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.
Have you ever wanted to look through the judge’s eyes and see what they see during the conformation portion of a USEA Young or Future Event Horse competition? Now is your chance! Using only a photo and information on age and breed, legendary horseman and prior FEH/YEH Championship judge Chris Ryan is sharing his insights into young horse conformation in our Conformation Critique article series.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted last night to mirror the dates decided by US Equestrian (USEF) for suspending recognizing competitions and educational activities. The USEA will extend its suspension of recognizing events under its direct jurisdiction through May 3, 2020. The suspension extends also to USEA recognized educational activities, Young Event Horse, Future Event Horse, and New Event Horse competitions.
The only rider to have won the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials a record six times, Lucinda Green MBE is an eventing hero. A mainstay of the British Eventing Team for 14 years, Green is best known for her stylistic cross-country riding technique and impressive list of career highlights which includes an Olympic silver medal in addition to top placings at over 40 international three-day events.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).