Episode 82: Ride with Confidence- a conversation with Barbra Schulte
Today we are talking about Riding with Confidence and my guest is Barbra Schulte. She is a Hall of Fame rider and a performance coach. I looked through my emails and asked her questions about fear of cantering, fear of messing my horse up, fear of making a fool of myself when I ride, and more. Listen to the podcast to hear here advice.
Click for full Show Notes
[00:00:03] Podcasting from a little cabin on a hill. This is the Stacy Westfall podcast. Stacy’s goal is simple to teach you to understand why horses do what they do, as well as the action steps for creating clear, confident communication with your horses.
Stacy: [00:00:22] Hi, I’m Stacy Westfall, and I’m here to teach you how to understand, enjoy and successfully train your own horses. Welcome to Season eight, if you’ve been listening for a while, first, I’d like to say thank you, but you’ll also know that I’ve structured the podcast in seasons. So if you’re new listener, it’s important to know I’ve been doing this in seasons and you can find a full list of the different topics I’ve covered over on my Web site. I won’t go through them all, but I actually focused on different things like the rider’s mind or the rider’s body or specifically on the horses mind or specifically on the horse’s body. And there’s a really great search button on my website so you can search through all the podcasts and articles. I looked and I have published one thousand and forty one blogs on the Web site so far, and the podcast kind of counts as a blog. So if you search, you’re likely to find answers over there. Now, I’m going to call season eight Conversations with Stacy and what I’m going to do is talk to a different guest each week and the topic will focus around whatever my guests area of expertize is. And I’ll try to work in some of the questions that people have sent in. So this week’s a great example. My guest this week is Barbra Schulte, and the topic is confidence, because that’s what she specializes in.
Stacy: [00:01:53] In fact, you’re going to hear during my conversation with Barbra how she personally had a major impact on my riding career very early on. That very to me, distinctly led to that moment with Roxy. Plus, I also went in and pulled questions from my email that I thought would be interesting to get Barbra’s feedback on. So I brought up topics like fear of cantering, fear of messing my horse up, fear of making a fool of myself, because I thought if I went for all the fear things, then she could tell us how to build confidence around there. And I think she nailed it. So let me do a brief introduction of Barbara and then you can listen to our conversation. So Barbra Schulte is a professional cutting horse trainer, but she’s also a performance coach and an author. She’s written quite a few books and written for our large number of magazines, a clinician and an equine consultant. I think it’s really interesting to know the backstory. So she has a masters degree in speech pathology and audiology. And then shortly after getting that degree, she actually became an administrator at Arizona State School for the Deaf and taught at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Stacy: [00:03:12] So I love knowing some of that stuff that’s kind of outside the horse world, because I think it just makes us realize, you know, how well-rounded, you know, people are. It’s not just us over here doing only horses, typically. And then in 1986, Barbara started studying a lot of the mental toughness training and adding it to her riding. And this gets really interesting. In the cutting world she won the Derby, the Super Stakes and the Augusta futurity. And she was the first woman to wear the crown for all three of those championships. Which also led to her being inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2012, which is kind of where we met up again because that was the same year that I got inducted. I could go on and on and on about Barbra. And you can definitely learn more on her website. Barbraschulte.com. I’ll give you that more specifically at the end. Oh, yeah. She just received, like last week, the American Horse Publications Equine Vision Award. It’s called the Equine Vision Award. So it’s like visionary people who win this award and Yeah.. Barbara’s definitely one of those people. So let’s listen to my conversation with Barbra.
Stacy: [00:04:40] Barbra, thank you so much for joining me today. I’m really excited to have this conversation with you because as you well know, we met very early in my career back when I was at the University of Findlay. And I’m not kidding you. I still use what I learned from you. When I go into the show opened today, which that means a lot to me. Thank you, by the way, for giving me that gift.
Barbra: [00:05:02] Oh, you’re so welcome. Stacy were you’re one of my favorite people on the planet. Say that with all sincerity. So it is my huge honor to be with you and to be with your listeners. So thank you.
Stacy: [00:05:19] Well, I want to kind of dive right straight into the topic because I know that I could easily talk to you for hours and wander all over the place. But when I do the podcasts, I always sit down and try to have like a focus.
