ISSUE 102
JUL 2024


ALL EYES ON
VERSAILLES

CHRIS BURTON
JUMPS BACK IN
Stella Barton’s
Paris dream

PLUS: HEATH RYAN ON THE GAMES, TRAINING THE BALANCE WITH DAN STEERS, KERRY MACK ON COPING WITH DISAPPOINTMENT, AMANDA ROSS’ TIPS FOR OLYMPIC TRAVEL, ANDREW COOPER LOOKS TO THE FUTURE, KENYA WILSON’S TASTE OF EUROPE, HORSE INSURANCE, SANDI PALMER’S EVENTING PAINT, DR MAXINE BRAIN’S WINTER ALERTS & SUZY JARRATT ON THE ‘ARTFUL DODGER’

AUSTRALIA`S BEST EQUINE MAGAZINE
click here to start reading

ISSUE 102

CONTENTS

JUL 2024
click on left side to read the previous article
click on right side to read the next article
scroll down or click icon to read article

A Few Words

FROM THE PUBLISHERS

EQ LIFE

Ryan's Rave

EXCITING, EXCITING, EXCITING!

BY HEATH RYAN

Eventing

CHRIS BURTON JUMPS BACK IN

BY ADELE SEVERS

Para Dressage

STELLA’S ALWAYS HAD EYES FOR VERSAILLES

BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE

Lifestyle

GOOD INSURANCE IS SO REASSURING

BY EQ LIFE

Eventing

KENYA & SANDROS LAP UP EURO ADVENTURE

BY ADELE SEVERS

Health

HOW TO BE READY FOR THE BIG CALL

BY ADELE SEVERS

Training

MASTERING THE BALANCING ACT

BY DAN STEERS

Eventing

ANDREW COOPER
LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

BY ADELE SEVERS

Health

RAIN SCALD OR RINGWORM – HOW DO I KNOW?

BY DR MAXINE BRAIN

Training

COPING WITH DISAPPOINTMENT

BY DR KERRY MACK

Eventing

COLOUR ON COURSE

BY ADELE SEVERS

Lifestyle

ARTFUL TEAM BEHIND ‘ARTFUL DODGER’

BY SUZY JARRATT
content placeholder
Previous
Next

Once again, we are delighted to see our Olympic and Paralympic teams announced and excited to see how they fare on the biggest stage in the world.

Sixteen team members and reserves will be travelling to Paris for the competition of their lives. Of course, some have already had the experience of representing Australia at the Games, and some are newbies.

All have had a single focus over the preceding months, or longer, to get on the team. All have given up other opportunities, family events, work and much more in order to get there. But spare a thought for the many (probably over 100) people who also put all else aside and did their utmost to get on that team, but have not made it.

Now, I won’t say they failed, because I hope they all succeeded in achieving their best performances, or they learned important things or that there were other good outcomes. But it may be that they are feeling that they have failed to achieve the goal of their Olympic or Paralympic dream.

Some will have found that their horse was injured or had some veterinary problem. We all know that one of the most important things is to have a sound horse at the end of the selection. Over the years many combinations have become Olympians or Paralympians because someone better qualified was not a sound combination at the crucial time. Some riders were injured. There are probably 100 stories of the people who almost became Olympians or Paralympians. Some riders will have regrets about moments where they did not ride well enough, or made a mistake.

In fact, we all have to contend with failure, or lack of success. From my very first show as a five-year-old (going back nearly 60 years) when I fell off my Shetland pony, Midge, in the ring, until the most recent show I did where I got an awful score in the Grand Prix, I have snatched defeat from the hands of victory over and over again. I have had a lot of practice at coping with failure. Even with all the practice I have had it’s still difficult to deal with it. I expect all of you who compete have had plenty of practice too.

“If you focus on failure,
it will bring you down.” 

LEARN FROM THE GREATS

The mighty Roger Federer lost 46 per cent of his games. Each time he lost a point or a game or a match, he bounced back. Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest basketball ever, said: “I have failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed”. If you focus on failure, it will bring you down.

Some very famous people have failed spectacularly before they succeeded. American fashion designer Vera Wang knows the disappointment of missing out on Olympic selection. She won the US national figure skating championships, but was not selected for the team for the Winter Olympics in France. In the aftermath she went to Paris to study and then changed direction to fashion and has a $650 million fashion business.

Thomas Edison is famous for, among other things, inventing the electric light globe – but before he succeeded he famously said, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. And then he solved it.

So, what will help you survive failure?

Firstly, just make a space to feel the feelings. Disappointment, sadness, anger… just notice whatever feelings are there. Accept that it feels awful. No matter how awful you feel, it will pass. Express your feelings. Feelings that are expressed and understood will ease. Talk to someone about what you feel. Don’t avoid your feelings by using alcohol, drugs, prescribed medication, binge eating or avoidance as these won’t help. Alcohol is a depressant and will make you feel worse. Although a glass of bubbly raised with friends to celebrate the fact you tried is okay, in my view.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

Be kind to yourself (and anyone else involved). There is no point in beating yourself up for perceived misdeeds or mistakes. You gave it a crack, you lived to tell the tale. Take time to take care of yourself. Maybe a little holiday or an outing to a favourite place. Spend time at the beach, or otherwise in nature. That is calming. Have a massage.

