As we travel life’s arduous road, our life experiences help us shape and develop the core values we hold dear. They mature into a set of principles which we deem significant and refer to time and time again, because we consider them worthy, useful and important to us.
There are so many fabulously inspirational stories coming out of the Rio Olympics; stories of how athletes have overcome great strife to achieve their dreams of becoming an Olympian.
1. Question Everything you Know
There are no bad horses, only horses that have learnt unhealthy behaviour through bad handling, either through cruelty or ignorance; horses that have been damaged by incorrect training or horses expressing their discomfort or pain through the only way communication method they have – behaviour.
In my training I always ask … “Is it me or is it my horse?” This basic question never goes away. The default answer to this question is generally that the communication breakdown is on my side, not my horses. This is not because I am not a good equestrian, it is that I understand that I must take responsibility for the effectiveness and suppleness of my own body and the resultant affect it is having on my horse, because whatever problems I experience, sadly it is generally not the fault of your horse.
By not supposing that I know everything, it e
nables me to question everything I do. This self analysis enables me to grow.
2. Sharing is Caring
I have wasted many hours, sweat and tears, not to mention hundreds of £GBP trying to learn how to be a skilful rider. I have made my fair share of mistakes. Got to the point where I was so disgusted with myself for not achieving anything I got to work finding out how it’s done, which meant ‘un-doing’ a lot of what had become ingrained in my training and ethos.
I share everything I’ve learnt on this website on The Dressage Tipster facebook page and in The Crystal System Book. How, with the help of a man with an eye for detail, I turned around my frustration into enjoyment and how I created my own training system so that you can create yours.
Its a little selfish really, I get so much from sharing my experiences and helping others, with the exception of the book it is all completely free of charge.
3. Problems are for Solving
Embracing negative critique and failure helps to find positives in almost everything. Failure is not the end but the beginning, I am thankful for the information it brings, I try to learn its lesson.
Failure was the catalyst that I needed to go out and find a better way when I began researching The Crystal System. Fact is that people who succeed also fail a great deal because they make a lot of attempts. There is nothing wrong or shameful in failing. The only regret lies in never making the attempt. Sometimes the quickest way to find out if something will work is to jump right in and do it.
Problems are not the opposite of success, they are an essential part of it. Understanding what is going wrong, thinking through the problems, finding the solutions – this is what enables progress. Any frustration and pain that arises out of mistakes are not only inevitable; they are the means by which we learn. Opportunities to be taken advantage of.
4. Goals are the Basis for all Achievement
I have so much to do, juggling work, horses, home, elderly parent, writing the blog, etc., without goals I am merely wheel spinning, lacking direction. For me, the process of building a road-map to my ultimate goal is the most influential tool for helping me choose where I need to be, get focus and crystallise my thinking. By knowing precisely what I want to achieve, I know where I have to concentrate my not inconsiderable efforts.
Top-level athletes, successful business-people and achievers in all fields use the setting of goals to give long-term vision and short-term enthusiasm to their projects. It focuses the mind and helps to, not only organise, but prioritise time so that you can make the very most of it and let’s be honest, for most amateur riders there is a balancing act to be achieved in terms of time.
I am able to measure and take pride in my achievements, however small, and I am able to see progress in what might previously have seemed a long and pointless grind.
5. Nothing Can Stop Me
I absolutely love this quote:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison
Time and time again we have heard how the four year struggle for our athletes has had one key ingredient that shaped their dogged thinking. They believed in themselves. The bottom line is that you should believe wholeheartedly that you can do it. Whatever ‘it’ might be. Why not? Others do.
Never compromise your standards. Growth is only possible by stretching one’s limits, by leaving one’s comfort zone, that’s where the magic happens.
I’d love to hear if you have any values to add to these, comment below and share with your fellow dressage fans.
Rio Olympic Grand Prix Special to decide the Team Medals is on today (12 August 2016)
18.02 GMT – Spencer Wilton
19.02 GMT – Fiona Bigwood
19.29 GMT – Carl Hester
19.56 GMT – Charlotte Dujardin