Stacy: [00:05:32] And so I have sent you over four different questions, because when I think about the gifts that you gave me back in college, it was this level of awareness that I had never been introduced to before about how much control we have over our emotions, which I’m starting to laugh because I’m remembering you offering us. We were in college. I don’t remember the amount of money, but you were like, pretend that I was going to give you X amount of money if you could fill in the blank, like cry right now or whatever on your and you’re it. It was like it still makes me laugh to this day because I remember us all sitting there because at first we’re like, yeah, no, we couldn’t do that. And then you threw out some kind of number that to a college student was like, whoa, wait a minute, maybe I could control my emotions for that amount of money. Yeah. So it would. But what you know, that was kind of that section of it to me felt a little bit like an ice breaker, but it really pulled me in and gave me I still to this day will touch my fingers together in the way that you showed it, because I taught myself to use that as what would you call that like?[00:06:47] I want to call it a trigger. But what do you call it when you.
Barbra: [00:06:50] Yes. It is a trigger, not the horse trainer. It’s the finger trigger.
Stacy: [00:06:55] Yeah, it is. So anyway, for listeners, because I’m jumping right straight in. So basically my memory of it was that… So when I started out the podcast, I started by telling all the listeners that I tend to look at things. I kind of came up with this idea of this Foursquare model. So it’s like you take click the plus sign and you think about the four quadrants that are made by that. And so when I’m talking a lot of times I try to break it down into like the riders mind, the riders body, the horses mind, the horses body. So when I’m explaining things to people, it’s like, oh, well, it can affect multiple areas, but like, what’s the primary one? That’s that’s being a problem right now. So a lot of like the thing that we were just talking about, touching the fingertips together to me, what you gave me was one of my first glimpses into the riders mind and the idea that me being able to control my emotions and for me, particularly back then, I would get so sick, like physically ill feeling about the thought of going in and taking, like showing a horse. So in college, I had to do a lot of my tests were like little mini horse shows. And I would get so nervous that I think you also talked about the butterflies flying in like a formation or something like this, controlling. And so but when you that to me, the thing was like when you were talking about maybe I should let you explain it. Well, I think I’ll do that. But when you showed we had to make that connection into a physical trigger, it was a game changer for me. Could you explain to everybody listening what I’m rambling on about her?
Barbra: [00:08:38] Absolutely. Stacy one of the things that I love about what I do is that the things that I have learned over time in my my training as the US being certified as a personal performance coach is to really help people to be able to learn very real deals. You know, it while it does have to do with the mind and body and most. It is not just in the air somewhere. There is very tangible skills that as we learn how to do it, it makes all the difference in what you’re referring to in this physical trigger. I just want to give a tiny bit of background. So in the original research that they did with Olympic and professional athletes to try to figure out what is the difference that allows one athlete to consistently do what? They do, whether it’s baseball, tennis, whatever, to do it at their highest level. While there might be someone else that might be highly talented and like really skilled, but it’s so inconsistent in their performance. And that was the initial question that they asked and that led them down a path of a lot of answers. And one of the biggest fundamentals that they learned in now that this is new information, perhaps a lot of people, but hopefully in the way that I present it will make it so that it’s compelling. Is that the mind and the body and our emotions are truly one. In other words, we cannot think and thought without it having a physical impact in our body. We can’t. And in our emotions, we can’t feel an emotion without having it have to do something in our body in it, a thought in our mind.
