You knock down a rail.
No big deal ... I mean that happens, right?
So you probably want to know why I'm making a big deal about one rail, right?
That's what my rider said after she mentioned messing up her first jump on the course.
"Well, what did your trainer say the reason was?" I asked. (I'm always curious about their answer. And anyway, the trainer was there, and I was not. But the thing is, I don't have to be!)
She proceeds to give me a list of three technical things she did wrong. I can't even remember what they were, but you know, the standard reasons.
And this is why trainers lose clients ...
They are not looking deep enough. They are not able to listen to their client's thoughts like I get to do. And therefore, the mistake keeps repeating itself.
"Susan (not her real name), the answer is right here in your text to me. Your comment about the fact that the jumps were so TINY!" (Yes, she put that in caps.)
Now, I had a conversation with her prior to this final national show, and she was complaining that her new trainer signed her up to show the low children's jumpers.
She was appalled and said to me, "I was doing that height when I was 10! This is ridiculous! I can't believe he put me in this! I should be doing the higher classes!"
Now, this is an excellent rider. And she is with one of the top trainers. I suggested that she assume positive intention and go with the flow. He probably had a good reason.
(Turns out he did! She was riding one of his horses who hadn't shown in a while. But she immediately went to the negative intention and anger ... as was her pattern and didn't find out the reason why until later.)
Anyway, she goes into the class and then drops a rail on the very first jump. And immediately she sent me the text. "UGH! I can't believe I did that!"
The problem was the TINY comment in her text. She was SO focused on the low height of all the jumps in the class! She should have been focused on the other 50 details of executing the ride to nail that jump, but she was too busy being negative.
And arrogant. And cocky.
Let me tell you about the energy and behavior behind those two words ... arrogant and cocky.
It short circuits your brain.
And then the suitcase comes out of the closet.
Yup, your brain grabs a bikini and sun tan oil, packs the bag, and then hops on a plane to enjoy a vacay in Hawaii!
Why? Because it got your memo. CLEARLY, you don't need your brain to help you! You are SO good and you know it all, so the brain figures, "Hey, she doesn't need me. I'll take a vacay and catch up with her later."
Yeah, when she crashes and burns.
Which she did.
What is the RX for this?
Humility. The difference between arrogance and humility is the ability to be open to learning.
Which means you are more aware. That would come in handy when you are jumping, right?
Aware of how your horse is feeling, aware of the pace and your timing. Aware of your distance.
And more important than that, aware of and able to learn from the feedback of that collection of data.
Now THIS scenario is something your brain can bite into! NOW your brain will become engaged in its job of helping you to succeed with what you want to accomplish! It feels that it is needed and a necessary part of the team!
But for my client in that class ... the brain left town. She was closed up. Shut down. Rigid. Blocking.
And her horse played out that blocking.
Trainers will tell you all the technical stuff you did wrong, which is also true, but many times those things are just the symptoms; just the way the REAL issue shows itself in the ring. But if you don't KNOW the REAL reason underneath ...
YOUR individual, unique, and personal reason ...
If you don't then change your insides, your perceptions, your beliefs, and your self-talk, you will keep making the same mistakes.
Even if you try to change the technical stuff, because your insides will keep tripping you up.
But most important, you need to change your attitude. Confidence and arrogance are NOT the same thing.
But as any athlete gets better and better and starts winning at the higher levels, it is not uncommon for this "attitude" monster to sneak in create all kinds of problems.
There are two choices when you go into the ring ...
Attitude or gratitude. And the outcomes are the complete opposite.
You can't have both at the same time. It is impossible. So which one will you choose to focus on?
Enjoy your ride!
Breakthrough Equestrian Mental Skills Coach
Emotional Strength & Resilience Trainer