Being mentally strong in the show ring gives you a leg up on the competition. Photo © Kirstie Marie Photography

A Mental Guide to Horse-Showing Success

Heed these 12 tips to change your thinking before heading to your next horse show.

Great coaches in any sport will tell you that getting someone to become mentally stronger is their most challenging task. Teaching physical skills is much simpler because it’s concrete. For example, your riding instructor can easily coach you on seat, leg and hand cues to switch leads. It would be much more difficult and elusive to help you gain the confidence to become an Olympic rider.

Fortunately, Dr. Jim Loehr, of LGE Performance Systems, has outlined concrete mental skills that apply to your riding, just as they would to any professional sport. Work on these 12 steps, just as your technical skills, and you’ll become a stronger horse-show competitor.

  • Change your thinking to change how you feel. Many people are careless, sloppy, negative thinkers who do not think they have control of their thoughts or emotions. However, you can exercise significant control over both. When you become a disciplined thinker, you can think in ways that call up positive emotions that empower your life.

  • Practice positive thinking. Practice the techniques listed here to remain strong enough to stay empowered under the stress and frustration of horse showing. In fact, that’s what this is all about: staying positive when results go south. But positive thinking and imagery are acquired skills, and you have to repeat the exercises every day.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the story from The American Quarter Horse Journal.