Barbra: [00:10:45] And we can’t do something physically like, you know, look down for a long period of time without it affecting what we think about and our emotions. It is just it’s just this complete package that wired us this way. So in the training and the personal performance training, we go for having a specific feeling, which is a combination of feeling like we’re really focused, really calm, yet energized. It’s that feeling like if you walk into an arena with your horse or you’re in the pasturing, you just feel like this day is like the best day ever. And I feel so good with my horse. And even if something goes wrong, I’m OK. I can handle it. I can, you know, make an adjustment. But I feel good and I feel connected to my horse and I feel ready to go do what I want to do. Well, that’s the emotion that that state is actually trainable. It’s not how if it’s a full moon or not, if it’s a deficit, then that is what they found at the highest level. Athletes could do that no matter how they were really feeling that they could do that. And the reason it’s important is that that. That combination of emotions, that feeling of chi…but happy and focused and clear and ready. That has a physiology to it. It has a heart rate. It has a brain wave frequency. That has a muscle tension. It has the breathing rate. And so in that that alignment of emotions, that heart rate, muscle tension is perfect to do what we want to do.[00:12:48] And so getting back to your your index finger and your thumb, when we learn to or when we understand that that state is so important in our riding and that no matter what our husbands says to us or, you know, we had two flat tires today or whatever, that when it comes to arriving at the barn that we can shift. I’m not feeling too. I’m here. OK, Barb, stay cool. Get brief and then start thinking about what I want to happen. That when I had the ability to recognize it’s like a self-awareness. Know what I want. USMA thinking tools are called in breathing tools where I can condition from going from or I don’t want to be. It could be nerves. Anger, frustration when I have the ability to get to that really calm, focused state. And I condition it. And I practice it both in real life and in visualization. When I get to that state and then I put my index finger to my thumb. Only after I feel that way and I do that time after time. I have because of the mind, body, emotion, connection. I have conditioned that to that touch to mean that emotional state. So if I’m feeling really whacked that I have truly conditioned it and practiced it. All of these things, just like any other skill, like learning to ride. When I practiced that, I can be in a situation where I feel really honest and stable. And just touch my index finger to my thumb and I’ll get there.
Stacy: [00:14:59] Yeah. You know, it’s interesting to me because that would have that that would have been I was in college still when you came in and taught that. And as you’re seeing it, it just it makes it so interesting to me, because I’m going to start with one thing I never knew this was going to be visible for everyone to see when I did the ride in 2006 with Roxy bareback and bridles.
Stacy: [00:15:24] So if you watch that video, what you’re talking about, a lot of people who ask me, like, what do you you know, I’m standing in the gate, I’m running my fingers through her mane. You watch when I’m walking in and you’ll see a lot of this, like running my fingers through her mane and like, my shoulders are moving like almost like a rolling motion, like that kind of looseness like that. And what you’re describing is literally exactly like I took what you showed me. And that was the biggest test of my life to this point of using those skills. Because if you look at what was going on around me, you know, my father had just passed away and.
Stacy: [00:16:06] And I’m getting ready to go in and do something that’s never been done. And I have realistically, like actually I don’t have evidence to prove that this is going to go the way I hope. So it’s you know, it’s like it’s not like it’s something I’ve done a whole bunch of different times. It’s not.
Stacy: [00:16:23] And had all this stacked, but because I’d spent all those years in between. And you’re right. I mean, like, literally it’s so cool when you get to the point where, like, I’m walking in and, you know, you hear people talk about this and they call it like being in the zone to be able to make all of that melt away and to make that feel like a sunny, warm day riding her outside like I have done a thousand times at home. I mean, to have that control is truly amazing. And it’s what makes everything possible when you want to go to some of these levels. But it’s so cool because you taught it to us. So I love that you said what you did at the beginning about some of this stuff does feel like it’s up in the air and not tangible. And yet in in just a matter of days, you were able to make it tangible enough that I had hold of it. At Finley and then was able to make it grow. So thank you again. What I want to do is roll into some of the questions that I have that I pulled out of some of the different e-mails that I receive, because I want to I want to make sure that people can really understand kind of the thought processes and how it all works. Are you good with that?
Barbra: [00:17:40] Yes, absolutely. I just want to say one thing really quickly. Actually, two things. Oh, maybe three. No is Stacy. The reason that it worked for you is because you did it. You practiced it because sometimes people will hear these ideas and they’ll go, oh, well, that’s a great idea. I see how I like that. And then they never apply it. The fact that these things are very specific and need to be practiced, I think is an important point, because then it makes it it takes it out of the realm of esoteric and it puts it in the realm of skill set. And that’s the first thing. And then the next thing I know, I’ll be really quick about this. But when your video first came out and someone brought it, I was at the bar. I remember exactly where it was. And they said, you have got to watch this video. You have got to watch this video. So watch it. I thought, that is so cool. I was so excited.
Barbra: [00:18:49] And then I thought I was the only one that had noticed that my you know, me and my friend were the two people in the world, which, of course, the entire world, that scene, because it was going viral. But then I remember. So that made me laugh that I thought I was so sick on the inside track of something, you know. But but then I had just released my book, The Gift, and I wrote, you know, I just said, I admire you so much. Tonight, I want you to have this book. And I had no idea about Finley. And then they wrote back and said, you know, tell me. So that was a little cool thing.
