10 things mentally strong riders don’t do

By Annette Paterakis

There are a few key characteristics that mentally strong riders have in common. Things they do, and things they don’t do to stay in control of their own mental game.

1. They don’t have to win

Successful riders don’t have to win, they want to win and they know they can win! They understand the difference and the importance of detaching themselves from the outcome in order to stay focused on the process and to trust that they can do it!

2. They don’t fear pressure

Mentally strong riders don’t fear pressure. They know they excel under pressure and need a healthy amount of pressure, to stay focused and in their zone.

3. They don’t doubt their plan

Once mentally strong riders have walked their course and decided on their course plan, they don’t doubt whether it will work or not. They know this is the best plan for them and their horse, and they fully commit to it in the ring.

4. They don’t get distracted

Mentally strong riders will do whatever is necessary to get into their zone the moment they get on the horse. They make sure they find some quiet space to focus and prepare themselves in order to ride their best round.

5. They don’t lose faith

Mentally strong riders know that the Equestrian sport is not a 100m race, it’s more like a marathon and they understand that success takes time. They believe in themselves and their unique journey.

6. They don’t push others down

Successful riders know they don’t have to push others down in order to do better themselves. Instead, they encourage and support others to learn from their mistakes and to celebrate the wins.

7. They don’t get frustrated when things don’t go their way

Mentally strong riders know they only lose unnecessary energy when they focus on things they can’t change anymore. Instead they learn from their mistakes and move on in order to do it better next time.

8. They don’t worry about the future

Successful riders don’t fixate on the end destination. They know where they want to go and they trust they will get there. They set many sub goals and create a clear plan to stay focused on what they can change now.

9. They don’t listen to the critics

Mentally strong riders have learned not to listen to the critics or people that know better. As they have established their clear plan they stay focused on that. They create a strong team around them of people who have their best interest at heart.

10. They don’t forget about what matters most

Successful riders don’t let success distract them from what ultimately matters most, their connection with their horse. Investing in their horse is the best way to expand their chances of success.