Have you ever wondered if your horse is happy in his work?
Does responding to your cues make your horse feel good? Or is he simply conditioned to respond to your aids?
In other words, what’s your horse’s motivation for working with you?
Many equestrians never ask these questions. And that makes me wonder if they’ve ever questioned how they motivate themselves.
But you’re different.
You know that asking the right questions can transform your riding.
And your life.
And ensure that your horse has a happy life too.
So, let’s ask a few helpful questions.
Imagine that your garage is a mess. It’s completely disorganized. There are piles of dusty stuff EVERYWHERE.
There are things in there that you haven’t look at in YEARS.
You know you’d feel better if you swept and organized it, but it seems like So. Much. Work.
How do you convince yourself to clean out your garage?
My friend Carla complained about her messy garage, so I asked her this question.
Here’s what she told me.
“I always put off cleaning the garage. And then it really bothers me because I can’t stand seeing the mess! I feel like a slob when my garage is disorganized and needs cleaning.
“But then I look at it and walk away, feeling bad.
“It has to get to the point that I’d be really embarrassed if someone came over and saw it like that. That FINALLY motivates me to clean it out.
“I spend A LOT more time feeling BAD about myself for not cleaning out the garage than it would take to simply do it!”
Carla isn’t alone.
They’re a lot of people that use negative feelings to motivate themselves.
But that negative motivation strategy comes at a price.
It creates a lot of stress and other bad feelings.
Over and over again.
And that conditions your brain to EXPECT to feel bad. 😞
To feel stressed. To feel anxious. To feel guilty.
And when your brain expects to feel bad, it produces chemicals to maintain that negative state.
Feeling bad becomes a state you can slip into easily.
Over and over again.
Because you've become good at feeling bad, your brain will search for reasons to create negative feelings.
Reasons that have nothing to do with a garage that needs organizing.
Maybe a gal at the barn said something you took offense to.
Maybe a coworker slighted you in a Zoom meeting.
It won't take much to put you into a negative state.
And that stinks.
...the more time you spend feeling stressed, anxious, upset or guilty, the less joy you experience.
And that doesn't JUST diminish your enjoyment of life, it’s detrimental to your physical health too.
Would you like to train your brain to feel GOOD instead?
Start by adopting a POSITIVE motivation strategy.
Let’s go back to imagining that you “should” clean your messy garage.
Change your internal dialogue to say, in an enthusiastic voice, “It’ll feel really great when the garage is cleaned out! I can’t wait until the I get rid of all the junk and organize my stuff so I can find it. It’ll look sooooo nice!”
Make sure you use a voice that sounds inviting and upbeat.
It’s important to match the tone of voice to one that appeals to you.
Take a moment now and create this internal dialogue.
Now let’s add a visual motivator.
Imagine what your garage will look like when it’s clean and organized.
Visualize the neatly stacked plastic bins, the garden tools hanging on a wall and the clean, swept floor.
Take a moment and imagine this beautiful scene.
Let’s add a physical feeling as a motivator.
This is super important.
Please don’t skip this step!
Imagine how GOOD you’ll feel when you look upon your clean, organized garage.😍
Take a moment now and feel this satisfaction. Breathe. Smile.
Enjoy the FEELING of the task being done. Before you even start it!
💥Train your brain to associate good feelings with tasks you need to do.💥
That’ll make them enjoyable.
You’ll improve the quality of your life.
Cleaning the garage is one simple example.
Think about how you motivate yourself to do any number of things each day.
Can you change your self-talk so that you create more POSITIVE feelings in your life?
You’ll get really good at feeling GOOD. 😊
And your brain will find more reasons for you to feel good.
All throughout your day.
And you know what?
You can help your HORSE feel good when he's with you, too. 🐴
When you use positive motivation, your horse can enjoy working with you.
💥And those feel-good chemicals will get released in your horse's brain too.
I'll tell you how in the next post.
In the meantime, you might be MOTIVATED to improve your riding.
One way to be a better rider is to have a strong core.
But what is a "strong core?"
It's NOT sucking in your stomach!
That can lead to a lot of problems - in you riding and in your health.
I can help you develop FUNCTIONAL core strength in my online course, Develop a Healthy Core.
No planks necessary. Or even encouraged. 😮
Your satisfaction is guaranteed!
Here's to feeling good! 💗
p.s. To my skimmers: You can use POSITIVE motivation to enjoy a happier, more productive life. It’ll even make cleaning out the garage fun!
💥Coming up: How you can use positive motivation to help your HORSE enjoy his work!
Confused about your core? You can develop a healthy, strong core without doing a single plank or crunch! Check out how the Develop a Healthy Core online course is different. It'll help you have a more balanced, independent seat - effortlessly. Don't delay. Your horse is waiting for you!