Stacy: [00:19:32] That is really cool. But a side story. Yeah, because I would have had a different name back then.
Stacy: [00:19:39] And yeah, that’s fun. Yeah, that is really cool. So OK. I’ve, I’ve pulled up. Let’s look at this question first and then and we’ll put it through all the stuff because you’ve learned and done a lot more sense. My experience with you at Findlay. So here’s the first one. This is something I pulled out of of one of the comments, emails that I get.
Stacy: [00:20:04] And it’s this sentence, “If I’m, quote, doing it wrong.Who will help? Correct me. And that’s part of the fear, doing it wrong. What if I don’t correct my horse the right way or I don’t correct her at all? And then I just mess her all up. And what if I corrector when it was me and not her? And what if I hurt her in quotes hurt? What if I’m just not good enough for her? My mind is spinning.”[00:20:30] Ok. Well, there are a number of questions. That one kicked a little one.
Barbra: [00:20:41] So the first thing that comes to mind, Stacy, is to understand for all of us to understand how a skill, both skill and confidence are built. And none of us get out of this. And I always this the last saying, you know, and hopefully I will see God. But when I see God, I might say, hey, this system that you have going on here is hard. I want to start with the part about why, if I corrector when it was me and not her, what if I hurt her? Meaning like, I think impair her or set our training back. I don’t correct her mess her up. You know, we I just have a little cutting horse. That was an awesome, awesome, just fabulous athlete and I used to always think that about my experience with him. But I think that every horse that we have is a gift to us. And it’s really not about the end product. It’s not about a horse coming to you into your life. And then, you know, it’s all about the horse and that they have to maintain the standard. I mean, of course, you don’t want their training or whatever to digress. But we all have to learn. And the way that we learn is hopefully in it with a mentor that can teach just sequentially as possible. And we know horses need a lot of different things and a lot of different things going on. But the way that we learn is by making mistakes. And nobody really gets out of that. In fact, there’s a man named Daniel Coyle who wrote the talent code and know this is some of the information Stacy that I haven’t shared with. We don’t get to see each other that much. You know, we get to see each other every once in a while. But. He studied great performers are consistent, consistent performers all over the world. And the way he found that all of the coaches taught and that the students learned is that they were taught to love errors because errors were their personal prescription for their next step.
Barbra: [00:23:18] So like Stacy, if you and I are going to go study the gymnastics, that’s funny. It is. That is that’s a pretty good stretch. You know, you might be good at tumbling and I might be good at jumping at the balance beam. I’m really making myself laugh now, but we’re going to be different slices along the way.
Barbra: [00:23:42] And I your path is your path. And my path would be my path. And it’s the same with these horses. I believe that every horse in our life, whether this this fabulous horses, have, you know, highly trained or fit fits us and that we don’t want to hurt them or we don’t want to give them wrong signals or even a really difficult horse that is like now this horse. You know, it’s just whatever all of those forces are gifts to us and they are our teachers. And so I li. That doing quote unquote, doing it wrong, which is what you said at the beginning. In a research project, Daniel Coyle, the students all over the world and the highest level programs that learn the quickest and with the most efficiency and accuracy were taught to look for the errors. Now, that’s really very that’s might be a hard one for people to get our heads around because, you know, the people in our environment might be saying we can’t do that and mess that horse up or less. We don’t want to. But again, there’s no shortcut. And I think, you know, another part of the question is who will help? Correct. And who will correct me? And I think that is a challenge in our learning on our horse journeys, because as a horse owner, we are the ones, the person who chooses who that mentor is. And there can be several mentors. There can be alive by life. I mean a trainer. No need for your horse in training or you will take lessons or you have an online mentor with Daniel, you, Stacy, to a lot of people. And it’s our our responsibility to seek out the highest level technical instruction. By technical, I mean, you see balance cuing position and trotting, cantering, whatever it is to teach us. And also, of course, this is a high personal bias is to learn so many of the confidence building skills that I teach because it helps us to make choices and navigate our journeys, but to seek out the highest level instruction and then trust it. Yeah, go ahead.
Stacy: [00:26:42] As you’re saying that it’s making me think of, I recorded a podcast called Making Mistakes in the Right Direction and that kind of that idea. But I still think that if I were gonna nominate a book for the best title ever, it would have to be failing forward.
