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Classical Riding: How to Mentally Master the Half Pass

Jan 11, 2008
I am currently having a little problem with half pass. More specifically, half pass to the left. Somewhere along the line I have convinced myself that I cannot do it. Beau can do a near perfect half pass. I know he can, because I have seen him carry my friend Sylvia Loch graciously across my school, without exerting himself in the slightest. So I know my horse can do it. The problem is me. I can't.

Considering I have written nearly half a dozen articles on limiting beliefs, to find myself at the mercy of such an obviously erroneous belief is humiliating, to say the least.

Makes no difference. I still can't do it.

You may be familiar with the concept that your beliefs create your reality. A belief is a thought that has been repeated in your mind so many times that you know it to be true. Sometimes the things we believe really are true, but other times we have tricked ourselves into believing something is true, even if it isn't. I have convinced myself that I cannot do half pass to the left. The strangest thing is, I can do it without thinking to the right. Always could. I just have to think "half pass to the right" and off he goes. I get the distinct impression that my own mind is playing games with me.

How does this fit together? I am as convinced that I can do half pass to the right as I am convinced that I cannot do it to the left. Should I somehow manage to suppress the conviction that I cannot do half pass to the left, the slightest obstacle I encounter will convince me that my original belief was correct: I don't have what it takes!

In order to alter my limiting beliefs I need to be willing to question their validity. Once one becomes fully aware of the incorrectness of one's limiting beliefs, it's a simple matter to begin changing them and replacing them with more affirmative beliefs. The good news is that once you start to question your beliefs and act differently, you eventually create proof that the new belief is true which eradicates the old, limiting belief!

Affirmations. I have also written several articles about affirmations. I think I have a list of tips somewhere that can help me write effective affirmations for eradicating limiting beliefs...

Here it is. Affirmations should be:

1) Stated in the present tense. You don't want to say, "I will learn to ride half pass to the left" because that makes it sound like you'll get around to it someday. Instead you could say, "I choose to ride half pass to the left effectively." The wording of that affirmation does two things: it empowers you with the addition of the words "choose to," and it puts the timeframe in the present moment.

2) Believable. At the same time, your affirmations should be believable to you. If you tried to say, "I am the best half pass rider in the world," you may not really believe that, so your subconscious mind might reject it. Instead, try to focus on a process rather than an end result in your affirmations.

3) Said in an appropriate tone. When you recite affirmations, you can do so aloud or just mentally, but you should focus heavily on the TONE you use. Rather than saying the words without emotion like you were reading a newspaper really inject an element of focus and determination into them. Your subconscious mind picks up on the emotional aspect of what you're saying more than the actual words. Imagine the difference between saying the words, "I really ride a good half pass to the left" in a sarcastic tone.

4) Repeated frequently. Once you've got some affirmations formed to work on your self-esteem, try saying them several times a day. Remember, your subconscious mind is constantly playing back old, negative messages, so you want to counteract those as much as possible.

5) Given time to work. Finally, remember that it will take time to change those old, negative messages in your mind to something more positive. It may take a few weeks or even months before you'll notice an obvious difference, and you may be tempted to think it isn't working. Keep with it, and your patience and perseverance will be rewarded!

I sincerely hope it won't take that long. Better get started then.

I am riding half pass to the left elegantly and effortlessly.
I am riding half pass to the left elegantly and effortlessly.
I am riding half pass to the left elegantly and effortlessly.
About the Author
Dr de Clermont is a medical doctor, NLP practitioner, equine-assisted counselor and hypnotherapist. Her coaching/counseling practice focuses on equestrians exclusively. More information, equestrian e-books and FREE e-courses at Equestrian Life Coaching. Subscribe to her e-zine, Equestrian Inspiration and get 5 FREE inspirational e-books instantly.
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