Feb 05, 2021

Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart: Movie Trailer

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Three months ago we began a conversation about riding rehearsals. Since then I’ve introduced you to many unique ways to visualize your riding using different mental perspectives (think camera angles). In case you missed then, here’s a brief summary of the many different camera angles we’ve talked about:

  • Internal: Visualizing your ride as if viewing it from your own eyes.
  • External: Visualizing your ride as if seeing it from outside your body (like as if watching yourself on TV).
  • Perfect: Visualizing your ride as if doing everything perfectly (even though it won’t likely go that way!).
  • Realistic: Visualizing yourself overcoming a problem (like pulling a rail) and then finishing strong.
  • Partner: Visualizing your ride as if seeing it out of the eyes of your horse.
  • Motor: Visualizing your ride while also moving your body in time with your mental ride.
  • Mental Rotation: Visualizing your ride using any combination of the perspectives above.
  • Feedback: Visualizing (and creating) a negative response (like holding your breath when nervous) and then using biofeedback to practice eliminating it (like visualizing while taking deep breaths).

This month I’m going to introduce you to one final riding rehearsal. I like to call this perspective the Movie Trailer and it works like this: The next time you need a boost of confidence, close your eyes and visualize yourself riding using any of the camera angles above, but this time do so while listening to your favorite song! Make sure that song is meaningful and motivating and don’t be afraid to turn the volume way up! Just remember to turn the music off and remove your headphones before you mount.

The goal of this kind of riding rehearsal is to create a sort of movie trailer image in your mind (like the powerful images and music used in movie trailers) because when motivating images and upbeat music are combined they stimulate the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins) that make you feel more calm, confident, and courageous! It’s like a two-for-one sale for riders - when your images and songs are combined, you become one powerful and empowered rider!

As you now know, there is no shortage of different cameral angles you can use to visualize your rides, but there’s also no shortage of positive results that positive rehearsals can provide you with, including:

  1. Help create positive emotions: Visualize yourself smiling while feeling happy, thankful, and grateful!
  2. Develop muscle memory: All practice - including mental - leads to proficiency
  3. Any time: You can now practice your riding without always needing to be mounted
  4. Anything: You can mentally practice skills you shouldn’t physically practice (i.e. spooks and run-outs)
  5. Staying focused: You now have a positive alternative to spending time thinking of negative stuff!

This wraps up our conversation about riding rehearsals. Perhaps the best thing about them is that anyone can do them, and anyone can do them anywhere! Simply take a deep breath and turn on your internal camera - the popcorn is optional!

I hope you enjoyed the topic of riding rehearsals and hope you’ll give them a try. Next month I’ll introduce you to something new and surprising and really cool, but until then feel free to email me at [email protected] if you’d like more information on how your group can join my summer clinic tour this July and August!

Mar 02, 2021 Affiliates

IDCTA Presents: A Live Stream with David O'Connor

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Central time, join Eric Dierks for a live stream interview with David O'Connor. David was an alternate for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and riding Wilton Fair, was part of the U.S. team at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, where he placed 35th individually and the team finished fourth.

Mar 02, 2021 Volunteers

Billy Jackson: USEA's Volunteer of the Month

Billy Jackson was introduced to horses at a young age through his local 4-H program. “One of my mom's close friends was a large animal vet and she really encouraged me to stay with it,” Jackson said. As an adult, he is a Marketing Project Manager, and when he’s not at work, he’s a lower level eventer based at Poplar Place Farm.

Mar 01, 2021 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: March 6-7, 2021

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! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.

Mar 01, 2021 Eventing News

Badminton Horse Trials Cancels 2021 Event

It is with great disappointment and regret, which we know will be shared by many, that we announce the cancellation of the 2021 Badminton Horse Trials which was due to be held “behind closed doors” between May 5 and May 9. This cancellation also includes the BE90 and BE100 Championships (May 4 and 5).

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