While interviewing riders for a new book, I wanted to know what the most important habits and patterns were to become successful in the mentally challenging sport of show jumping. One of my favourite interviews, Daniel Deusser, is well known as one of the sport’s most natural and confident riders.

Here, Daniel shares some practical lessons he’s learned and nine things that have helped him the most on his way to the top.

1. Prepare like a pro and then let it go.

When I asked Daniel how I could become the confident rider he is today, he kept coming back to the same concept. Train at home so you don’t need to be nervous at the show. “Of course, it also depends on the quality of your horse, but that you can’t control or change anymore when you’re in the ring. So, at home, focus on the process of improving your horse. Once you get to the show, you can’t change that much anymore, so just let it go and ride your best round possible.”

2. If you want to be better, train better.

If your results are not as good as you would like them to be, it doesn’t mean that you are not good enough. It just means you need to train better! Don’t take your results too personally. Learn from them what you can and then make a clear plan for how you can work on improvement at home.

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