Oct 06, 2019

Daniel Stewart's Tip of the Month: Get to, Want to, Like to, Love to . . . but not Have to

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

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.

Jan 27, 2023 ATC

Introducing the New Modified Rider Division at the 2023 AEC

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky August 29–September 3, 2023.

Jan 26, 2023 Young Event Horse

Get a Taste of Eventing with the New Event Horse Program

Are you interested in competing in the sport of eventing but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Do you have a horse that is looking for a new career? Consider participating in a USEA New Event Horse (NEH) competition in 2023! The USEA NEH Program was created to be an introduction to the sport of eventing for both horse and rider, and the 2023 NEH Calendar is now available here.

Jan 25, 2023 Profile

Dondante Steps Into The Spotlight with 2022 Standlee USEA Horse of the Year Title

Will Coleman had a huge 2022 with his string of horses, including a team silver medal at the FEI World Eventing Championship in Italy on Off The Record and top four-star placings with Chin Tonic HS, but it was Dondante whose consistency paid off to earn the Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year title.

Jan 24, 2023 Volunteers

The VIP Volunteer: Julie Murray

Julie Murray has loved horses since she could breathe, so when her daughters showed an interest in Pony Club and then eventing, she was thrilled to go along for the ride.

Murray started volunteering at the Fallbrook Pony Club near her home in Fallbrook, California, serving as an intermediate district commissioner.

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