Return to news index

Is there such a thing as being overconfident?

with Tanja Mitton



We generally focus on the opposite, lacking confidence. That is an easy one to relate to and something most riders have experienced at some point.

So, what is it like to be ‘overconfident’? And surely, if lacking confidence is something that we are trying to overcome, then being overconfident surely has to be a good thing.

Let’s have a closer look and dissect this thought a little bit more.

• Overconfidence often goes hand in hand with limited experience. I do not have enough experience to see the full picture.

• Being overconfident can get us into trouble. We can’t see the dangers. Fun, excitement, and pleasure take over.

• Overconfidence can easily lead to a lack of confidence if something goes wrong or when we find out that we are not as good as we thought we were.

• When someone is overconfident, it reminds me of the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’.

That all sounds a bit negative doesn’t it, after all, it seemed so good at first glimpse. If a lack of confidence is something we don’t want to end up with and being overconfident doesn’t seem the right thing either, what should we aim for?
We should aim for the middle. Not too little, not too much, but just right. Think of a seesaw; if we sit on either end, there are big swings, up and down and up and down. It seems fun at first, but over time, the big swings become harder to deal with, too tiring, and too inconsistent. When we move to the middle, the swings are not as big, more consistent, and sustainable.

Lack of confidence:
Instead of expecting the worst and constantly trying to imagine the worst, remember your good rides. Ask yourself if what you are imagining is actually real or if that happened a long time ago on a different horse or in a different environment.

Focus on each ride as it happens instead of getting stuck in the past or heading out to the future. A lack of confidence often comes because we are too hard on ourselves and can’t accept all the improvements and skills that we have learned.

Own your knowledge and experience, and be brave enough to acknowledge what you don’t know yet. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. When we are overconfident, we are more focused on ourselves than on our horses. When you feel confident, make sure you stay connected to your horses; they might need you more than you think.

That means owning what you know and trusting in what you are capable of. Self-confidence does not come from what others say or think about you; self-confidence comes from what you say and think about yourself.
We can all develop a little more self-confidence by being a little bit kinder to ourselves.

Happy riding everyone.

Need some of Tanja’s advice on a more regular basis? You can get that on the Tanja Mitton Membership.

Tanja Mitton - Australia’s No. 1 Equestrian Success and Mindset Coach.
Phone 0419 891 319, Email: |

Enjoyed this article?
Subscribe to our email newsletter to get more articles like this straight to your inbox!

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now