Do you show to win? Or do you show not to lose?
Riders who show to win give it their all in the show pen.
They go for broke, ride it like they stole it, they ride instinctively, and they take chances. They trust that they have the skills and abilities to perform and win. They view showing and competition as a challenge and they love challenges! They have their eye on the prize and fill their minds with positive possibilities. They go for it.
Riders who show not to lose have the mindset that if they don’t win, at least they have minimized their losses.
They over-school their horse. They don’t trust their horse and they don’t trust their own skills and abilities. This style of rider holds back in the show pen. They view showing and competition as a threat, and their thoughts are full of “what if I lose” possibilities, and to them the consequences of failure and the pressure they feel cause them to not be able to ride at their top ability. This rider has probably had some previous success in the show pen, they certainly have the abilities, however, their focus is on preserving what they have instead of aspiring to go after the next challenge. They stick with what they know, what is comfortable, and avoid trying new things.
Which rider are you? Are you showing to win? Or are you showing not to lose?
How can you shift your competition mindset to a challenge mindset instead of a threat mindset? By re-framing your self-talk from thoughts of fear and negativity about the possibilities of losing, re-frame these fears into the actions that you can take in the show pen and positive possibilities.
Try positive affirmation statements and mantras like:
My horse and I are ready for this!
I will do what others won't to achieve what others don't.
I enjoy a challenge!
Or, my favorite: I've got grit!
When you notice your thoughts drifting towards the negative, repeat one of these positive affirmations. Then, visualize you and your horse going for it in the show pen and being successful.
Now get out there, get gritty, and show to win!
Siobhan "Chevy" Allen, The Social Stockwoman
Personal Performance Coach and Certified Master Life Coach
To learn more about my "Get Gritty: Mental Toughness Program for Western Performance Horse Riders" visit my website at www.socialstockwoman.com
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