Barbra: [00:27:00] Oh, I love that.
Stacy: [00:27:02] That. I love that book. John Maxwell, I believe and. Oh, yes. And it’s called Failing Forward. And it is just like amazing about the idea that like it. I love the play on the idea that you’re going, you know that. And I reference the making mistakes in the right direction.[00:27:23] Meaning just like when you make a mistake, you do like you’re saying. It’s like it’s can you learn from it? And and and if you do, then that’s it.
Stacy: [00:27:33] Is this game of like warmer, colder. And it is this game of like getting getting better. And but I love what you’re saying about the mental side of like, how can you.
Barbra: [00:27:43] Is there something that you recommend people. Like, how would you think about that if you’re if you’re gonna give this person who who wrote this question, if you were gonna give them. An idea of how to start changing instead of thinking the thoughts of, like, what if I’m not good enough for her? What if I don’t correct or at all? What if I mess her up? What if I corrector and it was me and not her? Where should this person start? Should I like that? She ends with my mind is spinning. Dot, dot, dot. Where would you suggest or how would you suggest that she starts maybe taking you in a direction that would be more useful?
Barbra: [00:28:23] Yes. Well, the first thing is a couple steps. Come to mind. And the first one is to. I have a practice of it. This might be a little bit long, but I’d make it as short as I can about writing down your. It’s creating a personal mission statement about your riding. And I’m not going to go through the piece, all the pieces of it. The first one is your purpose in riding. Almost everyone says some version of because I love horses, because they bring me peace, because of how I feel on their back, because of the majesty. And when you know that, that gives you your joy, that that’s really the reason that you’re doing it. To read that every day and have gratitude for that, because you already have that you don’t have to do anything for that. So that’s the first thing because that’s connecting you to this confidence in your own journey in your own horse lives. And it doesn’t it will it will never kind of end in that way. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is to do is to figure out. To the best of your ability. Your technical program. Like, how how do I get information about my horse, my riding and my next steps?
Barbra: [00:30:10] Because I think when the hardest things is when we feel we’re floundering and we just don’t have any idea what to do, we just think we’re making mistakes. So we all need some kind of a mentor or some kind of a system. It may not be forever. There’s a that we can change, but we have to have confidence that we have the ability to learn skills in a way that rings true for us.
Barbra: [00:30:40] And not all teachers are meant for all people. So that’s the next thing that you have to figure out, at least as a next step. And then the third thing is to be kind to yourself and to really know and maybe even write down someplace.
Barbra: [00:31:01] Every error I make is my friend. I embrace my errors because I learn some kind of statements like that so that this fear of resisting making mistakes and making errors can you know, it takes time to change your thinking. But that we let go of that because the resistance of the making errors is actually becomes a huge roadblock. And so I would say purpose. Program. And some kind of, you know, reminders that I that errors are my friends and I’m in it. Boy, it flies in the face of what we normally think and what we’ve been taught maybe in the people around us. But when we when we look at the air and this is another Daniel Coyle thing, I would recommend this woman, this person read Daniel Coyle, the little book of talent is a really good one. He also wrote the talent code.
Barbra: [00:32:25] And I think that he or she would really begin to understand that it is one of the best ways that he is as challenging as it might be. But once you start doing it and you start to not only look at the areas, the other things Stacy about errors is that when we like let’s say that we miss a lead change. OK. So what we think of is not switching leads and we are to show or whatever, but the error. Actually began. We have we feel painful about the result, but the error is not the result. The error happens like some place where someone began maybe to get nervous and tight in some legs or the reins or giving you that they didn’t need to gear or they didn’t give a cue that the horse needed or they did it too late or they did it too fast. That horse is good. What? You know, whatever that whatever happens that in this teachings of Daniel Coyle, what you do is you look for the place where the error just begins like that first moment and that’s the correction. So you not only don’t resist the errors, but you study them and you find out where it just began. And that’s powerful, really powerful because that’s where the question is.
