Any day with a horse is a good day because - as you already know - each and every one of those days is chock-full of wonderful opportunities. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be a bit tricky to see those opportunities for what they really are - or even worse - mistakenly view them as obligations, and it can all begin with something as simple as a few innocent words that you unintentionally say to yourself.
As an equestrian, you undoubtedly love riding horses and are excited because you get to go to the barn, but unless you’re careful you might unintentionally say (or think) something like, “I have to ride my horse” or “I have to go to the barn.” Unfortunately, while it might seem like just an innocent change in phraseology, it actually makes a huge difference to the way your brain interprets your opportunities because it forces it to view those opportunities as obligations - as things you have to do; things you have no choice or control over, things you must do.
This month, remember to appreciate all the amazing opportunities riding provides you by replacing any “have to” statements with more positive alternatives like: “get to”, “want to”, “like to”, and “love to” statements. For example, “I have to ride my horse” becomes “I get to ride my horse” or “I want to ride my horse” - and - “I have to go to the barn” becomes “I like to go to the barn” or “I love to go to the barn.” You can even substitute “have to” with “going to” - changing a sentence like, “I have to go to the barn and ride" into “I’m going to go to the barn and ride.”
I realize that simply swapping one word for another might not seem very impactful, but it’s been said that we say “have to” statements up to 100 times a day, and each and every time we do our conscious words unintentionally change the way our subconscious views our opportunities. It might only take a few seconds to utter, “I have to lunge my horse, clean my tack, and take out the trash,” but those words can very clearly alter the intended meaning of our messages - and if the positive replacement words don’t quite do the trick, try adding a short follow-up-sentence to your new phase like, “I like to clean my tack - because it shows how much I respect my sport” or “I love to work on my transitions - because dressage makes me a better jumper!”
As if this weren’t enough, studies have shown that replacing “have to” statements with “get to”, “want to”, “like to” or “love to” statements can also help you avoid taking things for granted because it reminds you to be thankful for what you have. So, this month, remember that to fly you don’t “have to” give up what weighs you down, you “get to, want to, like to, and love to” give up what weighs you down!
I hope you’re enjoying my monthly tips and that I’ll get to teach you in one of my jumping, cross-country, or dressage clinics this fall - or that you'll consider joining my four-day Equestrian Athlete Winter Training Camp in Sarasota, Florida, December 27-30, 2019. For more information visit www.pressureproofacademy.com.
The 21 members of the USEA Board of Governors represent all the different factions of the U.S. eventing community, including professional riders, adult amateurs, owners, organizers, officials, veterinarians, and more. There is a president, one representative for each of the 10 USEA Areas, and the remaining 10 represent the demographics of the sport.
Sired by Zabalu and out of Croftlea Firequeen (by the well-known Irish Sport Horse sire Kingcroft Wicklow), the New Zealand Thoroughbred Flintstar was bred by Raewyn Price at Croftlea Stud in North Canterbury, New Zealand and born in 2000.
The USEA is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Steve Blauner, a valued USET Foundation trustee and longtime owner for U.S. Eventing Team High Performance Athletes Boyd Martin and Doug Payne.
To all of the enthusiastic equestrians out there, five-star eventer Sara Gumbiner says, “dream even bigger.” Aboard her longtime partner Polaris (Brandenburg’s Windstar x North River Lady), Gumbiner has transitioned from daring young rider to bold international competitor. Fueled by hard work, a great support system, and a knack for ending up exactly where she should, Gumbiner went from competing in her first recognized event to her first Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5* in just eight years.