Sport Psychology for Riders
Helping you channel your full potential
Natural, innovative and sensitive to the ways in which people truly can change, Janet’s strategies go way beyond traditional sport psychology techniques in order to match the needs of each rider, rather than the other way around.


  • Pioneered the application of modern performance enhancement principles to the equestrian industry.
  • Wrote the ground-breaking book entitled Heads Up!: Practical Sports Psychology for Riders, Their Families, and Their Trainers, which advanced the field past the limiting traditions of relaxation and imagery work.
  • Also wrote The Rider’s Edge: Overcoming the Psychological Challenges of Riding  —  a collection of essays about the broader experience of owning, riding, training, showing and loving horses.
  • Served as sport psychology consultant for Practical Horseman magazine for eight years, and wrote a monthly column on sport psychology.
  • Consults individually to recreational, junior, amateur, and professional riders as well as to trainers, instructors, and other equestrian industry professionals.
  • Offers sport psychology seminars, keynote lectures, and informal Q&A sessions to barns, national organizations and other equestrian governing bodies.



An accomplished hunter/jumper rider who competed successfully as a junior under the tutelage of Wayne Carroll. Her junior career included call backs in both the AHSA Medal and ASPCA Maclay finals, and numerous championships in the equitation, junior hunter, and junior jumper divisions. 

Trained with Champions

Has since trained for periods of time with such excellent instructors as George Morris, Chris Kappler, Neal Shapiro, Mark Leone, and Emil Spadone, winning ribbons at American Gold Cup, Autumn Classic, Upperville, St. Christopher’s, the Winter Equestrian Festival, and the Budweiser Amateur Owner Invitational in the Amateur Owner and other jumper divisions.

Continued Passion

Janet continues to ride and train, currently with Diane Little at Diane Little Stables in West Chester, PA.


My Approach is Different for Riders…

Sport psychology is a lot more than just relaxation exercises, visualization, and positive thinking. Unfortunately, that’s all most people ever hear about, so when those strategies don’t work they feel stuck, with nowhere else to go.

My sport psychology approach differs from conventional sport psychology models, and has proved to be much more effective in helping riders manage the performance anxiety they experience at shows, clinics, or when riding other people’s horses. Instead of investing a lot of energy in trying to get rid of thoughts or feelings you don’t like, you learn how to ride well in spite of them. That way you’re not always looking over your shoulder to see if your nerves are catching up with you, and you don’t have to pretend to think or feel a certain way that you may not be thinking or feeling.

By taking the “fight” out of anxiety management or your real fears of getting injured, and remaining very authentic and true to your real experience, you will be disempowering the anxiety you feel and empowering your own self.

From there, it’s easy to figure out how to compensate for the ways in which anxiety affects your riding. So, for example, if show nerves turn you into a passive, “second-guess-every-decision” kind of rider, then our job together will be discovering the best ways for you to quickly access and mobilize your more assertive, confident side. If show nerves turn your legs into a vice grip and your hands into steel, then our job becomes one of figuring out the thoughts or images that bring flexibility and softness into your body. These are things you can control. Making yourself “relax”—not so much.

Besides, who do you know who’s really relaxed at horse shows? The only ones I’ve ever known were the ones who got there by “accident”—they either were thrown into the ring on a strange horse at the last second or were riding under other unforeseen circumstances that made their expectations (and everyone else’s), well, soft. For the rest of us, once the outcome matters, everything changes, including and especially our anxiety levels. That’s just human nature.

Janet’s Practice in Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy

In addition to her work as a sport psychologist for riders, Janet is nationally renowned for her work as a therapist for teenagers, kids, and families. Her approach with families is consistent with her belief that respect, accountability, and prudent transparency are the cornerstones to healthy, enduring relationships between loved ones. 
Janet is the author of six books, including the popular parenting paperback, Stop Negotiating With Your Teen: Strategies for Parenting Your Angry, Manipulative, Moody, or Depressed Adolescent, and Adolescent Therapy That Works: Helping Kids Who Never Asked for Your Help in the First Place. Her most recent book is The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Like Sports Survive Bullying and Boyhood, which examines bullying through the lens of boys and sports. The book addresses the challenges faced by non-athletic boys growing up in a culture that glorifies physical skills at the expense of many other skills, and was listed as a  “MUST READ” by Parents magazine.
Janet speaks frequently at various professional conferences and has taught workshops for mental health professionals, educators, and parents all around the United States and parts of Canada, as well as in Mexico, Russia, Croatia, and Germany. She writes regularly on topics related to parenting teenagers in articles and on her blog (http://www.janetedgette.com/blog/), and invites you to visit her other website ((http://www.janetedgette.com) and follow her on social media.

Featured Publications

Magazine Articles & Interviews

Finally back at it!

My journey back to the show ring after too many years away started with a beautiful young mare, Fashionista MFH, aka Viva (thank you to Jenny Brown for this lease)! And then, finally, I was back in the jumper ring, having a great time with Rhyme or Reason, aka Roz...

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Three Top Tips for Beating Competition Nerves

You’re totally fine at home, schooling like a pro or jumping 1.10m with ease, but as soon as you see the white boards of a dressage arena or think of the bell ringing for the start of your jumping round at a show, you go cold. Get some tips in my article published by...

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Why I Don’t Teach Relaxation

For way too long, sport psychology has been associated with getting athletes to relax. But who really “relaxes" when they’re competing? The goal, really, is to reduce the influence or impact that your nerves have on your performance, not to try to control them. Read...

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Heads Up

Practical Sports Psychology for Riders, Their Families, and Their Trainers

The Rider's Edge

Overcoming the Psychological Challenges of Riding


Don't Wait Any Longer. Start Forging Your Own Path Today!

Contact Information:

Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette
412 Newcomen Road
Exton, PA 19341

Phone: 610 | 363 | 1144
Email[email protected]

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