Stacy: [00:34:05] That is very useful. I like that. I like that. Yes. Well, let’s jump to this next one, which is, “I’m sharing my fear of the canter/lope. I’m 68 years old. And I ask myself, does it really matter if I conquer the canter/lope with relaxation and confidence? Yes, I would like to, but for now I enjoy my favorite things like trail riding, camping and obstacles.” So this person sounds like they’re in a little bit different space, but they’re so they’re kind of exploring it, but not necessarily in the spin. But the first one actually used the word spin. So, yeah, where would you start with this person’s.
Barbra: [00:34:49] Yes. OK, sorry, I didn’t mean to jump over it. OK. So I think this is a this is a great question because this has an element to it about. You know, like maybe the you know, like, oh, you can canter, you can love this if he or she like maybe, you know, said, you know, I’d like to do that. I’m not so sure. And I’m really enjoying her riding campaign obstacles. And people around are going. What you can do. Come on, let’s go.
Barbra: [00:35:25] And I think it has a two part answer. I say embrace and enjoy the heck out of your favorite things, trail riding, camping obstacles. Nobody has to do anything to have a more worthy experience with the horse. I mean, if I win a national event and cutting while I’m thrilled about that… You know, I’m grateful and all that. And it just it made my experience doing that more important than enjoying journal writing, camping & obstacles. And that’s a huge piece of confidence. Is that, like, really listening to what you like to do?
Stacy: [00:36:28] Oh, I love that you just said that. I love that you just said that because it resonates so much with me. Because so many times when I’m being interviewed and somebody asked me for a favorite memory of, like in particular Roxy or something like that, they I think they expect it to be some big show thing. And it’s not. It’s usually some silly it was like my number one favorite memory is how she would cock her head. When we went to the shows, I would throw I always put her stall next to the tack stall and she would cock her head sideways into this funny little look. She knew I’d throw the hay over the wall. It was a silly, goofy has nothing to do with any famous anything. There is these little quirks. I love that you brought that up because that’s Yeah. embrace the heck out of it. And that made that has helped me be a much more balanced person.
Barbra: [00:37:18] I feel like when I’m out doing things absolutely like we’re not here to prove anything to anyone. And this goes back to the first question about correcting and doing it wrong. Those small things, which are really the biggest things, the joys, the reasons that we do things or the things that again. So connect to us, to our heart. And knowing how important they are because they don’t. They’re not measured on the outside. They don’t have anything to do with any body else. Open the door toward joy. And they open the door to doing what we really want. So that we go forward with that. That being said for this question, it says. In the beginning, you know, matter of some fear, I think I remember you saying. And it doesn’t matter if she does, it says she’d like to appease them. That is those words. Tell me this is a feeling I get when I read that. Kind of like, you know, it would be a lot of fun. Might be run if I give you that. And I think that’s a perfect place to put that. In other words.
Barbra: [00:38:48] Cantering and loping and learning that skill. If you if if and I’m speaking to the person here. If you can find a sequence and find it in a way that resonates with you and that challenges you, but supports you, that you don’t have to do it to be. Enjoy your horses would probably be fun. But it’s not a half to and two. We are all in. There was research on happiness and one of the things about happiness is that we all love to keep learning, to keep, you know, expanding something in our in our lives that we don’t none of us want to feel like we’re going backwards in our skill set. So that would be a sudden next skill. Do you have to do it in the next week or the next month or ever? No. And you can decide how and what you want to do with that. And at the same time, just live your joy. With no restrictions that it should be whether it be better if you just cannot and must add some, that’s so be it. Yes, it’s huge.
Stacy: [00:40:10] I like that. Does that play between, like, enjoying where you’re at and then using that joy to. Carry that forward as you’re experimenting. I like that. So I have more. Here’s another one. “My deepest fear is of making a fool of myself in the show pen.”
Barbra: [00:40:32] Ok, so this has a couple of parts to it, and it Stacy and you alluded to the fact that I’ve, you know, expanded the personal performance piece in the confidence training. One of them, as you know, like this confidence on the inside, which is what we’ve been talking about, about our own journey and the joy of it. And then there’s the the knock there that is getting into the emotional state which we started the conversation with. And now the other one is that we all share this fear of being judged or disconnected in our greatest human need is connection, which I think is so interesting. And I think that’s why we feel so deeply connected to our horses and enjoy them so much. So this first part of that is making a fool of myself in the show pen, that really has to do with this whole thing that we all have some version of being rejected or judged by other people as. And then the other part of that is like I get the sense that maybe there’s some nerves and some, you know, anxiety about showing. And so maybe his or her best performance isn’t going to be in the show pen. So this if I was doing coaching, personal coaching with this person, I would work in two ways. One is to develop the ability to use it to be very focused on what you want to happen, to breathe, to learn how to be aware of your emotions, set anxiety at the moment and transform it to to clarity, to calmness for first and then clarity about your job.
