How to Ride Without Fear by Jo Belasco

How to Ride Without Fear
Jo Belasco

Jo Belasco helps any rider who has or is experiencing fear when it comes to the horse-human relationship. Whether it’s being afraid of horses on the ground, in the saddle or both, Jo works with people using proven techniques to handle fear. She specializes in teaching fearful riders how to use mindfulness as a tool to help understand and move through their fear so that they can fun again with horses.

Jo helps riders in several ways:

Seminars: Jo presents a 60-minute seminar and question-and-answer period before each “Ride Without Fear” clinic. Riders learn skills that they then apply when they ride in the following clinic. Auditors (people who are not riding in the clinic) are always welcome to attend. Jo also conducts the seminar without the clinic in certain situations.

Clinic: Jo follows her seminar with a “Ride Without Fear” clinic. During the clinic, Jo works with riders one-on-one for one hour. She helps them apply tools from the clinic, including mindfulness, and also addresses any specific issues or concerns they have with fear and horses. While most of the participants are riders, Jo welcomes horse people who want to work with horses on the ground, too.

Jo’s years of dressage training under advanced level eventer Adrienne Iorio had already taught her the deep importance of being balanced and centered. Her subsequent work with Indigenous people through the non-profit Tapestry Institute taught her the vital significance of connection, and both broadened and deepened her understanding of balance and centering. The concepts we teach of balancing, centering and connecting refer to every facet of horses, humans, and their relationship with one another – physical bodies, emotions, psychological states, ways of knowing (epistemologies), types of knowledge (disciplines), and the fabric of the natural world.

Thematic areas of focus for these programs range from developing feel on horseback to exploring fundamentals of horse biomechanics, and from dealing with riding fear to exploring behavioral dynamics between horses and riders. In every program, our goal is to help humans and horses re-center and develop better balance and connection — within themselves, with each other, and with the world around them.

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