Progress and perceptions

The other day I looked up Dustry’s BD record and was pretty shocked by what I found!

I guess unless you really stop and take stock of what you are doing and where you have come from it’s very easy to lose sight of your progress and what’s been achieved along the way. I’ve never really considered myself as being very good at dressage, I’ve always thought of myself as more of ‘a cross country rider’. I’ve spent hours studying my BE record, and I’m proud of the fact that I’ve only ever incurred 2x stops XC throughout 6x seasons, because I consider myself to be an eventer first and foremost.

So when I looked at our affiliated dressage record I had to take a mental double take, seeing all our scores lined up it struck me that our progress has actually been solidly consistent. I know that progress is not a straight line graph especially when it comes to horses, so I’m not expecting this linear mark improvement to continue in such an incremental manner, but I am happy that the general trend is on the right track. Each outing he feels to me like he is improving and most of the time the marks reflect that too (58% day was savage weather, soaked to the skin, minimal warm up and both of us thinking we would have preferred to have stayed in the lorry!)


So that brings me to perceptions….can a change in perception improve your performance?… Now that I have had a bit of a light bulb moment and confidence boost by reviewing our marks, will this help our dressage?… If I think of myself as ‘good at dressage’ then maybe I will try harder? take more care? rider better?….

Sports psychology is a fascinating topic and spurred on by my latest discovery I had a bit of a Google and found this article with the fascinating title…

“Self-belief in sport ‘as good as performance-enhancing drugs”


It seems that stereotypes can play an important part in how you perform. With that in mind there’s never been a better time for me to start stereotyping myself as not only ‘good at dressage’, but ‘good at show jumping and cross country’ too 😉

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