We’ve spent the past three months talking about resiliency; the unyielding mental toughness and confidence that occurs when willpower, self-belief, and optimism come together. Together they create perhaps the most influential factor in determine your ability to succeed, and what’s often credited for changing good riders into great ones. This month, let’s continue our conversation about developing the mental toughness and confidence that’ll ensure you’ll always be a resilient rider.
In past sessions we’ve talked about creating resiliency by (1) always focusing on things that you can control or influence, (2) owning your successes and failures, and (3) modeling the confident behaviors and attitudes of already resilient riders. This month we’ll take this conversation one step further with a fourth method called reframing.
Reframing is the process of simply changing the way you view a situation. Instead of viewing something in a negative way, you choose to view it in a more positive and productive way. For example, instead of viewing a loss as failure, you teach yourself to view it as a learning experience. In the end, you can’t always change the result, but you can certainly change what the result means to you.
When it comes to reframing it’s not important what you look at, it’s important what you see. When you look at a problem can you see a solution? When you look at a weakness can you see a strength? When you look at a mistake can you see the lesson it’s trying to teach you. Changing a negative into a positive is the key behind reframing, and a major key to ensuring all your rides remain productive.
The opposite of reframing is something called telescopic thinking - always looking at problems, weaknesses, and mistakes as if looking at them through a telescope (making them appear bigger than they actually are). This month, turn the telescope around and look at these challenges through the other end of the telescope - so that they look smaller and less ominous. And then point that telescope away from them so that you can zoom in on the solutions, strengths, and leaning opportunities.
Have a great month and I’ll talk to you again next month the first tip in a four-part series on how to create positive riding potential by making sure the thoughts you think to yourself are positive!
Coach Stewart is combining his popular rider mental conditioning techniques with ideas for physical conditioning in his new book, Fit and Focused in 52: The Rider’s Weekly Mind-and-Body Training Companion. Readers get quick-hit recommendations with an exercise for the body and one for the mind for every week of the year. The end goal is attaining full-on fitness that ensures improved performance on horseback, whatever your age, ability, or discipline. With 52 weeks of creative cross-training, and loads of ideas for customizing workouts to fit personal goals and lifestyle schedules, riders are sure to find themselves positive, pumped up, and ready to go! Stewart's new book is releasing this month and can be purchased on Amazon or Trafalgar Square Books.
The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting organizers and national federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has approved additional modifications to the qualification period for the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The AEC is scheduled to take place August 25-30, 2020 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, and the USEA is doing everything possible to ensure a safe and successful Championship, while also ensuring fair opportunities for all.
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).
This has been a difficult decision, but with the current pandemic situation at hand, we feel that this is the correct and ‘common sense’ direction to take. We are developing a plan to host a shorter, smaller, and more focused competition. We will be using state and local protocols to help guide us through this. Safety is paramount at Rebecca Farm, for both equine and human participants.