What does a confident RDA rider look like?
|Natalie riding Jimbob, a chunky coloured cob, in a large indoor arena.|
“Confidence”: definition, ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’.
In and out of RDA, we consider it a good thing to be confident: one of the benefits of RDA we trot out most regularly is the fact that our activities can help to develop a participant’s confidence in more than one direction. As a coach, I can point to how every single one of my riders has grown more confident during the time I’ve known them. But, just like every other RDA participant, they are all incredibly different to one another – so what does a confident RDA rider actually look like?“Confident rider” is a term often used by the wider equestrian world. If I were to ask a cross section of that community what they thought a “confident rider” was, there would likely be some level of crossover in their responses: the in-saddle scenarios we would assume wouldn’t bother them, like cantering across an open field, riding new horses, or managing a reasonable level of equine waywardness.
|Florence (a rider who could definitely be described as confident!) riding Bryn, a bay roan Welsh pony. She is using a pair of coloured or "rainbow" reins: this was actually the first week she used them, at her request!|
I appreciate that not all of the people who read my blogs will be as into word-nerdery as I am, but the etymological root of “confidence” is from the Latin verb confidere, meaning “to have full trust”. It’s telling, therefore, that trust is often bound up in the growth and outward representation of confidence. I wrote about trust a while ago: I didn’t really talk about confidence, but reading it back, it was there all the way through. No matter what sort of confidence you're looking to help an RDA participant develop, trust is going to be the first ingredient. I think that personal resilience, whatever its form and however it is understood, is also significant: these are two things which exist in some way in every RDA participant who could be classed as "confident".