Barbra: [00:42:45] And then the other part is to. I keep saying to yourself, that’s my job. Everything’s cool. This is my only job is to connect to myself and get calm and to connect to my horse and to go into the show again and again. It’s I just did a four part during the COVID time. I did a four part series about it was called Preparing to Be Awesome Split. When people went back to showing that they were they felt ready after this long layoff. And the first element of it is your view of competition. Like, what is the competition mean? And to me, competition is not about other people or even though I know there’s a placing and all that, but it’s it’s kind of, I guess, a standard of excellence and competition. That’s how I was viewed it. And if I reached in my in my development, in my technical skills and in my ability to focus in the mental skill part, if I had the ability. When I reached the ability to do that at the level of the highest riders, the results take care of themselves. My job at home is to practice the know what the next step is. We talked about that earlier, about learning and that, you know, we’re always to make mistakes, like what’s my next step to learn what’s my personal path and then to use competition as a place to. Focus. Work on the mental, the focus side of things. And then go on to the show pen and see where you are in both the technical and the mental part, and then to go back home to take the results and look at them and see what was like, awesome, because there’s always good things.
Barbra: [00:45:03] And then, like, what needs work? And that’s that next step in in where the errors were so excited, taking it completely out of the realm of what other people saying. And as your score card of the judge and taking it back to, OK. This is my goal to achieve to keep achieving levels of excellence, not perfection, excellence. Where am I and the classes that I show in? What are my strengths and what are my weaknesses? And every time I show its data back to me, what are my next steps to work on and to enjoy that process of a you know, competitions really are like a schedule, time and place. And you ride into the pen and I know it’s in front of people, but that’s one of the things that differentiates it from those folks, which is great if you prefer a recreational trail riding is that it kind of sets a goal and you’re put on the line, so to speak. And it’s a great way for motivation. And you have a plan and you see how you did it and you embrace it was good. And then you take your next step to improve. And every time you get those thoughts of, you know, Susie thinks I should go to another trainer or, you know, whatever it is I who is earn the right for me or their opinion.
Barbra: [00:46:46] And this is my journey.
Stacy: [00:46:51] Anyway, yeah, I like I like I like what you were saying there about, you know, the idea of this is my journey. That takes it back to some things you’ve referenced earlier. And one thing you referenced earlier was, you know, almost I don’t know if you use the word seasons, but that’s what popped into my mind. The idea that this might be for a time period/
Stacy: [00:47:14] So it’s like when I look at my history of showing, you know, I loved it when I was young because of the way that I thought about it. I hated it when I graduated from school because of the way that I thought of it, because I perceive that as pressure from owners and expectations and all these different things. And then I’ve come back around and, you know, I really enjoy it because again, of the way that I’m thinking about it and it really is far less tied to the outcome, especially I keep I love learning.[00:47:45] You mentioned that earlier in the podcast. I love. I love that process of learning.
Stacy: [00:47:49] But it is a serious process of making mistakes. And so every time I sign up for a new thing, like when I took up Mounted shooting, it was like, I can ride a horse, but I don’t know the first thing about, you know, the gun and, you know, how this is going to work together.
Stacy: [00:48:05] And so I have one of my favorite memories of that was that I went in and the announcer knew me and it was at our local show and I went in and I missed like five out of the ten balloons. And as I’m done with the timer, he’s he’s like. And that was Stacy Westfall, Westfall Horsemanship, not Westfall shooting. This was the show. It was just like, you know, and it was so funny because people would be like, well, aren’t you afraid of people beating me? I’m like, heck no. Everyone like I’m. Ninety eight percent of the people here are going to come in ahead of me because that’s just part of learning. It’s fine.
Stacy: [00:48:45] Like, if, you know, it’s I’m not being affected by it one way or the other. I’m not beating myself up with it. But isn’t that interesting that that could go all kinds of different ways, literally? Just by the way, I chose to think about the fact that they’re placing higher than me.
