Audio Version of Blog Post
If you know what I'm talking about you're my people. If not, let me give you a hint just in case you want to start using that lingo too.
You've probably had amazing rides or runs at home. We're all masters of our own backyards and if there were ribbons for those amazing runs we'd have enough for a full blanket.
But when you get in the competition arena, the shit hits the fan and it goes from bad to worse. Your confidence is in the tank and your horse is all over the map. Zigs, zags, touring, spooking – bad times and slow runs.
You weren't there for your horse, you weren't the leader he needed. In other words, you shit the bed.
Now that we all know what I'm talking about, let's talk about why this happens.
There are actually several reasons this could happen.
1. Your muscle memory isn't properly trained (bad habits have not been reprogrammed) so you do the same old things. We'll revert to this under pressure.
2. You're not trusting your homework. Not trusting your horse, not trusting your body.
3. Lack of confidence and not managing your energy. You're not finding your ideal performance state. This is the sweet spot, the zone where your horse needs your energy to be, to be the most effective leader/rider.
4. Having too many things to think about. Usually the cause of choke, more than shitting the bed, but it can contribute. Our brain can only process so much at the time, after that it shuts down or reverts to the subconscious programs.
5. Flight, fright or freeze takes over when your emotions and nerves take over and your body completely shuts down (this is kind of like the reaction you might have if you came upon a Grizzly bear).
6. Piss poor preparation. You have entered something without your horse being properly prepared. Or you don't have the skills or experience to be doing what you're doing (like going faster than you and your horse don't have the timing for yet).
7. Unrealistic expectations. You're asking for something your horse isn't ready for yet. Not all horses can be “ridden for the win” and some take a long time before they are ready for that. (Um you kind of shit the bed before you entered here if we're doing right for our horse).
8. You're over mounted. You're not as good of a rider as your horse needs for his skill set and moves which causes you to lose confidence with that first ass slap you get and….you STB.
9. You're worried about what other people think. You've put pressure on yourself to do good to impress someone. Maybe even to justify your hobby to family members.
10. Winning is everything to you. You have to win, you want to win more than anything and you need the money to pay your next event you're already entered in. This is more pressure than you can handle.
and 1 more to hit us home and because I love the number 11….
11. You associate your self worth with your performance in the arena. Subconsciously you don't actually believe you are worthy of a win so you sabotage your performance and you guessed it – you shit the bed.
As you can see, there can be a lot going on within, that can contribute to a really crappy performance in the arena. One of the most important steps to overcoming this is to be aware of what exactly is the root cause for your kerfluffle in the arena.
So go back over my list and see which apply to you. Put some thought into why this matters to you and I know there are several you will be able to make changes all on your own.
If there's some you still need help with, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and keep an eye out for more tips and the notice for when Mental Toughness Boot Camp starts to enroll in February. I have all the steps you need to overcome all the above in boot camp.