Ride Big by John Haime

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  • Ride Big: the Ultimate Guide to Building Equestrian Confidence

    Price as reviewed:

    £18.95 for paperback

    Ride Big: the Ultimate Guide to Building Equestrian Confidence

    Author: John Haime
    Published: 2021
    Available as paperback or Kindle edition

    View now at amazon.co.uk

    About the book

    In this book, John Haime covers three important aspects of confidence – he calls them The Confidence Base, The Confidence Builders and The Confidence Threats. Throughout the book, those who have reached the highest levels of competition in a range of disciplines share their stories, explaining what they do in the saddle and how their techniques for performing under world-class pressure might help other riders develop a similar kind of confidence.


    The “confidence-building” that is the subject of this book is more along the lines of helping riders to win Badminton than to canter into a cross-pole after a fall. But if you are an aspiring professional with huge dreams, then this is the book for you.

    Author John Haime is himself a professional sportsman (golfer) and now works as a performance coach in a variety of sports at the top level. So often we focus on our horse’s performance, but Haime works on improving the rider’s skills and confidence, believing that this will in turn bring out the best in your partnership with the horse.

    This is a very practical approach to giving riders the mental tools they need to perform better and more consistently under pressure. Each chapter has truths, keys, stories and exercises enabling you to test new skills and awareness out when training or competing. He addresses all sorts of psychological areas involved in building confidence which we may not have considered as a rider: self-image, getting in the habit of being uncomfortable, using our emotions effectively, and  the privilege of pressure.

    The book is peppered with quotes and anecdotes from riders, such as Oliver Townend, Laura Tomlinson, Mclain Ward and Michael Jung, who have made it, detailing their struggles and how they’ve overcome challenges. It’s inspiring stuff, even if your goal is simply to master striking off on the correct leg. And if you are aiming for the top, this book is invaluable for helping you to step up another level.

    Not all of us are top riders, even in our dreams (certainly not myself), however there is plenty to glean from these lessons to the elite. As Haime says: “Confidence is a central theme in everything you do. Why not learn about it through your passion, equestrian sport, and get double the benefit? The way you develop confidence in your equestrian life is transferable to everything in life. A confident rider can also become a confident business person, confident worker, confident spouse, confident parent, and confident friend.”

    Likewise, the dual Olympic champion Michael Jung may be in the equestrian stratosphere, but any rider can heed his advice.

    “Equestrian sport is complex and individual for all riders. Ride Big will help you be better equipped to solve problems, be more confident when confronting challenges, and better enjoy your experience with horses. Read this book.”

    About the author

    John Haime is a former professional golfer who has since entered the world of performance coaching. He has helped some of the world’s top performers in sports, business, and entertainment build mental and emotional strength in order to maximise their abilities.

    Since 2014, John has worked with dozens of equestrian clients, from young riders and adult beginners to the world’s top showjumpers, dressage riders and eventers. He has coached Nations Cup winners, Grand Prix winners, and national champions, and has worked with individuals competing at top events, such as Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival and Badminton Horse Trials.


    If you are an aspiring professional with huge dreams, then this is the book for you.

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