The Riding Program welcomed Coach Daniel Stewart to campus on Sept. 11 & 12 to work with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team.
Coach Stewart is a sports psychologist who works at the Olympic Training Center with some of the world's top riders and athletes.
On Saturday, the riders were put to the test individually and used their mental skills to ride under an extreme amount of pressure. That evening, the students participated in the first of two seminars focused on the fishbowl effect, what happens to all athletes when faced with performing under pressure. Coach Stewart explained that everyone can only remember three things and thus how important it is to make sure the three things you're focusing on are worth the mental space.
On Sunday, the riders returned to the ring and worked in teams of two to tackle a new course with new challenges. The riders had to figure out how to work together while riding their own horse and remembering challenging tasks. The day ended with another seminar where they took what they learned on Saturday and their experience in the clinic to develop ways to train their brains to focus on three positives, as well as combat show nerves.
The clinic was a great start to the IEA season and helped the students develop mental strength ahead of the first show on Saturday, Sept. 19.