Hey, hey world!
Team MG recently set out to find out exactly how US riders were feeling about their horses. We know from conversations without clients that people are feeling some angst, fear, and discomfort when they ride, but we didn’t realize QUITE how much. At Gascon Horsemanship, we have – some might say – TOO much fun with our horses, as evidenced by our faces here… so we were surprised to learn that our horses are causing some serious anxious feelings for riders.
Half of US Riders Are Anxious
We recently surveyed 655 US riders and learned 54% of riders in the US are nervous, anxious, or scared to ride their horse. And 5% of all riders feel this way every ride. That’s more than half of US riders, and this data point reins (misspelling intended) true across both English and Western disciplines.
More than half of US riders feel nervous, anxious, or scared to ride their horse.
This is exactly what the Gascon Horsemanship program has set out to cure. Our training, clinics, and Team MG Members’ Club gives people the tools they need to feel confident, empowered, and free to have fun with their horses – without fear of failure or getting hurt.
Fearless 20s, Scared 30s
We found it interesting that this fear doesn’t seem to be consistent throughout our lives. When we’re juniors (under 18), we tend to have this same fear with 53% reporting they have felt anxious. Digging deeper, this is actually due to the fact that our young ones are more likely to be starting out. It’s actually the fear of getting started and learning a new sport that drives this angst.
Then, from 18 until we turn 30, our youth gives us life and – apparently – no fear! Only 40% of people in this age group report feeling anxious, nervous, or scared when they ride, compared to 54% of everyone else. I can theorize around what’s driving this – maybe it’s because we haven’t settled down yet and aren’t accountable to kids or spouses. Or maybe we’re just high on life and that carries over to our riding. It’s THIS feeling; this “I can do anything” that we want to create in our program for ALL ages.
But then… the dreaded 30s hit us. What is it about this age that makes our angst go through the roof? 60 percent (!!) of people over the age of 30 report they feel anxious, nervous, or scared when they ride. More than 6% of riders feel this way every ride.
We Need To Rebuilt Trust In our Horses
You guys!! What is happening to the US rider is NOT ok. Almost all of us got into this sport because we LOVE the horse. Because we love the barn family. Because we love the fun. We should not be feeling this anxious when we ride. So let’s change it!
Our biggest piece of advice to those who feel this way is to establish a baseline of respect. Trust is, hands down, the best way to combat these feelings. In our Team MG Members’ Club you learn the methods we use to get our horse’s respect. The same training methods which enable us to do things like play soccer, trail ride without fear, go over obstacle courses, and see scary things.
Stay tuned into Gascon Horsemanship over the next few weeks as we explore more data from US riders. This data is from a survey of 650 US Riders and is 95% confident within a margin of error of 4%.