Over the years, the focus of attention in equestrian sports has shifted considerably. Gone are the days when we would drag our long suffering ponies out of the field, make them spic and span for the highlight of the riding calendar…….our local gymkhana!
Equestrian sports at every level are now much more complex with access to greater knowledge and awareness on a whole host of topics from feeding and shoeing, fitness, veterinary advances, technology and latest training practices. Even at foundation level (which used to be pony club for those too young to remember), the sport has evolved beyond recognition. Correct training is now introduced much earlier and in some cases takes precedent over ‘doing the sport for fun’. More and more of us are taking training and the development of our skills much more seriously, often spending considerable sums on weekly or monthly lessons with prominent trainers.
For some, this is about enjoying the process of learning with our lessons being the main source of enjoyment and satisfaction in their own right. For others it is more about achieving higher standards of riding, or enhancing our competitive performance. And for some, it is more out of habit or sense of duty.
However, how is it that some of us, despite having access to training and horsepower that many can only dream of still do not fulfil their true potential and regularly ‘under-perform’ when under competitive pressure? The point is that many of us spend much time and effort perfecting the physical aspects of our performance and pay comparatively little attention to the mental aspects.Read Article