Study shows hypnosis helps improve a rider’s confidence

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New research suggests that a rider’s confidence can be significantly improved by just one session of hypnosis.

Sherree Russell Ginger, a clinical hypnotherapist and qualified BHSAI, conducted the research as part of her BSc in clinical hypnosis at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, earlier this year.

“The findings showed that confidence can be increased by up to 51% with just one session of hypnosis,” she told H&H.

Ms Ginger studied 21 female volunteers aged from 20 to 62, from novice to professional riders. They were randomly assigned to two groups. One received a single session of group hypnosis, the other group was given a presentation about fear, anxiety and confidence.

Data was collected by questionnaires completed by the volunteers before and two weeks after the sessions. In the hypnosis group, 10 of the 11 participants reported an increase in their confidence score. The average was 16% but one rider reported an increase of 51%.

Ms Ginger said the results supported her experience that hypnosis is a very effective way of improving riding confidence and performance.

“The majority of riders will experience a loss of confidence or increased performance anxiety at some time in their riding career,” she said.

“The results of this research are clearly relevant to any sports psychologist, riding instructor and coach,” she added.

One volunteer, Claire, said of the hypnosis session: “It clearly had an impact on more than just my riding confidence. I think it helped to refocus my whole mind.”

Ms Ginger explained: “These things [loss of riding confidence] are rarely happening in isolation. So clients may make changes across the whole of their world.

Flora Watkins, Horse and Hound