5 Key Habits to Develop Mental Strength

A Guide to Building Resilience and Achieving Your Goals Part 2

Hey there horse friends! It’s show season! We’re all amped up and ready to go in and dominate in the show pen. Who’s with me?? Oh, what’s that? You aren’t sure you can handle the pressure? You find yourself underperforming in the show pen compared to the practice pen?

Well, I’ve got your back. Today we’re covering 5 Key Habits to Develop Mental Strength: A Guide to Building Resilience and Achieving Your Goals, Part 2. (In case you missed part 1, read it HERE).

As you can imagine, increasing your mental strength is a process that requires consistent effort and dedication to the daily actions and habits that foster mental toughness. Mental strength can be developed over time by making small changes in your daily routine that promote positive thinking, emotional resilience, and healthy habits. The following unconventional advice of things you can do while out of the saddle to help you do better in the show pen is your secret weapon!

Let’s dive into 5 more essential out of the saddle habits that help you cultivate mental toughness. Adopt these habits into your daily routine to build resilience, improve emotional strength, and achieve your goals!

  1. Embrace Failure

Wait- I thought the goal was to win the horse show- not fail? So why is this key to mental toughness and success? Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Mentally strong individuals understand that failure is an opportunity for growth and improvement. Instead of dwelling on failures, focus on the lessons learned and use them to improve future performance. So when you overspin, or blow a lead change, just notice what you need to do to improve, and move on without beating yourself up.

  1. Connect with Others

Social connections are essential for mental health and resilience. Develop strong social connections by reaching out to friends, family, or participating in group activities. Connecting with others can provide a sense of belonging and support that helps you build resilience and cope with challenges. So invite a friend to cheer you on at your next horse show! Or have at least one buddy you can commiserate with after the horse show. Win, draw, or loose, I guarantee you aren’t the first or last to experience success and failure. Call and share how you NAILED that sliding stop. Or call and laugh together about how you circled the wrong direction. It’ll help you feel better and be able to handle victory and defeat with greater confidence and resilience.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It can help reduce stress, improve focus, and increase self-awareness. Practicing mindfulness can involve meditation, deep breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques. Developing the ability to be truly in the moment can help you maximize your show-ring performance by truly riding each maneuver as it occurs. Instead of getting stuck judging each maneuver after it happened and beating yourself up for that extra step before your lope departure and totally forgetting your pattern because you’re too busy being mean to yourself.

  1. Cultivate a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset involves embracing challenges and viewing failures as opportunities for growth. Instead of focusing on fixed abilities, individuals with a growth mindset believe that they can develop their abilities through hard work and dedication. Cultivate a growth mindset by reframing negative thoughts and embracing challenges. When something doesn’t go as planned, it’s just an opportunity to do better next time. And truly believe in your ability to improve.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Self-care is crucial for mental health and resilience. It involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental needs. Develop a self-care routine that includes activities that help you relax, such as taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to music. When you’re always on edge it’s almost impossible to do your best at shows. When you’re fed and rested, and calm, it’s a lot easier to remember your pattern, and just go ride your horse. Don’t forget to care for yourself as well as your beloved equine.

In conclusion, becoming mentally strong requires a commitment to developing positive habits that foster resilience, emotional strength, and a growth mindset. All of these are things you choose daily in and out of the barn.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Shoot us back an email or an emoji, and let us know if this was helpful or if you try any of these tips! If it was helpful, share it with a friend to help them out! If it was terrible, send it to an enemy to darken their day!

Happy Trails,



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