Even the smallest fence would look like a huge brick wall to Mel….. it was certainly not jumpable. On one hand she wanted to jump, but with her mind playing tricks on her, she would just panic and pull up the horse. Mel loved working with horses and wanted to take her British Horse Society exams with a view to becoming a professional coach.
She came to me to see whether NLP coaching could help on a one to one session. We started with Mel describing the imaginary fence, and went into some detail about how high it was and the colour of the bricks. This was to help her understand her visual imagination. We made it higher and wider and then put it back to its original size – this was tough for Mel and she genuinely looked and felt a bit queasy at times. As her coach I had to be quick to calibrate how to loosen up this ‘stuck’ thinking and keep her mind moving. I also worked with her beliefs about jumping and helped her review her thinking about how to jump effectively.
I asked Mel to look more closely at her imaginary fence and she realised that in fact the bricks were so perfect in their repeating pattern that they had to be wallpaper. With the earlier stretching of the jump to being bigger and wider, she had brought the image to conscious attention and therefore in her control. So what would she do with the wall now? We considered whether she should just burn it down, jump through it like the police horse demonstrations or trample it down or whatever. She decided that she would dowse it with water until it became a soggy mass!
The mind can be wonderfully quick at making changes..
With the jump dissolved, she was able to think about jumping in a really positive manner and happily booked a lesson with her own instructor. She rang to say how well the lesson had gone, how the old brick wall had never even appeared and how much she had enjoyed being able to jump again. A few weeks later she passed her Stage 2 and several months later passed her Stage 3 – she was well on track for her goal again.