An easy-to-implement framework proven to grow rider confidence, tested by the world’s leading equestrian athletes.
Without confidence, achievement in competition is unattainable. When confidence is lacking in any sport, equestrian included, chances are your career will be short. Renowned performance coach John Haime has written the book to counter this challenge, providing the mental tools riders need to be better under pressure of all kinds and consistently succeed.
Equestrian sport is a partnership: there’s an equine athlete, and there’s a human athlete. Haime notes that often, there is an investment in world-class training for one partner (the horse), but not the other (the human). This compromises the potential effectiveness of the horse-and-rider team. It just makes sense for equestrians to develop their own skills—mental and physical—and bring more to the partnership.
Haime explains that there is what he believes is a crisis of confidence in modern equestrian sport. This has a variety of causes, including: a lack of fundamental mental/emotional structure and development, the presence and prominence of technology in the rider’s life, and the constant comparisons inherent in social media and a technically “connected” existence. Addressing this crisis enables equestrians of all ages and abilities to: communicate better with their horses, both in day-to-day interactions and competition; absorb more in valuable learning situations, such as lessons and clinics; and perform their best when the stakes are high, as when heading into the jump-off or approaching the last fence on the cross-country course.
Haime invites readers to dive into three clear and informative areas of exploration:
- The Confidence Base: Firm up the fundamentals.
- The Confidence Builders: Systems and tips to help you build confidence.
- The Confidence Threats: An inside look at what to watch out for in riding and in competition.
Throughout, those who have reached the highest levels on horseback in a number of disciplines share their stories, including Michael Jung, Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Laura Tomlinson, Harry Meade, Oliver Townend, Mattias Tromp, Casey Deary, Beth Underhill, Fred Mannix, Jarred Zenni, Jonathon Millar, and Kelly Soleau-Millar. These Olympians, champions, and medalists explain what they do in the saddle and how their techniques for performing under world-class pressure might help other riders develop a similar kind of confidence. Perhaps even more valuable are the struggles these top competitors share, giving readers the rare opportunity to see how even “the best of the best” are human, too.
The way riders develop confidence in their equestrian lives is transferable to everything they do: a confident rider can be a confident business person, confident worker, confident spouse, confident parent, and confident friend. In this way, Ride Big! instills a skill of worth and promise that extends far beyond the show ring.