navigate the situation that we find ourselves in.

And thirdly, if you want to fast track to feeling down and out and even hopeless, this is a great way to get you there.

In this episode, I talk all about context and understanding and why both will help you reassess the areas where you may have confused an emotional experience or behavior with a part of your personality or identity.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

On Increasing Your Capacity & Why Mindfulness Isn’t Always The Answer

Capacity is a word that’s entered into my work in a big way. But what does it mean to increase your capacity? And why is this an important consideration when it comes to being effective, compassionate, and creative horsepeople?

Capacity, the way I teach it, relates to the amount of activation we can hold in our body before we go into a place of flight, fight or freeze. It’s a dynamic conversation based on our experiences up to that point, how much our mental, emotional, and physical energies have been drawn on over the course of the day and where our current thresholds are.

When we turn our attention to increasing our capacity- to increasing the ability of our body to hold and maintain the energy of the experience without disconnecting from ourselves or our environment- then we can move beyond just “managing” fear, anxiety, overwhelm and frustration and create a way of being that allows us to hold more.

In order for us to do so, it’s important to educate ourselves on the way our nervous system works and understand within that why mindfulness techniques may not always be the most effective answer in the moment.

All this and more in the latest episode! You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

The Power And The Presence Of Mindful Anger

Of all the emotions we think of when it comes to horses and riding, anger would be up there with the seemingly most inappropriate. I totally get it. After all, most of our associations with anger link us directly to outbursts that cause harm and upset to someone or something else. Our limited understanding of anger, however, causes us to shut ourselves off from a very important and powerful experience; one that allows us to harness a potent energy that’s necessary for forward momentum, passion, and assertiveness and gives us to tap into our own strength, in whatever way we might need it in the moment.

In this episode, I discuss mindful anger and its role in our riding and our life. We look at how we may have been conditioned out of its essential essence and how we can go about inviting more of it into our experience, for the benefit of ourselves and our horses.

You can tune your listening ears in here!


I hope you enjoy it!


Holding Your Centre In The Midst Of Hard Things

Like many of us, I’ve found the last few weeks to be a continual wave of constant and fairly intense experiences. The general atmosphere we are operating in is charged, and as a consequence, we are approaching everything in front of us from a place of heightened activation also.

Everywhere we go, there are hard conversations. Everywhere we look, there are polarising opinions and calls to ask us to take sides. It can be confusing, inflaming, overwhelming, and at its worst, destructive.

What I love is that everyone that follows along here, especially in my member’s group, JoyRide, is here with the central, unifying reason of horses. For many of us, the work on ourselves has begun with and for our horses. But what has become more and more obvious to me is the flow-on effects to other areas of our life; how we can also see that these skills- the ability to hold our centre; the ability to not shut down or run away; the ability to maintain a sense of self that we are all working on- allows us to have a social discourse and to talk about big issues BEYOND our horses in a way that is loving and mutually respectful, and for that, I am so, so grateful.

In this episode, I explore how it is that our horses provide us with a training ground for life, and how the skills that we develop are transferable to every other area that we involve ourselves in, whether we are aware of it or not.

I hope you enjoy it!