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.

Dec 07, 2019 Profile

Now on Course: Abby’s Road - That Was Then, This is Now

When my daughter Jacquelyn turned 9, she and I started taking riding lessons together for some quality mother-daughter time. I had hoped to share my love for horses with her so we gave it a try. A few years of lessons led to a deeper commitment - horsemanship - and Jackie showed the fortitude for the hard gritty work required.

Dec 06, 2019 Eventing News

US Equestrian Announces Updated Selection Structure for 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program

US Equestrian is pleased to announce the list of athletes who have been named to participate in an assessment of their skills prior to the 2020 USEF Eventing 25 Program selection. The USEF Eventing 25 Program offers athletes 25 years of age and under access to coaching and instruction, high intensity training sessions, and continued mentorship to further support the development of the Eventing High Performance Pathway and Program.

Dec 06, 2019 Eventing News

Bromont to Host a Leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup

Bromont Horse Trials Inc., organizers of the Bromont CCI-S Three-Day Event held August 13 to 16 are delighted to announce Bromont’s selection as a leg of FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2020 Series.

Dec 06, 2019 Association News

Madeline (2000-2019)

The USEA is saddened to share the news that Madeline, a chestnut Thoroughbred mare by Mysterious Count, passed away on December 4, 2019 at the age of 19. Madeline, also known as “Baby”, was owned by Jill Gordon and campaigned at the four-star level by Holly Payne Caravella.

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