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Boosting Rider Confidence: Conquering Anxiety with CBT and Hypnotherapy

Are you a passionate equestrian, but the mere thought of preparing for a competition sends shivers down your spine? Do you often find yourself overwhelmed by rider anxiety, doubting your abilities, and struggling to perform at your best during competitions? If so, you're not alone. Many riders face these challenges, and the good news is that there is a solution that can help you regain your confidence and ride to your full potential – a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Hypnotherapy.

I will guide you through how these two powerful therapeutic approaches can work together to overcome rider anxiety, boost confidence, and help you shine in the competition arena.

Understanding Rider Anxiety

Rider anxiety is a common issue among equestrians, regardless of their skill level. It can manifest in various ways, such as pre-competition nerves, self-doubt, fear of making mistakes, and even physical symptoms like sweating and a racing heart. These anxieties can significantly impact your performance and enjoyment of riding.

CBT for Rider Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely recognized and evidence-based psychological approach that can be incredibly effective in treating rider anxiety. CBT helps you identify and challenge negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to your anxiety. Here's how it can work in the context of equestrianism:

  • Identifying Negative Thoughts: Your therapist will help you recognize the thoughts that trigger anxiety, such as "I'm not good enough for this competition" or "I'll embarrass myself."

  • Challenge and Reframe: CBT encourages you to challenge these thoughts by examining their accuracy and replacing them with more realistic and positive alternatives. For example, replacing "I'm not good enough" with "I've trained hard and am prepared for this."

  • Anxiety Management: CBT equips you with practical techniques to manage anxiety, such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation. These techniques can be used during competition preparation and even in the saddle.


Horse Rider Confidence

Hypnotherapy to Boost Confidence

While CBT helps in reshaping your thought patterns, hypnotherapy can delve deeper into your subconscious mind to instil confidence and calmness. Hypnotherapy is a safe and relaxing process that can be incredibly beneficial for riders. Here's how it can complement CBT:

  • Relaxation: Hypnotherapy sessions can induce deep relaxation, helping you release physical tension and reduce anxiety both before and during competitions.

  • Positive Suggestions: Under hypnosis, your therapist can provide you with positive suggestions and affirmations to boost your self-confidence, such as "I am a skilled and confident rider."

  • Visualisation: Hypnotherapy can help you visualize successful rides, allowing you to mentally rehearse your performance and build confidence in your abilities.

Combining CBT and Hypnotherapy

The combination of CBT and hypnotherapy can be a game-changer for riders looking to conquer anxiety and enhance their performance. Here's how these two approaches can work in synergy:

  • CBT Lays the Foundation: CBT helps you identify and challenge negative thought patterns, making your mind more receptive to positive suggestions provided during hypnotherapy.

  • Hypnotherapy Reinforces and allows you to practice: Hypnotherapy sessions can strengthen your newfound positive beliefs and provide a profound sense of calmness that is essential for riding confidently. Through visualisation you are able to practice these experiences with these new positives thoughts so when you face it in real life you are already equipped with the positive thoughts feelings and behaviours.

Customized Approach: As a skilled therapist I can tailor the combination of CBT and hypnotherapy to your specific needs, ensuring a personalized treatment plan.

Rider anxiety is a hurdle that can be overcome with the right therapeutic approach. By combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to reframe your negative thoughts and Hypnotherapy to boost your confidence and relaxation, you can transform your riding experience. Remember, preparation and practice are key, but so is your mental state. Embrace these therapies, and soon, you'll find yourself confidently preparing for and attending competitions, ready to shine in the arena. Your equestrian journey awaits a brighter and more confident future


Fresh Focus Therapy combines hypnotherapy & CBT to positively change thoughts & behaviours. We are an online Hypnotherapist specialising in professional & equestrian performance. With years as a horse rider & owner, as well as a qualified hypnotherapist, we are in a unique position to help you face, overcome and truly address your fears, nerves and anxieties. From happy hackers to top eventers, we can work with you in a judgement free and solution orientated approach.

Get in touch for an obligation free chat to discuss potential treatment plans or find out more on our website.


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