Simple Reminders To Achieve A Successful Rider Mindset
Everything in riding can be changed with the right mindset and one of the first places, to begin with, is to understand that our emotions affect our rides. I am sure you have experienced that ride when you get home from work or you have had a really stressful frustrating day and you hop on your horse and you then have a terrible ride.
Our horses respond to us. Your horse is your best trainer in the entire world and I believe the horse you have right now is the horse you are meant to have to teach you what you need to know. There is no one right method when it comes to training a horse, every horse is unique, they have their own personalities and they have the power to teach you amazing things if you listen.
One way I like to get myself into the right mindset is by following the philosophy BE, DO, HAVE. Who do I need to be, so I can do what I want to do and have what I want to have.
Success doesn’t come by just wanted, it comes from being and working towards your desired goals. Taking action.
First place to start is by removing your negative beliefs. Take away the barriers you put on yourself and the buts and excuses you put in place and start to think about “who do you need to be” the key is to start fostering the right beliefs that are going to get you closer to your goals.
Write down who you need to be and repeat it to your self daily. The more and more you practice this the more and more you will believe it and become it.
Create realistic goals that are achievable and put steps in place to help you get there.Break it down into actionable steps you can do each and every ride to improve. Maybe you are wanting to ride level two next season but you know your sitting trot needs work and you forget your tests once at a competition. So for the next month, you practice ride sitting trot and at the end of every ride you run through your level two tests so it gets super familiar and you get more and more confident in doing it. The more you practice the better you will feel.
Nothing happens overnight, the real successes come one ride at a time. Build upon your rides and be 1% better each time. Start today’s training where you finished yesterday and make small progressions. Take notes, write down where you want to work on. For example, you find your centre lines are wobbly when you practice your tests. Work on your centre line and improve 1% each ride. Celebrate and appreciate that when you practice you can improve. When you strike problems such as a wobbly centre line, rushed transitions or something else, don’t react to them emotionally. Be constructive, think about why it was happening and work out ways to overcome that issue.
Learn and expect failures
Nothing is ever smooth sailing, appreciate that bad attempts and failing are all part of the journey. Don’t get emotional about it. Learn from it and know that it’s just the beginning of an amazing path you are on. Learn from every experience and take information from it. Also remember that even with your best intentions, horses will be horses. So don’t get emotional if you have a bad ride and you can’t train how you wanted. Just learn from it and build upon the last ride.
Dressage is about consistency and in order to improve and develop you have to be willing to put in the consistent work even if you feel “bored” or can’t be bothered. The basics have to be put in place and the foundation laid in order to build upon that. So take the time each and every ride to build that foundation for success.
Every horse is different
There is no one way to train a horse and every horse is unique. So be fully open to experimenting and not knowing the answer. Search for ways to get the desired answer and never ever stop learning. You don’t know what you don’t know and the goal posts change all the time in dressage. When the horse changes you have to change with the horse. So learn to embrace change and being flexible, if you hit roadblocks get excited by them and hunt out the answers and expand your knowledge. Horses are a living breathing amazing animal that allows you to ride them, be mindful of them at all times and take them as your greatest teacher!
No short cuts
No one can make you better and no one can do it for you. If you aren’t prepared to put in the work then you simply want get there. The success or lack of it is directly related to the amount of effort you put in. No one else is to blame for where you are at just as no one else can take the credit for your hard work. So ownership of your journey is the key to getting better.
Dressage is a lifelong journey and it is an amazing sport we can do for a long time. So enjoy the journey, take each horses lessons they teach you as a gift and embrace that you have a great deal to learn along the way.
Don’t take it so seriously. Enjoy building your relationship with your horse and creating this amazing partnership. There are many serious crazy things going on in the world and being fully present and spending time with your horse is a gift.
So focus on the present moment and enjoy each and every ride.