Cultivating Confidence

plus sized rider -

Cultivating Confidence

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace

Those words are the beginning of a poem by Amelia Earhart that I read every morning when I was 17 years of age and learning to fly. It’s what motivated me, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks to get up and show up every day, ready to learn.

Long story short, I got my pilots licence just after my 18thbirthday – before I learnt how to drive – and met the love of my life, my husband of almost 20 years. A life was born, simply by reading those words.


But as I have aged, started a family and learnt that I do not bounce, that courage has somewhat disappeared, and just the thought of getting in the saddle, something I have loved since a child, fills me with fear.


I know many of us struggle with our confidence as we age – so what can we do about it?


Having a supportive network is crucial to success. A supportive instructor and family who can help drive you and help you to find your confidence is invaluable.


There is also a number of fantastic confidence courses out there. I have personally joined Joyride run by my friend Jane Pike to help me cultivate confidence. Look for a program that really speaks to you.


And the last and biggest hurdle in between you and being a confident rider is commitment. I am classic for deciding I just can’t do it today, and the more time out of the saddle, the greater my hesitation becomes. Set yourself a simple task and do it! Mine is bum in the saddle. I am super lucky that Zeus tends to wander off when my bum hits the saddle and all of a sudden, I have to gather up my reins and ride. Which reminds me how much I love being up there – then I don’t want to get off.


I’m also making another commitment as I begin my journey to courage and confidence. Just as I did every morning before I got in an aeroplane and flew, I will read Amelia’s poem and find the courage so that those beautiful experiences you can only have in the saddle actually happen.


Courage is the price that Life exact for granting peace.

The soul that knows it not

Knows no release from little things:

Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,

Nor mountain heights where bitter

joy can hear

The sound of wings.

How can life grant us boon of living,


For dull gray ugliness and pregnant


Unless we dare

The soul's dominion? Each time we

make a choice, we pay

With courage to behold the resistless


And count it fair.


How do you find confidence in the saddle? Share your tips!