Dressage day 2 at Badminton Horse Trials 2019
I was not struck by one rider, one horse, one fence, or even one historical dressage score...but one key principle in my life:
Courage Over Comfort
What is courage at Badminton 2019?
Jumping the biggest and most technical fences in the world in front of thousands? Getting to the start box? Or perhaps returning to Badminton after "a very long sleep" (coma) riding for both mental and physical therapy, in front of the Day 2 dressage spectators? Well done Jonty, you inspired me and millions more...All demonstrate courage, in my opinion, but this one person, for me is why Badminton 2019 is Courage Over Comfort.
According to researchers...
Courage is risk
Courage is uncertainty
Courage is emotional exposure
Seeing your own flaws, staring up close to your mistakes and changing because of them is courageous. In my opinion.
This time last year event rider Oliver Townend made a mistake, the ground jury made a mistake, the FEI eventing regulations made a mistake...all of these mistakes resulted in our horses welfare compromised, in sport, by the stakeholders who say they safe guard horses. The process of a Social Licence to Operate in Equestrian sports is moving welfare forwards in horse sport, at a speed I believe is sustainable.
So how has event rider Oliver Townend responded to his mistakes over the past 12 months? Last weekend he won the Kentucky 5* 3DE but that's not what I have learnt from Oliver. Ive learnt from Olivers behaviour at this years Badminton so far, he has allowed his mistakes to change him. He listened. He took the truth of his actions to make change.
He CHOSE to respond with change.
Oliver became the change his horses needed.
His growth mindset, is the mentality of a learner. And yes that is a champs mindset. Oliver may or may not win Badminton this weekend. For sure he is my winner. Why? I believe in the twelve months since he looked at his flaws, he has chosen to improve. His identify IS self improvement. Staring nakedly at your flaws means you can change. When you are attacked with your truth, your willingness to use it to improve and get better is the start of achieving things you say you want to achieve - become the best you, for your horse.
Oliver wanted to achieve 19 dressage score, visualising it all Wednesday night.
Thursday achieved it. I watched his Friday dressage test and could see a test of clarity of communication most of the time, achieving positive optimal tension and gaining the scores. But for me, Oliver Townsend stands for being change. For changing because of his mistakes. For coming back better, choosing vulnerablity not defensiveness. He is human. Becoming his best version - because he makes mistakes, he learns and grows. Mistakes are where we grow, change and improve, for our horses.
If you want to read my discussions from this years Badminton Dressage Day 2 on Ear Bonnets, "grumpy horses" "muddled" flying cages, being "on your A game" and improving welfare in eventing...come and join now my Facebook Community to hear and share your discussions with like minded horse loverers:
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