Success in the show ring – everyone wants it – that’s why we show our horses. But if you are trying to determine what sets winners apart from the runner’s up, look at what winners do differently from the others. Winners, in and out of the show ring, share characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the pack.
There are many traits that set winners in the show ring apart from the placers. Much has been written about winning traditions outside the show ring. But success, in and out of the show ring, is the results of commonalities and riders can learn from observing and reading about successful people in any field. This week we take a look at behaviors that winners employ. Next week we will look at action steps that winners take to put themselves at the top of the judge’s cards.
- Winners take responsibility for their success. People who achieve the most do not place blame on others. They hold themselves accountable for their actions and the ensuing results. Rarely do they complain because what’s the point? Complaining does not change the situation but does bring out negative emotions.
Being ready does not ensure success although success is what you hope to achieve with proper preparation. Modern sports psychologists will tell you that part of preparing for success is envisioning your perfect ride – as well you should! Visualization is an integral part of achieving goals. But just as important to success and preparation is preparing for what can go wrong.
Last night in a group lesson we practiced passing and departing into the lope or canter while embedded in a group of horses. It is not what we want for ourselves in the show ring, but very often, it is the place that we find ourselves when the call is made.
Do you wonder what criteria judges use to make decisions in the show ring? Everyone has heard the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” but it might surprise you to learn the powerful effect that anchoring has on judges.
Anchoring is the term used to describe people’s tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information they receive. For instance, a rider enters the arena looking down at their horse’s head, leaning forward or continuously looking toward the judge. The judge’s immediate opinion is that this rider is worried, does not trust their horse or is about to make a correction. With only seconds to evaluate each pair, the judge perceives this pair as insufficient and quickly looks beyond the pair in search of the winners.