We all experience tough moments where we need to buck ourselves up with a pep talk to power through. So when it gets gritty and you need to find the fortitude to persevere, a mantra is a perfect go-to! Even Thomas the Tank Engine had one with his classic “I think I can, I think I can.”
Horses are wonderful muses to inspire your own supportive mantra boost! Check out a few of our favorite equestrian-inspired mantras to try when you need to feel strong and empowered!
“As the horse.” (I am as the horse sees me.)
With this one, think about how the horse perceives you. Does the horse judge your beauty, intelligence, popularity, or achievement? No. The horse makes judgements based on how you treat them. They ask simply are you kind? Are you respectful? Are you calm? Reminding yourself that you are fundamentally enough is essential for regulating down from any challenging moment. For the horse, you are always enough and worthy.
“One stride at a time.”
When you feel overwhelmed at the enormity of a challenge or your ever-growing to-do list, simply scale it back with this mantra. Every jump, race or test begins with the horse taking just a single stride. This may help you focus to break the task down into manageable steps and remind yourself that you are within a bigger process.
For times when your mind is racing out of control with anxieties, doubts or fears, challenge yourself to come to a halt. Once stopped, you may regroup and reframe with a more positive interpretation of the issue. This thought-stopping method is based on proven cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches to interrupt your constant cycling of maladaptive patterns and shift to improved perspectives. Just like when a horse begins to spook at a squirrel scurrying on the trail, you gently coo to them to “whoa” and see that what they thought was a terrifying problem, when actually examined, is a harmless and manageable obstacle.
“Eyes up, heart forward.”
Sometimes it’s helpful to remind yourself that you are strong and confident like when you’re riding. Whether on a horse or leading them, the most successful position to bring yourself into balanced alignment and effective communication with your four-legged teammate is to have eyes lifted and shoulders back. When faced with a nerve-wracking situation, softly repeat to yourself this mantra and notice your body shift with improved assurance. Feel free to expand this mantra to the full EE slogan by beginning with “heels down” to remind yourself stay grounded during the stress.
“Cowgirl up!”/”Cowboy up!”
You’ve got this! This one is an old western adage offering that cowgirls and cowboys have the intrinsic grit to push through any obstacle. If you work with horses, you certainly possess the determination to get through anything. You’ve calmed a hot horse, you’ve pushed heavy wheelbarrows full of manure, and you can handle this tough moment.
This mantra cues you that you’ve just gotta tack up and do it. It psychs you up to move forward with bravery and gumption. It may be snowing, you may be tired, and you are going to ride! Making the choice to get ready in order to tackle a big issue is sometimes the hardest part. Tell yourself it’s happening and you have the tools to do it.
Mantras prepare you with positive-self talk to handle every moment, so try on a couple of these equestrian-inspired suggestions and tailor them to your own needs. Let us know in the comments which ones you are excited to try and how they helped. We have a second-edition of this post (6 more mantras!) coming soon so we want to hear from you!