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].

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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