Riding Attitude – Getting it Right



“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” — Emile Coue

I have had a few clients lately who have been doing the whole “I’m not good enough” thing. So I thought in this article I would explore the notion of getting it right, and the addiction a lot of people have to attaining perfection.

My mentor once said to me that people who are perfectionists are actually saying they have no standards. Now, this can be interpreted in many ways, but I took it to mean perfection cannot exist. It is based on a belief that something cannot be improved or made better. Now we know logically that this is not true. Anything and everything can always be better. So rather than seeking perfection I ask that my team and my clients strive for CANI – Constant And Never-ending Improvement. This means we never arrive, we never reach a standard we are happy to settle for, and we never sit in mediocrity.

Now I love doing this in my business. In business there are KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and measurable outcomes and real data. But how do you do it with your riding?

The first thing is KNOWING and LOVING you are the best rider you can be today, doing your best with the knowledge and resources available to you at the present moment, and tomorrow you will be better. If you KNEW how to do better you would. You understand that don’t you? I don’t think you have ever ridden your horse thinking “oh I know how to do this but I am consciously choosing to do it the wrong way, and therefore getting the wrong result on purpose”. So sometimes we ride well, and sometimes we ride not so well. I always say when the horse goes well – gee, I’m riding well today, and when he goes not so well – I say gee Tash your riding is very interesting today! What about when I have a bad test or a bad ride? Well, firstly I don’t label it as such. It’s interesting, or it’s a tremendous learning opportunity or a marvelous chance to grow and become better. And it’s exciting! We only learn, grow and develop from less than ideal situations! When we have a sensational ride we enjoy it but we don’t learn as much as when it all falls apart. So it’s not a time to be sad, it’s a time to become EXCITED about it! Another mentor says “quality problems have quality results”. You want high quality problems so that you can grow and learn, and overcome the challenge to get an even better high quality result.

So to recap:

1. You are the best rider you can be today. You are doing the best you can with the knowledge and resources available to you at the present moment. If you knew how to do better, you would. And the best part – tomorrow you will be better.
2. Get excited about your problems – they are not problems, they are challenges, opportunities to grow, a chance to develop into your full potential. How can you not get excited about that!!!

So, if you are doing your best with what you have in the present moment, and you are excited about your opportunities to develop, how can you be anything but pumped, excited and thrilled to be out there riding every day?!?! Why would you, or how could you even have time for, be bothered with, or entertain the notion of “I’m not good enough yet”?

I’m sure none of you have but you know of someone that does. Not you of course! J But others that have used the excuses:

“I don’t know enough”

“I can’t do it”

“I can’t understand it”

“I shouldn’t”

“I can’t do that level yet”

“I’ll never be good enough for that/at that”

Now with all those excuses all I can say is “YES”! But add the words – right now but I will.

“I don’t know enough right now, but I will”

“I can’t do it right now, but I will”

“I can’t understand it right now, but I will”

“I shouldn’t do that right now, but I will”

“I can’t do that level right now, but I will”

Be ok with the rider you are TODAY! Be ok with the progress you have already made TODAY, be accepting, tolerant and nice to you TODAY! I’m not saying don’t strive, work, demand for more! You definitely should! I push for more than I can even conceive from myself, my clients and my team every day. But I am also accepting of “my limit for TODAY is…”!! A fabulous quote is “yesterday’s efforts will get you yesterdays results” if you want more results you need to put in more effort. This is where CANI fits in perfectly. Do your best today. And tomorrow make it better, and continue and continue and continue forever! Constant and Never-ending Improvement.

Now a lot of people hear that and say oh my god Tash, isn’t that exhausting? You never can stop, you never can relax. I laugh! Why would I want to stop? Why would I want to relax in my business and stop giving amazing value and experience to my clients? Why would I want to relax on my horse and get the same mediocre scores for the rest of my competition career? Relaxing is for the beach! It’s not for everyday life! Mediocrity is exhausting. Settling for average is tiring. CANI is invigorating, exciting and means my life is constantly different and challenged. If you are not growing you are dying. So I choose to grow. What do you choose?

About the Author

Natasha Althoff-Kelley


Visit my website for your free 7 Keys to Your Riding Success

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