Oct 19, 2021

Pressure Proof: Scripting

USEA/ KTB Creative photo

The only sure thing about riding is that sooner or later you’ll succeed- and sooner or later you’ll fail. Like it or not, the reality of a sport as complex and challenging as ours is that doing everything right doesn’t always guarantee things will turn out that way. You’ll present your horse the perfect fence with the perfect approach and perfect quality canter, all to have it go south because of a plastic bag in the corner! Unfortunately, you’ve picked the wrong sport if you wanted everything to go right all the time.

While you can’t always predict when you’ll struggle, you can certainly prepare for it. In fact, preparation is the key to ensuring your struggles won’t derail your train of thought, or even worse, make it jump tracks to one of despair and disappointment. Controlling your emotions at a time when your emotions try to take control of you is a sign of resilience and a sign that you’re more than capable of showing.

That’s where scripting comes. Scripting happens when you prepare for inevitable challenges by writing and reciting a series of positive reminders (your script) whenever you begin to feel a bit bad or bummed out. The idea behind scripting is that it can be pretty hard harder to think of good things when you’re feeling bad, but that feeling bad gets a whole lot harder when you begin saying a bunch of good things!

The first step to creating your “stress script” is to identify the kind of mental challenges (stressors) that bother you most. Is it pre-show doubts, pulling a rail, forgetting your course, or losing? If so, make a mental note of it and move on to the next step. The second step is writing a script that's you’ll recite when you encounter that stressor. Ideally, your script will have plenty of self-support and positivity and come in the form of a (1) positive reminder and (2) a catchy motto like, “I’ve come from behind before and can do it again. It’s time to make the rest of the ride the best of the ride!”

While reciting a positive-support-script will certainly help keep your train of thought on the right track, it’s actually only half of the battle. The real key to scripting (the other half) is that you don’t just say it, you act it! In other words, you act out the words in your script as if you were an actor or actress. This is the key to scripting because bringing your words and actions together helps you to get into character! After all, the most successful actors aren’t the ones who simply memorize and repeat the words… they’re the ones who also use supporting body language and attitude to bring their words to life.

So this month, why not get into character and bring out your inner actor or actress by writing, memorizing, reciting, and performing your very own stress script. Like a real actor, you might not be perfectly believable in the beginning, but keep practicing and rehearsing, and don’t be surprised if you begin to get pretty convincing. Remember, you can’t always predict when you’ll struggle, but you can certainly prepare by writing and bringing a stress script to life. Who knows maybe you’ll win an Oscar!

I hope you enjoyed this month's Pressure Proof tip. If you’d ever like to speak with me in person just email me at [email protected]. Beginning this month I’ll be re-starting my private phone consultations and I’m sure you’d find them both enjoyable and beneficial!

Jul 19, 2024 AEC

Ride iQ Renews Partnership with USEA for 2024

The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is happy to announce Ride iQ as an official “USEA Educational Collaborator,” as well as “Sponsor of the USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC)” held at the 20th Anniversary USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), and an “Official Contributing Sponsor of the USEA Emerging Athlete U21 Program (EA21).”

Jul 19, 2024 Competitions

Greengard and That's Me Z Kickstart The Event at Rebecca Farm

Tommy Greengard and That's Me Z sit atop the CCI3*-S, the first of The Event at Rebecca Farm's five FEI divisions to conclude the dressage phase. The second half of the 34-horse CCI2*-L field will be staged Friday, along with dressage for CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S, and the CCI3*-L.

Jul 19, 2024 Young Event Horse

Tak For Farven Flies the Flag for U.S. Breeders

As the Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships approach this fall at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (East) and Twin Rivers Ranch (West), the USEA is connecting with eventers that have their sights set on competing with their 4- or 5-year-old prospects. This month, Kaitlin Hartford checks in from Callahan, Florida, to talk about her journey with her own and Elly Schobel’s 4-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion, Tak For Farven (Tempest WT x Ostentatious).

Jul 18, 2024 Eventing News

Weekend Quick Links: July 20-21

Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered!

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Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

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Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

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Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA

Official Horse Boot of the USEA

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