“I started my career as a competitive rider and competed at International level. In the beginning I won every weekend but as I became more and more focused on being competitive, the results started to go downhill, fast. I slowly became frustrated instead of having fun and forgot about why I actually started riding in the first place.
At the shows, I became increasingly more tense and frustrated and as a result I made more mistakes. It was a vicious circle I didn’t know how to break out from. I had no idea how and why my riding and results changed so much, everything used to go so easy and effortlessly. How could it be that I was able to ride so well back then and at home, but messed up at the shows? It became very difficult to believe in myself and I seriously considered giving up and stopping my riding career. But I still wondered, if it was a lack of talent that caused me to ride so badly, how come I could ride so well at home?
As I embarked on a journey to find answers, I slowly realized that my results had very little to do with talent and everything to do with my mindset. I finally found a mental coach who explained to me what happened in my brain and body the moment the pressure was on and I had to perform. Suddenly everything started to make sense. Although I still had a long way to go, I started to feel back in control of my own mind again.
Nowadays I combine this knowledge and the know-how I gained through my studies in Applied Psychology and various different trainings, together with my own experiences in the sport. It gives me great pleasure to be able to share all this in working with many riders, who compete at national to 5 star level.”
I believe that what makes the Equestrian sport so unique and special, is the extraordinary connection between horse and rider. I believe the sport is about becoming the best possible version of yourself, about connecting with and trusting a living animal and becoming a better rider and horseman every day.
It is my belief that mental coaching is a concept barely explored within the showjumping sport. I also believe that this will change soon. The sport is growing and improving fast, the differences between talented riders and horses are becoming smaller and smaller. What determines who will win is a combination of factors, in which mindset and mental skills play a big role. The more riders are aware of and improve their mental game, the better they can perform when they need it most.
As I love the Showjumping sport so dearly, I have made it my mission to learn and share about performing in the showjumping arena as best as I can. I want to contribute to the sport by exploring how riders can improve their mental game, their results, enjoyment in the sport and connection with their horses.