Jun 30, 2022

Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart: The Quickie Plan

USEA/ KTB Creative Group photo

Last month we began a four-part series on mental preparation and the many kinds of pre-ride routines you can perform to control your emotions so they don’t take control of you. If you recall, the purpose of these routines is to give your brain the perception of predictability and control because as soon as your brain loses these it senses threat and stress which weakens your confidence and strengthens your jitters and fears.

We began last month by discussing the mental preparation plan best used when everything goes according to plan. Easy peasy, no last-minute pulled shoes or hauling issues. But what happens when the shoes go flying and you have to back up the trailer when you can barely drive the darn thing forward? What happens when you spill coffee on your clean breeches or your horse gets dirty right before your class is called? What happens when you can’t find your boot pulls, lose your helmet, and your mind? It’s during these times that you’re going to need to modify your Plan A and come up with another that’s going to take a whole lot less time, but still delivers the same calmness and confidence your brain needs… and that’s where the quickie plan comes in. This is the plan you’re going to use when you feel rushed. You’re in trouble and out of time.

As you can imagine this plan is going to have to be pretty quick. You no longer have the time to listen to the motivational playlist or do a few yoga poses from the Plan A routine you built last month. You might only have a minute or two to gain or regain control of your emotions, but with a quickie plan in place, that might be all the time you need.

The key to this plan is a technique called time-batching which is essentially performing several different tasks (batching) at the same time. You might not have time to perform them all, but if you can squeeze them into the same few seconds or minutes you’ll find you're more than capable of accomplishing them all. Two examples of time-batching are discussing strategy with your trainer while cleaning your horse’s stall and talking to the farrier while cleaning your tack. You might not have the time to do both, but if you batch them together you’ll improve the chance of getting them done. In the end, the key to time-batching comes down to the word while - you do this while doing that, instead of doing this and then doing that.

So what kind of positive and empowering tasks can you batch together when running late or your class is called early? What kinds of tasks can you batch together to help you chill out when you’re out of time? What kinds of tasks can you batch together when you want to turn the feeling of hopelessness into hopefulness? Well, below is a short list of ideas. When used separately they’ll take too much time, but if you can batch them together you'll have no trouble getting out of trouble!

  • Discuss strategy with your trainer while tacking-up while thanking them (gratitude is a great morale booster!)
  • Take a deep breath while repeating a motivating mantra while standing tall in a power posture (think superman or wonder woman)
  • Visualize your course while walking to the arena while humming a few bars to a calming song while telling yourself you’re excited (instead of nervous).
  • Do a quick head-to-toe relaxation while walking to the in-gate while complimenting an opponent (kindness is another great morale booster!)
  • Hug your horse while saying, “We got this” while smiling while taking another few deep breaths.

It’s clear that these are all really good ideas, but it’s also clear that you probably won’t have time to do them all unless they’re batched together. One of my favorite quotes has always been, “When you get to the end of your rope tie a note and hang on” and that is exactly what this quickie plan is all about. Always do your best, but when your best isn’t enough to get you there on time… batching a few calming tasks together might be all that's needed to help you chill out, even when you’re out of time.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s tip and are looking forward to the next two. Until then, I’m teaching my first post-Covid instructor certification course next November in Naples FL. If you’d like to join my coaching team and begin teaching Pressure Proof lessons, seminars or clinics just email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you more info!

Aug 12, 2022 Association News

USEA Board of Governors Discuss Safety, Volunteers, Calendar Modifications, Membership, and More During August Meeting

The USEA Board of Governors (BOG) concluded a productive two days of the August BOG meeting on Wednesday, August 9th in Dulles, Virginia led by USEA President Max Corcoran. All but four BOG members were able to attend in person this year. Many key items related to eventing in the U.S. were discussed at great length including safety, membership strategies, competition procedures, visibility of the sport, and more over the course of the two-day gathering.

Aug 11, 2022 Competitions

Weekend Quick Links: Aug 12-14

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.

Aug 11, 2022 Classic Series

Dorothy Crowell’s Tips to Taking on the USEA Classic Series

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to compete in a traditional long format Three-Day Event? Can you imagine the thrill of three additional phases leading into cross-country? In the early 2000s, eventing began to shift away from long format events and toward modern short-format competitions. Not all is lost though! The United States Eventing Association (USEA) created the USEA Classic Series to give riders a taste of the old school experience. These competitions preserve eventing’s history and allow riders at the Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels to take on the challenge of traditional long format events.

Aug 10, 2022 Young Event Horse

New Leader Emerges in Race to Le Lion

As the cutoff date to qualify for Le Lion inches closer, talented young horses and riders in contention for the The Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d’Angers Grant are gearing up for the final push in hopes of being selected as the grant recipient. Grant funds will assist the selected pair with costs associated with competing at the FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships in the 7-year-old CCIYH3*-L Championship slated to be held later this fall. 2020 Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships competitors and their respective owners and riders have paid careful attention to this summer’s schedule making sure that they would meet the necessary qualifications for La Mondial du Lion in Le Lion d’Angers, France.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA