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Grit: Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Successful Horseman or Horsewoman?
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Grit: Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Successful Horseman or Horsewoman?

What separates successful competitors from those that quit?

Is it talent?

Are successful riders naturally gifted with riding ability?

I don’t believe so.

If it isn’t talent, then what is it that determines if someone will be successful?

I believe it is Grit.

In Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance she says, “Grit is sticking with your future day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality.”

Angela Duckworth has studied a variety of successful people, and in her book, she shares that Passion, Practice, Purpose, and Perseverance, the four qualities that make up grit, are the key to success.

So what does a “gritty” horseman/horsewoman look like?

I have thought about and analyzed “grit” and these four qualities, and here is what I think a “gritty” horseman/horsewoman looks like.

Passion: Horsemen/horsewomen that view horsemanship as a journey, not a destination, will last longer and be more successful.

Horsemen/horsewomen with grit have a deep passion for the horse and horsemanship. They have a passion for the process, for the long hours of training, and for the lifestyle that defines a true horseman. They are internally motivated to keep going when the going gets tough. They use failure to learn and fuel the fire of passion for improving their horsemanship.

Practice: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

Horsemen/horsewomen with grit practice even when they don’t feel like it, when it is raining, snowing, hot, or cold. The effort you apply each day counts twice toward achievement. In her book, Angela Duckworth shares the following equation: Effort x Talent = Skill. Skill x Effort = Achievement. So your effort counts twice towards your achievement.

Purpose: Riders with purpose will be more successful than those that only have passion.

Grit is about doing something that you care about, something that gives you purpose. Horsemen/horsewomen with purpose say they do it for the love of the horse. What is your purpose? Why do you ride?

Perseverance: Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.

Riders with grit get back on the horse. Every. Single. Time. They take the time that it takes for the horse. They don’t quit-they persevere. I believe that these four qualities separate the successful horsemen/horsewomen from those that quit.

Do you have grit?

If you want to develop these qualities to improve your horsemanship and take the next step along your horsemanship journey, learn more about my “Get Gritty: Mental Toughness Program for Western Performance Horse Riders” by visiting my website, www.socialstockwoman.com

Until next time, Get Gritty!

Siobhan "Chevy" Allen, The Social Stockwoman

Personal Performance Coach and Certified Master Life Coach

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