Jenny Pearce

The causes of nerves in horse riders and how to fix them

“Suck it up princess.” I’d like to slap ’em!

Just kidding…  But I would like to jolt them into common sense.  Show me ONE single rider who creates poetry with their horse by sucking up their fear and doing it anyway.  It just… doesn’t …work…

The only thing that’s wrong with being nervous is being STUCK there and not knowing what to do about it.

Well I hope that changes with this short seminar.

There is a written version of the audio below so that you can read as well.  I know those of you with English as a second language appreciate that!


Here’s an alternate audio link if the one above isn’t working

Written Version of the Audio

If you are a nervous rider or if you have become a nervous rider, then congratulations, you have the sensitivity required  to be really good with horses.

And if you have noticed that your horse is nervous – excellent again! Vast numbers of horse riders have no idea about how nervous their horse is. We don’t know what we don’t know we don’t know.  So that makes you ahead of the herd already.

Someone got their wires crossed somewhere when somehow we were led to believe that being nervous with a horse was a bad thing, because nothing could be further from the truth.

From the way that I work, your nerves are not only recognized as the sensitivity that they really are, you are not only encouraged to make yourself safe but to FEEL safe – and you learn how to use your sensitivity as a gift instead of a burden…

…And your horse loves you for it.

There’s a bunch of very good reasons why people get scared or nervous. Notice that all of these are completely fixable.

1. Sensitive people who are already really good riders, or who have the capacity to become really good riders, are feeling their horses nerves and when they understand how to use those nerves to help THEIR HORSE to feel safe, then their nerves will just disappear – pfft… Yep… I promise you that. This is where you get to use your sensitivity as the gift that it really is.

2. Here’s another biggie… Most of us weren’t taught to listen to our fear to make ourselves safe. We were taught to be brave, to get back on that horse, to “suck it up princess”, get over it, face our fear and do it anyway (gosh that one really makes me cringe).

So what happens when we don’t use our fear to make ourselves safe, then fear and excitement kind of collapse together and we can’t tell the difference. They both run out of the adrenal glands, so when we don’t use fear to make ourselves safe, then they blur together and we can’t tell them apart. THAT’s what people are really talking about when they talk about “face your fear and do it anyway” – they don’t know the difference between fear and excitement.

When we listen to our fear and use it to make ourselves safe – SPECIALLY when we use it at the gentle early warning signal that something is Not Quite Right like I encourage you to do – then fear and excitement separate again AND you can tell the difference and excitement can be exciting like it’s supposed to be and THAT is seriously exciting!

3. Way too many people are falling off their horses unnecessarily – a good riding seat on a confident horse makes falls a much more unusual occurrence. But it’s the impact of falling off a horse that I am talking about here.

When we fall, or when we have an accident where there was a fright involved, it results in a residual tension that I call a “fright imprint”. Good riders can have just one too many of these falls and the bravery bucket is empty. When you fix these fright imprints, it can be like ten tons of tension coming off you.

4. Here is another very good cause of nerves.If your horse is NOT calm and confident, if your horse is doing things that are likely to get you off, even if only occasionally then derrr… you are right to be nervous. Congratulations on having those nerves – they are your survival mechanism. Your confidence will come from systematically helping your horse to change those reactions and become the calm and confident partner that you are looking for.

5. Beginner riders are often unnecessarily stuck in nervousness because traditionally, beginners have been taught to ride by bouncing around (which actually develops unwanted tension trying to stay in the saddle) – and of course that tension will make your riding seat unstable and that will be triggering your survival mechanism.

You can fix that quite simply by developing a good riding seat OFF the horse where you can really focus on yourself from the inside out, really get a good riding seat and then learn how to keep that seat on your horse.

6. Advanced riders who programmed tensions into their riding seat way back at the beginning can be experiencing nerves for the same reason. I learned to ride as an adult and programmed a lot of tension into my riding seat and wow it has been a lovely journey getting rid of all that. I have also been told that recapturing that ease in riding that you had when you were a kid –  that automatic confidence – is one of the magical things that happens on my program.

7. This next cause of nerves has nothing to do with horses. Old fears in our lives where we were unable to make ourselves safe for whatever reason were buried and intensify each new fear, making us easily overwhelmed. Then when we have a fear with our horse, it can be a bit like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I have some good news there too.

The same techniques that we use with our horses, of listening to our fear to make ourselves safe, we can apply to the rest of our lives for great benefit there too.  And the same RELEASE work that we do with our horses to help them get rid of old frights and tensions, we can use on ourselves as well.  People help horses and horses help people.  It’s lovely.

I am happy to share my personal journey around healing with horses too – it’s been a big one and seriously wonderful.

If you leave this short seminar knowing that a horse rider’s nerves are very sensible feelings that we are supposed to listen to make ourselves and our horses feel safe – and knowing not to ignore them – then I will have done my job today.

For those of you who are in a hurry to learn how to get rid of all those sources of nerves, my online program Fast Track to Brilliant Riding will certainly speed up your progress. I have brought all my knowledge as an alternative therapy practitioner in all kinds of different modalities, years and years now (waaay over a decade) of listening to and learning directly from a bunch of very empowered horses and some great work from other teachers and melded that into a revolutionary program that is knocking people’s socks off.

Fast Track was originally designed as a systematic, step by step elimination of every cause of nerves from both horse and rider.  Some of your causes of nerves can be like ten tons coming off you, like removing a fright imprint or more than one of them. Building confidence for both you and your horse, using your sensitivity as the talent that it is – that is a more systematic, step by step thing.

I’ve changed the last bit of this seminar years later.

Whatever you choose to do, please please please remember, that your nerves, your fear and your anxiety – whether they’re old fears that need to be released or whether they’re a signal of current danger – all have some basis in fact and you SHOULD be listening, you SHOULD be backing off and you SHOULD be taking the pressure off yourself and off your horse – and if anyone tells you otherwise – well, let THEM take the risks instead.

I look forward to helping you and your horse gain the kind of confidence that comes from BEing and feeling safe.

Click here to have a look at our list of training programs.



  1. Trish 09/30/2018, 10:41 pm Reply

    Please get back to me regarding the November clinic in Victoria

    • jennyp 10/01/2018, 5:58 am Reply

      Gosh you’re keen but I hadn’t planned one this year? I guess if enough people wanted one I would do one of my rare clinics? And maybe for less days…

  2. Trish 09/30/2018, 10:40 pm Reply

    I have posted that I would like to join the8 day clinic in November in Victoria.

    More information please

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