How Mindset Coach Ben Crowe can help you ride better!

As any ambitious rider knows, consuming great content is key to expanding our riding skills. This ABC Conversations podcast recommendation, ‘Meet Ash Barty’s Mindset Coach Ben Crowe’, presented by Sarah Kanowski is no exception.

Sarah interviews Ash Barty’s mindset coach Ben Crowe, uncovering some key points we could embrace as equestrian riders to get the most out of our training and competition performances.

I’ve never watched Australia’s Ash Barty, the former world No. 1 woman’s tennis player, play, but the insights Ben shares in this podcast are relatable to how I believe we should be viewing our mindset in our riding. No matter if you are a professional rider or a beginner rider enjoying trail riding on the weekend.

Now I’m sure there are hundreds of factors as to why Ash was so successful in her tennis career, however, I want to highlight a few of the gold nuggets mindset coach Ben Crowe shares in this podcast.

1. You can’t focus on calm and feel anxious at the same time

As riders, we are often overwhelmed with fear, nerves or self-doubt. One simple way to think about overcoming this is to shift our focus onto a positive emotion, like calm, gratitude or connection. Easier said than done, I know! But picture this, you are about to trot down the centre line and you are worried you will forget your test. Imagine if in that moment you shifted your focus onto how grateful you felt to be competing with your best friend and even how lucky you are that you and your horse are healthy enough to compete.

This feeling shifts everything, all of a sudden making an error of course isn’t that big a deal!

2. Focusing on something you can’t control but wanting to control it is the definition of anxiety or pressure

We are sitting on a 400, 500 or even 600kg horse, there is very little we can truly control!

Yet, we spend so much of our on and off-horse time worrying about the things we can’t control in riding.

… What mood will my horse be in today?

… Will the judges like me?

… Will I forget my test?

Hence why so often so many riders carry some level of fear or anxiety towards getting in the saddle or competing.

This is where mindset coaching has helped me over the years. Giving me mindset tools to be able to get out of my head and focus on what I can truly control; how I show up as a rider and respond to my horse’s behaviour or mood.

3. There are two types of people in the world: those who see vulnerability as a strength, and those who see it as a weakness. Which are you?

Why is the topic of vulnerability so important in our horse riding? Because the level of comfort we feel being vulnerable is relatable to our level of unhealthy ego that shows up in our training and competition riding.

Practising vulnerability allows us as riders to be more open-minded, more curious with our training, and able to see our own mistakes and do something about them. When we are vulnerable, we have more body and mindset awareness, we ask for help when we need it and most importantly, we are more compassionate towards ourselves, our horses and the riders around us.

When we view vulnerability as a weakness, we shut ourselves off from growth, unable to express compassion towards ourselves or our horses in those tricky training rides and find ourselves feeling quite closed off and defensive.

The practice of vulnerability is truly one of the most important things we can work on to excel our riding enjoyment and success.

If you haven’t already, listen to this inspirational podcast. And, if you have a competition coming up soon, listen to the podcast on the drive to the competition. It will help put things into perspective and take that pressure off that we can all feel on competition day!

Want to learn more? Check out my other BLOGS HERE!

Mindset Coach Ben Crowe

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