May 02, 2020

Daniel Stewart's Tip of the Month: Present-Self and Performer-Self While Social Distancing

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Right now there are two very different people living inside of you (don’t worry, it’s only a metaphor.) The first one is the person who you are right now. That person is called your present-self and he or she is capable of achieving some pretty good things. Some pretty good skills, pretty good emotions, and pretty good results. But is your present-self capable of achieving the amazing and great skills, emotions, and results that you know you’re capable of? Unfortunately, probably not.

In order to achieve those amazing skills and great successes you might first need to consider making a few quick changes or additions to your present-self. This is where your other “inner” person comes in. That person is called your performer-self and he or she isn’t interested in pretty good, they’re looking for really great!

So just how do you go from pretty good to really great? Well, you go from your present-self to your performer-self of course, but what does that really mean? Well, let’s say, for example, that right now you’re tired and dehydrated with a stomach ache from all the fast food burgers you ate late last night. This is your present-self. Do you think you’ll be able to perform your best today? Me neither! It doesn’t mean you’re incapable of it, it just means you’re going to have to make a few change before it’ll happen. In other words, you’re going to have to go from your present-self to your performer-self, and the best way to make that happen in this case is to plan a few days of rest, hydration, and healthy eating.

So, as you read this message (and while you wait for stay-at-home orders to end) take a few moments to ask yourself who you are presently. If you decide that you’re not quite at your performer-self, write down a few changes or addition that you can make to make it happen. While doing so, you might want to take the following four categories into consideration:

  1. Daily behaviors like healthy eating, sleeping habits, and proper hydration
  2. Physical behaviors like exercising, stretching, and improving your posture
  3. Emotional behaviors like acting more positive, mindful, and resilient
  4. Interpersonal behaviors like expressing gratitude and helping others

If you’re like many riders, this crazy time might be making you feel a bit incapable of improving yourself as a rider. But in fact, the time that we’re all spending waiting for “ordinary” to return might just be an opportunity for us to find our inner extraordinary - an opportunity that comes from spending more time focusing on you and learning what it really takes to release your inner performer!

So, take this time to remind yourself how lucky you are to have good health, friends, family, and our amazing sport, and remember the only person you need to be better than today is the rider you were yesterday, so go find your performer-self!

I hope you enjoyed this month’s tip. I’ve organized a series of equestrian mental coaching webinars for barns, clubs, and associations until the pandemic is over. If you’d like more information email me at [email protected].

Jun 06, 2020 Education

Top 10 Tips for Keeping Your White Horse White with Rachael Livermore

We all work hard to get our horses shiny and clean for competition day, but it can sometimes take a bit of extra elbow grease to get those grey or white horses looking their best. Rachael Livermore, head groom for Sharon White at Last Frontier Farm, shares some of the tricks she uses to get Sharon's horses looking spick and span - and it starts with everyday care!

Jun 05, 2020 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: June 6-7, 2020

This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.

Jun 05, 2020 Association News

USEA Podcast #259: Sinead Maynard's Recipe for a Successful Return to Competition

The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.

Jun 05, 2020 Eventing News

Event Cancellations and Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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).

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