When you are over the initial disappointment, take time to take stock. Find perspective. It is a first world problem to fail at sport, a privilege to have problems like this, even though it hurts so much. I am fond of remembering that, if the worst thing that happens to you is you ride a bad dressage test, then you have a pretty good life.

Remember that failure is a sign that you have challenged yourself to do something difficult. Find a way to take a growth mindset, to believe that you can improve. What can you learn from your efforts? What can you improve? Own any contribution you made to your failure, so that you can address the problem and improve, not so you beat yourself up over it.

Refocus on your dream. Maybe come back to basics and remember what motivates you in the first place. Why do you ride? What do you love? For me that means remembering my love for my horses, my enjoyment in them every day, the excitement I have when I see them becoming more confident, stronger athletes, when I have a breakthrough in the training. If I have a big fail these days, I give myself a week or so not riding, and then just start with something that is fun. I don’t keep drilling the thing that failed. Back to basics, no pressure on either of us. Just do things that we are both happy and confident with so we can enjoy the ride. After a while I inevitably start to look forwards to the next competition.

GET SMART

The next thing of course is to set the next SMART goals. Remember them? Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound. For me that is qualifying for Equitana, which is my favourite event because everyone is there, all the different aspects of equestrian activities. It’s great fun and I always learn something. So I have to do the training to fix the problem (tension in the walk to passage transition) and get back to compete in time to qualify.

So that brings us to GRIT. Angela Duckworth, psychologist, defined grit as a capacity for “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”. She saw grit as a personality trait. Grit was a better predictor of success than talent. Those Olympians and Paralympians are generally people with grit, the ability to bounce back, to persevere. The passion they have for the long-term goal keeps them in the game. I think riders are generally passionate about their sport. We can compete over very many years and can only persist if we have the passion. Horses have aroused the passion of humans for at least 17,000 years since the first beautiful paintings of horses were done in the Lascaux Cave in France. Horses have always symbolised freedom, strength and power. We are lucky that it is so easy to be passionate about horses. It helps us have grit.

So, I would encourage you to be passionate about your sport, celebrate your success as it is hard won. And learn to be resilient in the face of failure as it can be the foundation of success. As Robert Kennedy said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”. Another American, Denis Waitley said, “failure should be our teacher… it is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can only avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing”.

Pity the keyboard warriors who avoid their own failure by being nothing – and ignore them.

Dare greatly.

Have fun. EQ

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ BY KERRY MACK:

How to Recognise ConcussionEquestrian Life, June 2024

A Life Worth Living – Equestrian Life, May 2024

Earning Our ‘Social Licence’ – Equestrian Life, April 2024

What Does Welfare Really Mean? – Equestrian Life, March 2024

A Masterclass with Vanessa Way – Equestrian Life, January/February 2024

Play it Safe From the Ground Up – Equestrian Life, December 2023

The Joy of Raising Foals – Equestrian Life, November 2023

Perfecting the Short Side – Equestrian Life, October 2023

The Subtle Art of Suppleness – Equestrian Life, September 2023

Perfecting The Pirouettes – Equestrian Life, August 2023

Get In The Zone & Go With The Flow – Equestrian Life, July 2023

How to Resolve Common Problems – Equestrian Life, June 2023

A Smarter Way to Compete – Equestrian Life, May 2023

What Motivates Me – Equestrian Life, March 2023

More Than a Walk in the Park – Equestrian Life, February 2023

Scott Keach Makes His Own Luck – Equestrian Life, December 2022

No Room for Bullying in Our Sport – Equestrian Life, November 2022

Avoid the Mud (Play Indoors) – Equestrian Life, October 2022

Why We Love Our Sport – Equestrian Life, September 2022

Getting on the Bit – Equestrian Life, July 2022

Positive Training Really Clicks with Horses – Equestrian Life, June 2022

Learn From Your Mistakes – Equestrian Life, March 2022 issue

Young Horse Classes: A Fun Launching Pad – Equestrian Life, February 2022

Making Sense of all the Bits & Pieces – Equestrian Life, January 2022

The Secret to ‘Soft Hands‘ – Equestrian Life, December 2021

Ask Less, Reward More – Equestrian Life, October 2021

So You Want To Go To The Games? – Equestrian Life, September 2021

The Ins & Outs Of Bitless Bridles – Equestrian Life, July 2021

Taking The Plunge With The Lunge – Equestrian Life, June 2021

Dressage for Showjumpers – Equestrian Life, May 2021

23 Shoulder-In Exercises to Improve Your Horse – Equestrian Life, April 2021

Understanding Your Horse’s Inner Thoughts – Equestrian Life, March 2021

Make the Most of Your Seniority – Equestrian Life, February 2021

Building Better Relationships – Equestrian Life, January 2021

Whipping Up Controversy – Equestrian Life, December 2020

The Importance of a Trusting Relationship – Equestrian Life, November 2020

Welcome to Kindergarten for Foals – Equestrian Life, October 2020

The Carrot or the Liquorice? Positive Reinforcement – Equestrian Life, September 2020

Submission or Stress? Something to Chew On – Equestrian Life, August 2020

A Relaxed Horse is a Happy Horse – Equestrian Life, July 2020

The Literate Horse Rider – Equestrian Life, June 2020

Why Horses Love Ingrid Klimke – Equestrian Life, May 2020

×

Enter your name and email to view the content.



* By providing your email via this form, you agree to receiving emails from Equestrian Life. You can unsubscribe at any time.