#MasterclassMonday is a collaboration between Horse Network and NOELLEFLOYD.com to empower equestrians. Every Monday we’ll bring you a new lesson from a leading trainer to help you troubleshoot your training, master your mindset and up your game. This month’s instructor: Dr. Jenny Susser. 

The hard truth—fear is normal and actually quite necessary, especially within the equestrian sport.

Fear is designed to keep us safe. As humans, we are designed to have a fear response to keep us safe, however it can become a problem when we get caught in a pattern of unproductive thoughts. Our sport puts fear-provoking situations front and center: powerful animals, horse show pressure, the list goes on.

A powerful “myth bust” to come to terms with is that there is no overcoming fear.

I know, this can be a tough one to digest, but hear me out.

We may not be able to overcome fear, but we can master the appropriate tools to help us gain control and better approach certain situations when we are experiencing fear and anxiety. More often than not, rider’s feel like a passenger in their own body, unsure of how to navigate and even process the thoughts, feelings and emotions they are experiencing. 

The good news: you can change the relationship you have with fear.

The human brain may be complex, but it is more than capable of transforming itself with the right tools, patience and consistency. When it comes to sports psychology, the most important thing to maintain is the desire to learn. If you keep an open mind and remember that all riders have felt fear at some point or another, you’ll be on your way to not only more success, but endless enjoyment in your riding. 

Not sure where to start? In my Equestrian Masterclass course workbook, I provide you with exercises to help you gain control of fear and anxiety.