Barbra: [00:49:03] Yes. Well, that comes back to, you know, what’s your score card? Is this you know, we’re all taught that the score card is external. Meanwhile, it’s by the results that you can measure, by how you place that you had a score card of. I’m getting out there. Right. Happened that I’m going to have fun. And and so you you get and then you took the results and I’m sure you build on them and you hit six balloons the next day. So anyway, it’s just an. The difference and ultimately. How you were thinking about it is what it really is in the rear. Again, it comes back to that richness of our lives in what we how we view, you know, everything that we do. And gratitude for our journey with these people. It doesn’t matter what we do with them. We’re so lucky.
Stacy: [00:50:14] All of us. Yes. So much truth in that. I want to thank you again for joining me today, and are there any final closing words you would like to leave the listeners with?
Barbra: [00:50:28] I would I would say that this is your journey and your journey is absolutely what matters. And it is never really ever compared to anyone else. So that’s kind of the bottom foundation of our heart. And listening to ourselves and then when it comes to it, to being with our horses on the ground in and riding that the power of the personal performance piece. That ability to be aware of our emotions and understand. The power in the alignment of our mind and our body, because we need our body to soar. And we need our mind to focus on our job. And let go of everything else that that skill not only releases you from anxiety and nervousness, but it also is the great basis or the connection with your horse. Because unless we are in that state. We can completely feel our own story and be aware maybe of their attention or it just allow us everything else to come to life and to really study those skills and practice them, because just like you found their gold mine. And we are not tough them where to actually talk offset. So.
Stacy: [00:52:22] Well, thank you again so much for joining me today. And I’m going to make sure that I have links in the show, notes to where people can find you is the best place for them to find you. BarbraSchulte.com Or there are the other place.[00:52:36] Yeah, that’s that’s my place. And by the way, Barbra Strisand spells her name like mine. No, I’m just saying that name is B. A. R. B. R. A. When I was about 14, I just thought she spelled her name. So cool. So I just started spelling my name like hers. That’s it. We have a different way of studying Barbra, so just know that.
Stacy: [00:53:01] Yes. Well, thank you again. And I look forward to talking to you again and meeting up with you again down the road.
Barbra: [00:53:08] I know Stacy. You’re the best. I look forward to this. Well, thank you for having me.
Stacy: [00:53:17] I don’t know about you, but that might be a podcast that you want to listen to. Twice. We covered a lot of ground and really when I stop and think about how much impact her work had on me early on when I was in college and learning some of the things she taught about the mind when I was so anxious about showing, I am totally confident saying that she helped me achieve the things I’ve achieved. Now, this is super cool because Barbara has a downloadable audio book called “Ride with Confidence” that she sells over on our Web site and as a gift to you. My podcast listeners, she’s given a free code. So if you want to go download a copy of this book, which is what she taught me when I was back in college, you can do that. The code is my name Stacy. Just my first name, Stacy. There are two easy ways to find it. You can go directly to her Web site, which is BarbraSchulte, and I’ll spell that for you.[00:54:24] B a r b r a s c h u l t e dot com. I’ll do that one more time. B a r b r a s c h u l t e. [00:54:45] And on her Web site, you’ll find a post with the link and then you have to remember the code Stacy. And then I’ll also go ahead and put a link in the show notes over on my Web site. So if you just go to Stacy, Westfall, dot com, find this podcast. And then there’ll be a link there that you can click on that will jump you straight over to the place where you can use the code Stacy to get the downloadable book. There is one thing to keep in mind. This is a product that she actually sells. So the offer for this free code to work ends on June 20th. So the code won’t last forever, which basically just means like jump over there and redeem it now. And if you want to share this podcast with any friends that you think would find this beneficial, share it. Now, don’t wait, because then they can also still get that downloadable book. That, again, is the stuff she taught me back when I was in college. That is timeless. [00:55:44] I still use it because it is that thing that helps me with that dance between something even like when I’m riding Presto! And he’s being spooky and there’s that dance between something bad could happen here AND I want to feel confident while I’m riding him because that is kind of an emotional dance they’re going on. Well, thank you for listening. And I’ll talk to you again in the next episode of. [00:56:14] If you enjoy listening to Stacy’s podcast, please visit Stacy Westfall dot com for articles, videos and tips to help you and your horse succeed.
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