#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.

We all lack confidence sometimes and that’s okay. After all, we’re human.

But, have you ever been looking for valuable advice and in turn are told, “Just be confident!” Not so helpful, right? 

Especially as riders, our confidence can be shaken at the drop of a hat. Not only do we have to work to manage our own thoughts, feelings and emotions, but that of a 1,500 pound animal as well. The best thing we can do as riders is work to control our own fear and anxiety so that we can then translate it onto our horse. Next, finding tools to help us through times of uncertainty and insecurity will serve as the ultimate key to success and consistency. 

This is an excerpt from Dr. Jenny’s Equestrian Masterclass, Gaining Control of Fear and Anxiety. To access the course, as well as a full library of courses from the likes of Ian Millar, Anne Kursinski and more, go to equestrianmasterclass.com

In order to boost your confidence, you need to have the appropriate tools in place for when you’re faced with those not so positive thoughts. The three requirements for replacing those thoughts are with thoughts that are:

1. Positive

Your brain doesn’t edit out the word ‘not’, so put everything in the positive tone. Instead of ‘Do not go off course’ word it this way: ‘Stay on course!’

2. Powerful

Your thought needs to empower you.

3. True

If you’re telling yourself something that you don’t believe to be true, it won’t be believable for you. But there’s a midground between true or untrue. If you’re jumping 2’ and you want to jump 4’, try the variation of ‘What if I could?’ I could jump a little bit higher. I could canter a little bit faster.

Here’s an example: I am more than capable of successfully jumping 3’ because I have done it before.

Try writing down three to five positive, powerful and true statements everyday for a week. You’ll be surprised with how much progress you’ll make in such a short amount of time!

Want more? Dr. Jenny’s masterclass is about how to control fear and anxiety.