Last month we began a series of Pressure Proof tips dedicated to the idea that positive thinking is one of largest contributing factors to riding success: competitive, recreational, educational, or otherwise. This month we’ll continue talking about how what’s happening between your ears is just as important as what’s happening below them and that what’s happening below them is actually always being controlled by what’s happening between them.
For example, tense, tight thoughts and feelings are always the cause of tense, tight hips and hands. The connection between what’s happening upstairs (mental) and what’s happening downstairs (physical) is obvious so this let's spend this month talking about how to keep our homes clean and uncluttered!
If your house is anything like mine it requires constant care and attention, otherwise our inner hoarder-genes take over, and our closets fill-up and become cluttered with unwanted and useless things piled up on top of each another. Before long we can’t even get a coat in the closet or a car in the garage!
So, this month let’s figure out how to clear out our upstairs mental closets so we can pay attention to the kind of thoughts that'll help us move more purposely and successfully downstairs. One of the best ways for us to do this is by using a technique call thought-stopping.
Thought-stopping is a three-part technique that begins by becoming mindful of any unwanted thoughts that might be stored in your upstairs closet (the tense and tight kind); then learning to stop putting them there; and finally removing them from your closet so you can free up space for the kind of thoughts that really deserve to be there (the calm and confident kind). I guess it’s a bit like removing that Mexican sombrero and weird-tiki-thing that have been collecting dust since those trips a while back…and replacing them with the vacuum that’s been crammed under the bed since spring! OK, this is all a bit of a stretch, but here’s how thought-stopping really works:
Step One - You become mindful of when you begin thinking in a negative way
Step Two - Once you become aware of any negative thoughts, you disrupt the flow of those thoughts by yelling a word like, “whoa” or “halt” at yourself (inside or outside voice, your choice)
Step Three - Once you’ve disrupted the flow of those negative thoughts, you replace them with a more positive replacement.
Here’s an example of how thought-stopping can help clean out your upstairs closet: Every time you become mindful of thinking something like, “I always get so nervous when my opponents ride well,” stop the flow of the negative clutter by yelling, “Whoa!” at yourself and then replace that unwanted thought-clutter with, “Watching my opponents helps me learn the nature of the course.”
As you can see, clearing the clutter in your upstairs closet requires three steps: (1) thought-recognition, (2) thought-stopping and (3) thought-replacement. If you’re like me, nothing feels better than knowing you’re taking good care of and attention to your house, and it all starts with cleaning out the upstairs mental closets so that we can perform physically well downstairs.
So this month grab a mental broom and get about decluttering your mental closets by making sure the thoughts you are thinking are the kind of thoughts that'll allow your body to perform in a confident and uncluttered way.
I hope you've enjoyed this month’s Pressure Proof tip and are looking forward to the third and final installment of this series next month. Until then, if you’d like me to visit your barn, Pony Club or association as part of my Summer Seminar Series, just let me know. I have plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner times available in June, July, and August! Email me at [email protected] for more info!
The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention came to a close on Sunday with the final USEA Board of Governors meeting. After the call to order, USEA Senior Director of Membership Services/Meeting Planner Jennifer Hardwick gave a brief overview of the annual meeting. There were 321 attendees and 220 who came to the awards dinner. Next year’s Annual Meeting & Convention will be held in Seattle, Washington, from Dec. 10-15 at the Westin Seattle.
Because every horse is different, caring for some senior equines is easy while caring for others can be a challenge. When does a horse become senior, how does the body change, which health conditions become more prevalent, and what can owners do to compensate for their horse’s aging body?
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members from all over the country gathered on Saturday night for the 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention Year End Awards Ceremony. The evening’s ceremony was led by Master of Ceremonies Jim Wolf and recognized riders, horses, and game-changers in the sport of eventing with multiple awards and grants.
Hosting the Annual Meeting of Members each December has been a requirement set forth by the United States Eventing Association (USEA) by-laws (then the United States Combined Training Association) since 1959. This year, USEA members are gathering in St. Louis, Missouri, for the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention from Dec. 7 - Dec. 10 for four jam-packed days of educational seminars and open forums full of conversation surrounding our sport. Lunch on Friday, however, served as an opportunity for attendees to gather together for the USEA Meeting of Members once again.