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Winning Insights From Losing

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The majority of people compete to win, and most winners hate to lose. However, if you enter the competition ring often enough you don't always come out with a win. I like to look at competition as a base line for how my horse and I are performing. In competition you will only get 80 percent of what you and your horse can do at home. Why is that? There are many factors such as stress, nerves, away from home, unfamiliar surroundings, funny tasting water, and the list goes on. By establishing a base line, now you know exactly what you and horse need work on.

What happens if you dwell on a loss? The loss can follow you around like a bad shadow. It will impede you and your horse's ability to move forward. The reason is because you focus on it so much that it becomes reality. As an example, in your warm up session you blow a major maneuver for your class and now all you can think about is the screw up. What happens in the show ring? The obsessive thoughts become reality and the maneuver gets screwed up just like in your warm up session.

The key is to focus on the future and not dwell on the past. Who hasn't screwed something up one time or another? Evaluate what happened, learn from the mistake and move forward. Do not continue to punish yourself or your horse for something that is in the past that cannot be changed. You and your horse will be much better prepared for the next round and this time for a win.

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