10 Winning Habits

KP Arm CmpSuccess 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Winners learn from their mistakes. Winners are willing to fail. In fact, winners lose more than the also-rans because winners do not give up. The also-rans give up easily, throw down their toys or stomp off mad and angry. Winners understand that with every mistake they make, they are one step closer to reaching their goal. They take the lesson, let go of the past and concentrate on the future. The truly successful enjoy every aspect of the journey on destination’s path. Even the missteps provide comic relief later on.
  1. Winners persevere. Successful people go after a goal like a mare protects her foal – a single objective in mind. They doggedly pursue their goals – oblivious to the naysayers, they push through pain, confront every obstacle and refuse to give up. Winners look for and find solutions and pay no attention to mean spirited chatter. They adjust quickly to changing circumstances understanding survival depends on efficient adaptability.
  1. Winners focus. Everyone has seen runs where the horse and rider appear to absolutely know, understand, anticipate and perform every move in complete unison. Putting together a winning run takes complete concentration. Winners are able to focus on their goals while blocking out any outside chatter.

Naysayer’s comments roll off the winner’s shoulders, they do not notice the crowd and are not tempted by the myriad of distractions around them. Winners learn to focus on both a macro and a micro level, practicing one thing at a time with time budgeted to allow for complete comprehension. Learning to focus improves the quality of work with fewer mistakes made allowing the rider to excel.

  1. Winners understand sacrifice. Winners understand that they will have to give up something in one area in order to gain something of greater value in another area. The winning rider will give up an extra hour or two of sleep in order to practice in the show arena with fewer horses, they will give up going to dinner with friends to catch up on sleep or push through muscles aches to strengthen their leg and improve their ride. Winners understand that they must forfeit one thing for something of greater value.

Enough for this week – next week’s blog will bring you 5 more habits of successful people. Much literature is available that can help you succeed whatever your goals may be. Some of my favorites include: Steven R Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Jim Collin’s Good to Great; Daniel Coyle’s Little Book of Talent and countless others. Oh, by the way, many successful people spend their spare time reading. It is the fastest way to expand your knowledge. Good luck and have fun with your horses. They are indeed the best teachers!

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