It was a chilly and wet day in South Texas. So I decided to take a trail ride.

I was thinking about what separates people regarding those who maintain confidence and succeed, and those who don’t.

This article has the tales of two athletes that tell that story.

I heard a story when I first went to a seminar at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida.

It was about a young tennis star who had come there for ‘mental skills’ training. And she went to the right place because HPI is where they train Olympic and Professional athletes how to perform under intense pressure.

When she arrived, she was 50th in the world standings. She studied and was coached… and within a relatively short time, she rose to #1.


And then, she thought she had the mental skills thing down pat and stopped training in them. Within an even shorter time, she fell back to 25th in the ranking.

The moral of the story is what separates people from everyone else is studying top brass information, getting coached and then applying it… and getting better and better and better… over and over and over again.

There’s always another layer to learn and to apply to all kinds of situations.

Great riders in the arena are often separated by their desire to keep polishing and polishing their skills… and also envision what’s possible for them. They also keep at it. They don’t think they’ve arrived. They don’t compare themselves to other riders, either.

Here’s another great example. I live in a football world at my house this time of year, but because I’m not a football fanatic, a lot of things wash right over me.

But I did hear an interview with a famous quarterback who has one of the best winning records in all of football. They asked if he was excited about a win that just happened. He said, “Yes, but what I really want to do is get back and review the video to see why I missed that one pass.”

He didn’t say it in a self-defeating way. He truly wanted to figure it out so he could get better. His whole approach was to keep happily studying and polishing. He did own his greatness, and he did love the results of his team, but he was all about putting together all of the pieces of the puzzle… and getting better and better.

You see, the tennis player didn’t have that mindset … the way of thinking and feeling that the quarterback has… at least not at that time of her career years ago.

I’m not being critical of her… I’m just saying that one of the things that separates everyone, including riders, is a desire for excellence, perseverance, and understanding that it’s a forever journey to keep growing.

And if you do this with what you love… like we love horses… it’s a blast.

How you think and feel about yourself, your riding, your horse, and other people are skills that can be and need to be practiced. Those who practice them indefinitely, separate themselves from others.

Can you relate?

Leave a comment for me. Do you think that excellence, perseverance, and loving your journey are good ingredients for a great recipe for fun and success?

And by the way, because part of excellence is learning about your horse and being relaxed… connection with him or her happens all by itself when you study these skills.

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