Ride Big, John Haime

Performing your best at whichever riding discipline you choose includes skills at that sport, horsemanship and good communication with your horse. But these alone are not sufficient; success also requires confidence in your ability.  “Confidence is a central theme in everything you do,” performance coach John Haime writes. “Confidence is the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future.”

The title Ride Big came from his experience watching riders in a Grand Prix show jumping class at Wellington, Florida in 2018. As he watched the class, he assessed the riders by their body language as they entered the ring and rode the course. His quick evaluations turned into a dichotomy: “Were they riding big or riding small? Were they riding confidently, maximizing their abilities and training, or were they tentative, minimizing their abilities and training. It was a simple way to explain whether the riders were riding with confidence or not.”

Haime’s “self help” book is all about helping riders build and keep confidence to achieve the results they want – regardless of riding discipline. He has organized the book into three parts.

The first part of his book focuses on the building blocks of confidence. For example, Chapter 2 Self-Discovery helps you get to know yourself better, to understand your true abilities. Chapter 3 looks at your preparation and training.

Part two focuses on subjects that can help build your confidence, areas that complement the basic building blocks. He begins by introducing emotions, which “often run the show in performance.” It is important to understand what messages emotions are sending you and how to direct them.

Part three examines threats to confidence, issues that can derail your confidence. Fear is a major adversary to confidence. Riding under pressure is another situation to learn how to handle with confidence. And a tendency toward perfectionism can limit you and be a detriment to your performance.

Throughout the book he includes snapshots of featured equestrian athletes, e.g., McLain Ward, Laura Tomlinson, Michael Jung, Oliver Townend, Beezie Madden and Fred Mannix.

The goal is to become “joyful, positive equestrian athletes. Each of the chapters in the book will help you acquire an understanding of the many links to confidence in equestrian sport.”

Learn more about author John Haime at: https://johnhaime.com/

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