Dec 01, 2017

Daniel Stewart's Tip of the Month: The Power of Positivity

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

This month we’re going to begin a four-part series on how to create positive riding potential by making sure the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, positive affirmations, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself have a huge influence on your ability to believe in yourself. As a result, let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!

This month we’ll begin with one of my all-time favorites. I like to call this technique "Create / Concentrate / Enunciate," and this is how it goes. 

To start, create a short positive affirmation sentence like “I can do it”. Once you’ve got it, concentrate on each word while repeating it to yourself (repetition is very important when it comes to convincing yourself that you’re capable of accomplishing great things.) After a few repetitions, tweak it a bit by placing a special emphasis (enunciate) on each of the four words (as if speaking the sentence but yelling a different word to yourself each time you repeat it). For example, if your phrase has four words (like “I can do it”) say the sentence four times but yell the first word at yourself the first time you say it, the second word the second time you say it, the third word the third time, and the fourth word the forth time you say it. Before finishing-up, repeat the sentence one final time, only this time yell all four words our loud to yourself.

In the end, you’ll have repeated your positive affirmation sentence five times, but most importantly, you have really heard all four words. It would look something like this (imagine yelling the word in bold to yourself - while just speaking the others):

I can do it!
can do it!
I can do it!
I can do it!
I can do it!

Not only is this a great way to ensure you’ll hear (and believe) all parts of your positive sentence, it’s also a really sneaky way to make sure you repeat it a few times! 

So this week, come up with your own short phrase and then use the Create / Concentrate / Enunciate technique as you repeat it to yourself. You can even use it to help believe and achieve your goals. For example, if you typically get nervous riding in front of crowds, repeat “I love riding for crowds” five times. In the end, you’ll have heard it six times, yelled all five words and then… be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!

Coach Daniel Stewart with a copy of his new book, Fit and Focused in 52. Photo courtesy of Daniel Stewart.

Coach Stewart has combined 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 can be purchased at

May 29, 2020 Eventing News

FEI Publishes Return to Play Policy as Equestrian Adapts to “New Normal”

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.

May 29, 2020 AEC

USEA Approves New Qualification Period for 2020 AEC

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.

May 29, 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).

May 28, 2020 Eventing News

The Event at Rebecca Farm Will Have a New Feel This Year

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.

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