Being realistic about how confident you are as a rider is important. Knowing your confidence level and skill set will help you know what to work on. It is also important to be honest about your confidence in order for you to stay safe with horses.
This is a simple little quiz to give you a rough idea about where you stand.
There is no shame in needing to work on your confidence. Horses are big and strong, and nobody would blame you for being intimidated. Acknowledging where you stand in regards to the confidence level you are currently at will help you be more successful.
1. You find out that a friend of the family has a horse boarded nearby that is not getting much use. What do you do?
a) Call and find out more information about the horse immediately
b) Call your instructor and ask their opinion of you taking advantage of an opportunity like this
c) Call and schedule a test ride
2. When you arrive at the barn for your lesson, your usual horse's name isn't next to your name on the board. What do you do?
a) Excitedly go look for the horse you are assigned and ask other riders about it
b) Try and convince your instructor to give you the horse you are used to but ride the assigned horse anyway
c) Tell the instructor that you suddenly aren't feeling well and not up to riding
3. Your instructor sends out an email that says she is on vacation for the next two weeks. The other instructor who you have seen at the barn, but never ridden with is covering for her. What do you do?
a) Excitedly tell everyone you know that you are going to get to try out a new instructor and aren't going to have to miss lessons while your instructor is on vacation
b) Email her back and tell her that you hope she has a great time and you will wait for her to get back for your next lessons
c) Email her back and say thanks for letting you know and that you will be there. When the time comes, you will have too much time to sit around and think about it and get nervous, so you call and cancel at the last minute
4. You know your horse always spooks at a certain spot in the riding ring. What do you do?
a)Never ride near that spot. If that is the only end of the ring available, you won't ride
b)Ride wherever you feel like riding! Your horse will just have to get over it
c)Ask your friend if you can follow them and their horse past the scary spot a few times to practice
5. When you got to the farm it was a warm, sunny and calm day. By the time you do your chores and get tacked up, it is cloudy and gusting very high winds. All the horses seem tense and nervous. What do you do?
a) Get on and ride as planned, you don't worry about your horse spooking at the wind
b) Tack up your horse, but he spooks as you are leading him out so you lead him right back in and untack him
c) You get on and ride as you normally would, just calmly aware that your horse may be bothered by the change in the weather
6. For some reason, there are a lot more people sitting at the ring watching lessons today than usual. What do you do?
a) You aren't bothered by the audience and ride as you always do
b) Try to ride your horse as far away from the people and the part of the fence they are standing as you can, riding nervously because you feel like you are being scrutinized
c) You ride better than ever with the pressure of people watching you
7. When you go on a trip, you see a sign that advertises trail rides, but they are in western saddles and you have never ridden western before. What do you do?
a) Sign up right away, you know western saddles will be way more comfortable than a long ride
b) Don't go, you are an English rider not western
c) Decide to go and give it a try even though you are nervous about the different tack
8. Your instructor offers to trailer you and your horse to another farm to school in a new environment to prepare for a show. What do you do?
a) You sort of want to go, but the thought scares you so you talk yourself out of it
b) You jump on the opportunity, sign up and count down the days
c) Sign up and sort of look forward to it because you know it's good practice but are very nervous about it
9. Your horse was getting a little strong on a jump course, and you just jumped a just "okay" course. Your instructor asks you if you want to try it again or call it a day. What do you do?
a) Call it a day, your arms are tired and speed racer is making you nervous
b) Give it another shot, you would never stop with just "okay"
c) Explain to your instructor that you are nervous, but really want to try it again. You ask them for any extra input and try it again
10. Your friend has two horses and asks you if you want to ride with her. What do you do?
a) Politely decline, you don't ride horses that you have never ridden before without your trainer
b) Jump at the chance you have always wanted to ride that horse
c) Ask her if you can watch her ride the horse first, just in case, then you will get on
11. You fall off in your lesson when your horse tripped. You got back on. Now what do you do?
a) Tense up but grit your teeth and finish the lesson
b) Laugh at yourself, acknowledge that it was just a silly accident and get on with it
c) Pretend that you are hurt so your trainer won't make you get back on
Answers and Suggestions
Answer honestly! Here's how to find out how confident of a rider you are. I also provided suggestions to help you gain confidence. Remember, our horses feel our energy, so having calm confident energy is a super important horsemanship skill.