Here is a common misconception about mistakes: they are nasty.

Not true.

What would you miss without them?

How about learning, growth, and risk experience.

If your mistake formula is mistakes = failure, you might want to conduct an experiment. What about living for a week, just a week, with a new formula?

Try mistakes = opportunity.

Try it on. Just allow yourself to experiment with this mindset for a time. What have you got to lose? Put it on a post it note, your hand, your bathroom mirror. Somewhere where you can remind yourself.

And here is a cue phrase to go along with this experiment: Thank you.

Yes, say thank you to every mistake that happens. Say thank you instead of “that wasn’t supposed to happen,” then see what happens. See what your experiences are, and note any changes in your horse. Remember, your teammate is influenced by any changes in your mindset and every change you make to it, for better or for worse.

So train your mind, your horse will thank you.

april clayAbout the Author

April Clay is a rider and sports psychologist in Calgary, Alberta. Want to learn more about show preparation and mental toughness? Check out the Resilient Rider Online CourseConfidence Factor and other courses at