Absorb yourself in the process, the results will take care of themselves.

There are a lot of similar quotes and suggestions of this sort. Stay in the moment. Be present.

THAT’S because it’s important. It’s also difficult sometimes to remember. Or even know that we’ve lost our ‘stay in the moment’ moment. We’re working away and maybe it’s not going quite as planned. We rush the ‘get going’ instinct and maybe encourage Buttercup with a little more exuberance in our legs than if we considered what Buttercup was thinking. Maybe she needed a moment to consider the request/demand. Maybe in the moment she considered it, she decided that her person was being a jerk and she was not going to comply. And maybe, she had that on page 4 of her notes (that’s the “Not on your best day, bitch page. See Curbside Service).

Several of my students compete in the American Competitive Trail Horse Assoc. ACTHA. One of the ‘change your thinking’ concepts we work on A LOT is to stop worrying and thinking about your score on the obstacle. Instead, concentrate on each step the horse is taking without rushing to the third, fourth, fifth step before you’ve set the horse up properly – mind, flexion, shift THEN movement – for the FIRST step!

If you’re going for Exceptional, get absorbed in that exceptional step and continue from there. And the results are taking care of themselves as they are all in the ribbons pretty consistently and with considerable competition. It’s not the obstacle – it’s how you place each hoof while doing the obstacle.