Horse Breeds

The Accident That Changed My Life Forever

Sandie-Robertson This was the incredible journey of Our Guest Columnist & Equestrian Coach Sandie Robertson

Riding was my life, love, passion and career choice until the day it went wrong - really wrong.

I fell off my horse at a showjumping competition, broke my spine in five places and was told I would never ride again. One year later, to the day, I was back in the saddle. This was the beginning of an incredible journey for me in every aspect of my life.
Sandie Robertson.png
Equestrian Coach Sandie Robertson
I understand the fear, I understand that the stakes are high, I understand the family pressure, the competition nerves and mostly I understand just how much you want to do it. I have learned first-hand just how amazing and powerful our mind is and just how cunning it can be in tricking us.

My client base covers both Juniors and Seniors who have lost their nerve after an accident, European Athletes, Riding Club, Show Jumping and Dressage as well as those who want to feel confident just being around their animals again and hacking out.

Until the day I broke my back I was always a fairly confident rider. Proud to show off my horse and happy to speak to everyone at the show. Fear, performance anxiety and nerves were all something that other people suffered from.

It wasn`t until a little while after I started competing again that I noticed the difference, the nerves took over, it was a constant battle to overcome them, to keep competing and not let them win. This was made even stronger when I put a new horse into the equation - nothing was familiar anymore and I felt every one of those feelings that had never lived in me before.
Showjumping Coach Sandie Robertson
I remember sitting at home syncing diaries and wall planners with shows and training, physios and farriers, annual boosters and vets` visits, a full-time job in itself. I had to ask myself the question `If I am putting all of this effort, time and money into the preparation, why on earth do I lose the ability to think rationally when I`m riding now?` I would try desperately to swallow down the pounding heartbeat that rose in my chest as I walked the track, avoiding anything that looked too big or wide whilst trying to remember the track and distances. My hands would tremble as I tacked up and my legs would turn to lead as I warmed up - it was absolutely exhausting.

I even came to time it so I could get in and out of the arena without being seen, avoiding the row of expectant faces who I truly believed were all talking about me. I watched every other horse and rider in the warmup and would convince myself they were better than me, that there was no hope.

The dread and anticipation... and relief when it was all over.

It wasn`t always like that...

The good news is I learned how to overcome these emotions and responses and reprogram my way of thinking to come back riding better than I ever had before. With these methods I can help you to do the same.

Just imagine how amazing it would be to feel excited and prepared whilst gearing up for a specific event or working towards a training benchmark! To feel supported and listened to along the way and have someone to keep you on track as you work towards and achieve your goals.

Maybe its Pony Club Camp or a Horse of The Year Show qualifier? Qualified for the Nationals or just getting out to your first Unaffiliated Dressage or Jumping show.
B Perhaps a 1 or 3 day event or maybe it is an Endurance ride?

With my help, we will identify what is really holding you back from achieving your goals. I will show you how to move away from FEAR and remember just how wonderful riding a horse really is.

During the next few months through my blog series, you will learn to recognise your triggers and develop coping techniques to abolish them before they affect you. We will train your mind in a positive way that naturally kicks nerves to the curb! You will adopt resilience skills so that failures are something you learn from - NOT something that holds you back!

Whether you`re a horse lover, professional or leisure rider, junior or senior we all share one thing in common, our unwavering love and dedication to these wonderful animals that can make us feel on top of the world! Creating a positive mindset is the single most important investment you should make. After all, what`s the point in all of the rest if you are too scared to try?

Love Sandie xx

Read about the mental coaching offered by Sandie Robertson

The Accident That Changed My Life Forever