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SportHorse Riders

I bookmarked this post by SportHorse Riders almost a month ago with the intent of sharing it . . .then I promptly forgot to share it for over a month. However I think this is an important resource to share, so better late than never, right? SportHorse Riders is a website founded by two people that I really admire. One of the founders, Anastasia (Stacy) Curwood is an amateur rider, a published author and an educator with over ten years of experience teaching at the college level. The other founder, Carol Skricki, is a rowing world cup multiple medalist and placed fourth in the women’s double sculls at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

To learn even more about them be sure to visit the SportHorse Riders website. I hope you take the time to visit their website, find SportHorse Riders on Facebook, and subscribe to their newsletter. Some of the recent topics in their newsletters have included dealing with lameness and injury, dealing with negative self-talk, and how to handle feeling vulnerable. I am sure you are wondering what in the world is SportHorse Riders? Below is a blog post they wrote explaining SportHorse Riders. The original blog (with links that actually work) can be found here:


SportHorseRiders FAQ

August 4, 2013 — anastasiacurwood

by Anastasia

This week on the blog, I’m changing focus to explain a little bit about SportHorseRiders. Carol and I are excited about SportHorseRiders, and our group members are, too– but you yourself might be wondering what all the fuss is about. These Frequently Asked Questions will tell you what our program is and why joining up might just be the missing ingredient in your riding life!

What the heck is SportHorseRiders?

SportHorseRiders (or SHR) is a web-based coaching system for serious horsemen and -women of all ages, levels, and horse sports. But the coaching is not about technical riding skills, like learning how to see a distance or how to ride a lengthening. Rather, we help you train your mind to maximize your skills and enjoyment of horse sports.

OK, if I don’t get any help learning how to ride, why would I want to join?

We’ll teach you the stuff that makes your technical skills actually work. You’ve heard people say the 90 percent of riding (or any sport) is mental. The thing is, most instructors and riders spend 100 percent of time in lessons on physical and technical skills. This, after all, is what we pay our instructors to do!

However, riders need another, at least as important, set of skills. Those skills are patience, mental resilience, awareness, and a positive mindset. Contrary to what many people think, those things are skills and can be learned, no matter how old you are or what mental habits you have.

All of the technical know-how in the world won’t help you if you turn into a sweating puddle of anxiety before you tackle that tough course or hop on your youngster. It also won’t help you if the yelling voice in your head keeps interfering with your concentration when it shouts about how incompetent or hopeless you are as a rider.

But SportHorseRiders can help you. When you join a group, your coaches and your fellow members help you learn how to ride at your fullest capacity– both physical and mental. You’ll also have more fun!

What is this “group” you keep referring to? How does a SportHorseRiders group actually work?

The heart of SHR is an online, proprietary software system that tracks the daily progress of a group of no more than 12 riders. You can see the progress of the 11 other riders in the group, and they can see yours. The leader of the group is called the “coach,” and he or she reads everybody’s progress. The coach offers feedback and encouragement, and sends a weekly email that nudges everyone to stay focused on their goals and their progress.

The software is a powerful online accountability tool that provides daily reinforcement of the skills we teach. When you sign in, you see the group’s progress log.


Then, when you click on the box next to your name, you get to your daily coaching questions. They are simple but extremely effective.


You’re asked to rate your ride(s) on a scale of 0-10, say what you worked on, what worked and what didn’t, and how you handled both. Then you state your goal for the next day. It usually takes about the same amount of time you spend on a status update for a social networking site, although some people like to write a lot (and there is plenty of room for you to do that!). When you hit “submit,” you get a little green checkmark next to your name for that day! And your coach and the other members know that they can read about your daily progress.

We care a lot about your progress, we want to know how your riding is going, and our number one goal is your safe enjoyment of the sport. Your fellow group members will support you, too. It helps to know that someone cares about your happiness on horseback and knows about your achievements, large and small!

How much does all of this cost?

A four-week SHR session costs less than most weekly lessons: just $50 for 28 days of daily interaction that helps you get more out of every lesson, clinic, and competition. You do this sport because you love it. Why not enjoy it even more, and use our strategies to ride better?

OK, since you’ve read this far, here is a special link to a discounted fee of $35, good until August 18.

Is there any part of the website that doesn’t cost anything?

Yes! Our blog (you are reading it now) is 100% free… and our newsletter is too! If you follow the blog and/or subscribe to the newsletter, you will get a helpful article in your email inbox about once a week. And feel free to share our blog posts with friends. We blog about all topics on the mental side of horse sports– from fear to perfectionism to focus.

What if I don’t have time to use SHR?

Really, you should be making time every day to track your riding progress anyway– whether with pencil and notebook, on your computer, iPad, or the backs of old vet bills. With us, you can have it all in one place and print it out at the end of each session. Not only that, you can also get community and encouragement.

Users of the software spend about 8 minutes per day logging their progress. Don’t you think you owe it to yourself and your horse to spend these few minutes so that you can become a better rider? It really is worth it!

So will you critique my riding at all?

Nope. See the answer to the first question. Yes, members do sometimes share tips and tricks that have worked for them. But your technical knowledge is the territory of your instructor/trainer. SHR is focused on the mental process of your riding, not the physical execution of your riding. We are all about helping you develop wisdom, courage, mindfulness, and gratitude as you practice our wonderful sport. We guarantee that developing those skills will make you a happier, better rider.

You might actually be on to something here. How and when do I sign up?

Our next session starts August 18! We have room for a few more committed people. The next one starts 28 days after that… you can always find the next start date under the Join Us page on the website. We hope you will!

Thomas and Tony

Maisie says you have to keep an eye on those ponies (Norman and Cuffie)

Cinnamon, Silky and Traveller

Calimba and Lily

George and Asterik

Romeo and Gibson

Donneur and Lofty

B-Rad and Alex

This was the scene Sunday morning after a rowdy Saturday evening. The nappers are Kennedy, Toledo, Rocky, Largo and Oskar. The ones still upright are Donovan, Stormy and Clayton.

Hi from Faune

Apollo and Hemi

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