An Exercise to Vaporize Distracting Thoughts

Hi, it’s Barb.

Staying present in the moment is a challenge we all have. I was thinking about this a lot this week, so I thought I would give you a powerful exercise to transform ‘bad’ thoughts to keep your thinking going in a positive direction.

That’s what this week’s podcast is all about.

. .


Hey, it’s Barb.

I want you to think about the person in your life who you just love to please.

And I bet you care about that person a lot – and I also bet they believe in you.

So, it’s just natural not to want to disappoint them.

We all feel the pressure of expectations from many different sources – family members, trainers, friends, and, of course, ourselves.

The problem is – while these expectations are well-intentioned, if we’re not careful, we can allow them to add unnecessary pressure to our riding, which ultimately distracts us from being relaxed and focused on our job.

When that happens, we don’t feel our horse underneath us very well either!

The solution lies in learning to ride focused on our job and believing in ourselves, rather than being consumed with expectations – no matter where they come from.

Riding with beliefs means that we know we can ride well, but we don’t add extra pressure by trying to meet expectations totally out of our control.

It’s easy to spend a lot of emotion and build up a lot of unwanted stress by thinking about uncontrollable things, like trying to win, please our trainer, or impress our peers. Or maybe we’re thinking about the end of the year standings.

We fear what might happen if we don’t ride well. What will my trainer, family, and friends think of me? How will it impact my placing in the year-end standings?

We all know we can’t control the future or things out of our direct control – but it’s funny how we try to do that anyway!

And when our brains jump ahead or have bad thoughts – well – we need to put those evil gremlins in a box and chuck ’em.

We can learn to recognize distracting or negative thoughts and then redirect them to the present. Doing this can indirectly control the future because we’re doing what’s needed in the moment.

To ride at our best, we must learn to focus only on what we can control: ourselves and our response to our horse. Then we can readjust as our horse changes from moment to moment.

I’m about to share a powerful message you can commit to memory and call up when needed. You can use mine or write your own; it will guide your thinking and keep you going in a positive direction. Here’s how it goes:

“I never focus on what others think of me, winning or losing, and I don’t worry or think about things out of my control.

But I do focus on breathing and doing a great job right now.

When I stay present with my horse, feel them beneath me, and communicate moment-to-moment, the best of who we are together happens on its own.”

Remember, you can only control how you respond to your horse and situations as they come up. When you give your best effort and stay committed to the present, you give yourself and your horse the best chance of having your best ride possible.

To help you commit my words to memory or a similar message you create, write whatever you choose for five minutes a day for 30 days. I think you’ll love the positive impact of this exercise on your thinking!

Please leave a message for me and let me know what you think.

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3 Comments on An Exercise to Vaporize Distracting Thoughts

  1. laurel laba on Sun, 26th Jun 2022 3:59 pm
  2. laurel

  3. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 26th Jun 2022 6:34 pm
  4. Hi Barb, Sounds like you and Sandy have been really busy, but having lots of fun in Montana with the cattle and doing some fly fishing!!! Such a good audio today reminding each of us how to focus on ourselves and our horse. Meditating on these thoughts for 5 minutes a day sounds easy but doing so for 5 min. is actually quite a long time and also takes practice. Trusting that all goes well with Nic and the Braveheart competition. I did try to donate a small sum and had trouble so I’ll try again now. 🙂

  5. Kelly Scilingo on Mon, 27th Jun 2022 9:20 pm
  6. Hey Barb
    Be present,listen and be unstoppable with a smile on your face.

    I am so grateful for your knowledge of becoming the best rider we can be.

    Wonderful audio and thank you again

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