I was frozen. I just sat there, on my horse, almost unable to think.
My head was spinning with ‘what if’ scenarios: what if I end last? What if people can see me stumble? What if I'm making mistakes?
My self-doubt, criticism and frustration had taken their toll on my riding, causing me to tense up, which in turn flared up the self-doubt, setting in motion a feedback loop of negativity. The tension in my face and shoulders must have been visible from a mile away. Just like the clear reluctance that my horse must have been showing. Everybody around the arena saw it. I could feel their judgement in my bones
"I messed up my dressage test, obviously. In the tack room, I threw my helmet to the ground in blind frustration and broke down crying. I wasn’t sure why, at first.
I had lost competitions before, so why was this loss so impactful? "
Then it dawned on me that something had to change.
I was being held hostage by my own negative feelings. If I wanted to grow in confidence, I needed to work on learning to accept myself.
Now, a few years later, so much has changed. I’ve learned to let go of my inner critic. My riding feels free, relaxed, in harmony with my horse. I love it when people come to see me ride, and although I still get a little nervous sometimes in situations where there’s pressure to achieve something, it no longer puts me off. It took years of hard work, but I’m finally confident and self-accepting when I’m riding.
I’m not going to lie: it wasn’t easy. Confronting your inner beliefs never is. But addressing your mental game is necessary if you want to become a better equestrian.
Learn to free yourself from yourself
That’s why I coach riders who have had enough of their own excuses and are ready to overcome their biggest challenge: themselves. I teach with a no-bullshit approach: I have an eye for spotting excuses, self-sabotage and externalising behaviours. But I’m also relentlessly positive and optimistic and know how to help you out when you turn all sour on yourself like I did that day.
I believe all riders can learn to develop confidence and self-acceptance. I believe that good riding starts in the head. And I’ve made it my mission to help others become the rider they want to be.
Feel like you know me already?
When I start talking about my mission I get all excited: I haven't even introduced myself.
My name is Anne Loosveld. I have years of experience riding and teaching, and I'm an academically trained sports psychologist.
I’ve run an international business in equestrian education for five years, and have experience teaching up to Prix st. Georges level in countries all over the world. I have run international projects with large stables, studbooks and equestrian federations across the globe.
I also love naps and I talk to every dog I see.
Heb je het gevoel dat je me al kent?
And now it's your turn. I'm very curious to hear who you are. What do you dream of as a rider? What are your challenges? What's your biggest fear? What's stopping you from being successful with your horse?
If you feel I can help you in some way, please contact me. Or If you’d like to follow along with me and learn the steps to become confident & mentally strong, download the guides to make this happen.