✨ What does Courageousness mean to you? What is your definition and experience of courage? ✨
I love being asked why I called my biz the Academy of Courageous Riding and not just the Academy of Confident Riding as that is what riders are usually looking for confidence not courageousness- and I find it a really awesome conversation starter, and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this too!
For me courageous riding is about so much more than confident and fearless riding.
And I think being courageous is more than simply being brave - its about also acting from a place of integrity where you take action that is aligned with your own core values - even when this action totally terrifies you, including going against the grain, being prepared to do what's right even though its going to cost you and maybe even dearly, standing up for those who can't stand up for themselves or doing the VERY thing that makes you feel a little bit shaky at the knees just thinking about it!
When I think about Courageous Riding, for me its about being able to bravely and confidently align my riding and my values - by becoming a confident, ethical and CONNECTED rider.
It’s about building and growing the partnership with my horses beyond my current horizons. And its absolutely about understanding that the horse is a thinking, feeling, sentient being and that ethical horsemanship, riding and horse keeping is the courageous next step for us on our journey.
It's about being part of a movement to raise the standards, ethics and values of an industry, even if its just one rider at a time, a call to rise-up and do better! I certainly don't promise to have all the answers, however as with any journey it begins with simply taking a first step and being prepared to leave excuses at the door!
The step I am currently taking is to always be asking first “what’s in it for the horse?” and when this is clear to me - "how can I do this better?" or "how can I grow from this experience/lesson?"
It’s not about judging other riders or horse owners, but SUPPORTING, encouraging and educating other riders to rise, alongside us.
So for now, I'd really love to know your thoughts, and what questions you are asking yourself in your training and relationship with your horse!
I loved this answer from my dear friend Virginia Ede who said this to my question of What does courageous mean to you: "Courage and being courageous comes in many forms. It can be (to) have the fortitude and persistence to follow something through that makes you quake at the knees, or it can permitting yourself to become vulnerable and more open. It can be daring to be true to yourself. Courage is perhaps one of the hardest yet most rewarding thing to do and be! Talking your talk and then following through with Walking your Talk."
With that, I totally agree! What do you think?
Love Stef xx
Hello! I'm Stef Winwood and I’m a Dressage rider, breeder mindset coach and anti-motivational speaker, combining my lifetime of riding and teaching with my NLP training for riding success. I am so passionate about helping riders like you transform your riding results.