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 16, 2024 Eventing News

Grandia Moves Into the Lead at Inaugural Aspen Farms CCI4*-S

A big crowd gathered at Aspen Farms Horse Trials Saturday afternoon to watch the inaugural CCI4*-S division take on the show jumping track designed by Chris Barnard. Supporters, sponsors, competitors, and visitors enjoyed watching FEI show jumping during a 4-Star Reception with catered food and beverages, sponsored by Southern California Equestrian Sports.

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Be a VIP at the 2024 USEA AEC by Volunteering!

Do you have plans to attend the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds at the Kentucky Horse Park this Aug. 27 – Sept. 1? Make your mark on the event by signing up to volunteer! Volunteer positions are open to everyone, including competitors, trainers, owners, fans, friends, and family that are making the trip to Lexington, Kentucky, later this summer, and the USEA highly encourages its members to find the time in their busy schedules to give back. These Championships cannot run without the support of hundreds of volunteers that donate their time.

Jun 15, 2024 Eventing News

Aspen Farms Kicks Off with Inaugural CCI4*-S

Aspen Farms Horse Trials started with a full day of dressage competition on Friday under fair skies. More than 300 competitors from throughout Area VII and beyond are competing this weekend, and five horse/rider combinations entered Aspen Farms' inaugural CCI4*-S—the first ever offered in the state of Washington.

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Second Class of YEH New Judge Education Program Now Open for Expressions of Interest

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