The Eventing season has begun again, maybe this is your first season or you are aiming to qualify for your first two star** event, or perhaps your focus is on 4****…. . The winter has passed and you have done all your physical training for your horses, looked after their nutrition and well being and the yard is ready to go. Yet, you have a few doubts or niggles in your mind that are affecting your confidence. This is normal when something really matters, it’s normal to get nerves and doubts based on experiences & thoughts, yet the disproportionate amount is what is not helpful potentially.
So what can you do to train you brain for optimal performance? How can you overcome the ‘fear’, complete the best dressage, cross country and show jumping rounds possible on the day, and enjoy it? How can you cope on the ‘bad’ days and learn to relax, adapt and still take some good things. How can you believe that you can actually do it and bring the best out of your horse? It take’s practise, commitment and focus.
I regularly lecture to you all about a good life balance, and how vital it is, but it wasn't until I went on holiday that I remembered quite how vital it is. Most of us are busy juggling life - work, kids, pets, house etc, that we don't get much time to relax and unwind. I am a classic for this - I pile my to do list way too high each day, making me rush around like a blue arsed fly, crashing into everything and generally making me stressed; You may have heard of my yoga new year resolution that I managed once; my wish to read more etc. Do you know what effect stress can have on the body?
At the end of each season, it always seems like next season is miles away. But before you know it the season is about to start and we are madly dashing around trying to finish our competition preparation. Goal setting will make your pre season training more successful, and here is why
1) It gives your training focus
Winter training is an ideal time to focus on key areas that will influence your performance. We can make big changes without worrying that we will destroy the next competition, as we have so much time to make adjustments and fine tune everything. By setting goals for your winter training, you are giving your training direction, and every little element of your riding will be helping your goal. Without a goal, we can aimlessly fly through the winter, chaining lots, but not really focusing on what we are changing and why.
‘Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.’