Last month we began a four-part series about resiliency. Defined as the ability to bounce back after a mistake, mishap, or missed opportunity - and the ability to turn setbacks into comebacks - resiliency is considered the most important mental factor in determining your success because it’s what allows you to form will power, optimism, and self-belief (all mandatory ingredients for performing at your best). Last month’s tip discussed the importance of only focusing on things that you can control or influence. This month’s tip is just as important: the ownership of failure and success.
Since resilient riders always attribute their performance to things they can control or influence (their concentration vs. the judge, for example), they also realize that this means their success (or lack of it) is never someone else’s responsibility. They own all parts of their ride, the good and the bad. Missed opportunities become their learning opportunities, and past struggles become their future strengths.
Additionally, resilient riders will always attribute a poor performance to something they did - or to the great performance of an opponent - rather than to the idea that they’re simply weak, bad, or not-good-enough. For example, when a resilient rider loses a competition you’ll likely hear them say something like, “Today my opponent rode an exceptional course,” or, “Today I could’ve listened to my horse a little more and made better choices,” rather than, “I’m a horrible rider and I wish the judge wasn’t so mean.”
When it comes to success, resilient riders also pride themselves in crediting their competitors for strong performances as well. While some riders might only want to talk about how well they rode today, resilient riders make an effort to also recognize the efforts of their opponents. “I may have finished first today, but it was thanks to all the great lessons taught to me by my fellow competitors this season,” is a good example of the kind of statement you'd hear from a resilient rider.
Part of being a resilient rider is recognizing the success of your competitors. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.
Lastly, resilient riders know that riding isn’t about being right or wrong, it’s about being the right amount of wrong. They know that mistakes are bound to happened - and when they do - it doesn't mean that they’re inadequate as a rider, it simply means that they had the courage to push themselves outside their comfort zone, where mistakes are common. When mistakes happen, they own them instead of making excuses or trying to blame them away. They know that if they’re not making a few good mistakes from time-to-time, they’re simply just not trying hard enough.
So, this month, take a little time to think about how you think about your failures and successes. Are you resilient? Do you compliment others after you succeed? Do you pride yourself in owning your mistakes? If so, keep up the great work. If not, don’t feel bad about it, just start today to move in that direction.
In the end, always remember that your best teacher is often your last mistake or failure. But, you can’t learn from your teacher if you’re never in class, or if you refuse to listen to them!
Have you ever wondered what eventing is like across the pond? Wonder no more! On this episode of the USEA Podcast, Nicole Brown is joined by U.S. eventers Andrew McConnon and Lexi Scovil to talk about the similarities and the differences between eventing in the States and eventing in the U.K. McConnon worked for eventing legend William Fox-Pitt in 2016 and 2017 while Scovil is a current working student for Fox-Pitt.
The national levels took the spotlight for the final day of competition at Oktoberfest. The Beginner Novice, Novice, and Training divisions completed their show jumping over Chris Barnard's course in the Outdoor Arena, and competition concluded with Preliminary, Intermediate, Beginner Novice, and Training cross-country.
The babies came out to play on the second and final day of the 2020 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Championships at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. Today, FEH East Coast Championship judges Robin Walker and Susan Graham White evaluated 10 2-year-olds and seven yearlings to decide the final champions on the East Coast.
The 2020 USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Championships kicked off today at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland following the successful completion of the FEH Central Championships at Haras Hacienda in Magnolia, Texas this past Thursday. Twenty-three horses were presented today to Championship judges Robin Walker and Susan Graham White – four in the FEH East Coast 4-year-old Championship and 18 in the FEH East Coast 3-year-old Championship.