Introduction by Amy Hempe
Blogger of The Rufus Files and Returning Adult Equestrian
I first met Dana Dapolito online after I had published an essay examining my own riding anxiety. After she shared it on her page, I took her free online course and began my own process of moving past the mental obstacles preventing me from going to the next level with my riding. It has helped me tremendously. I do flatwork on different horses with ease and have moved onto jumping (although courses still intimidate me). I know to keep breathing and to communicate with my hips and core. A lot has softened in my riding. Best of all, I enjoy taking on new challenges because I have developed an internal belief that I can do them.
This is such a great service yet I doubt many people out there are aware of it. So here is Dana to explain what it is that she does.
What is a Performance Coach?
As a performance coach, I coach riders out of the saddle to understand the effects that mindset, emotions, and energy have in the saddle. I do not train riders how to ride. Rather, I train riders how to harness their thoughts, emotions, and energies to support their riding aspirations.
Supported by the coaching process, riders elevate their relationship with performance, competition and – ultimately – deepen the bond with their equine partners.
How Does Performance Coaching Help Equestrians?
Our thoughts, beliefs, and actions have a direct impact on riding, among other things. Ultimately, this is the practice of learning to master your physical, mental, emotional, and energetic states.
Whether you are a professional trainer, a seasoned competitor, a new competitor, or a new rider – I believe that we all seek a deep connection with the horse when we make the decision to step into the irons.
Quite often, equestrians experience show jitters, performance anxiety, and/or fear on some level – and it’s these energies that block your ability to connect. It’s the stuff that makes riders tense, constricted, and resistant – and this energy then transfers to the horse.
Through my coaching, programs, and products – which are based in transformational energy practices – I facilitate the self awareness, confidence, and creativity that is integral to taking your riding to the next level. My riders learn about and apply a variety of different principles and tools such as awareness, emotional intelligence, vibrational energy, and visualization.
Why Riders Need Equestrian Performance Coaching
Performance coaching supports you in creating that next up-level, whatever that looks like for you – and I work with all levels of riders.
Whether you are a beginning rider, returning adult, competitive rider with specific performance goals, or a trainer wanting to understand how to meet your client’s needs – this is powerful foundational work.
Think of it this way: as you train, you teach your horse the foundations in groundwork to ensure that they are solid and ready for the next level.
My riders learn to move through their show jitters, performance anxiety, fear, negative self talk, challenging emotional responses, and/or limiting beliefs, into a place where they consistently ride from creativity, gratitude, and joy.
They develop an unflappable foundation of confidence AND the ability to create truly connected rides. They become balanced. Nimble. Responsive.
Performance Energetics’ programs utilize a variety of tools, skills, and practices to focus thought, manage emotion, and harness energy. Your time in the saddle becomes a joyful, expressive playground where obstacles and challenges are viewed as stepping stones – which creates exponential growth in your riding and supports long-term accelerated achievement.
How Does it Work?
Simply put, it makes you more aware of what your challenges are in the saddle and how you can move through them to take your riding to the next level.
While I offer a variety of methods – ranging from self-study audio to private 1:1 coaching – the process is the same.
First, you learn to observe your thoughts – asking whether you are running the show or whether the show is running you. When your mindset if unfocused and messy, it can be one of the worst pitfalls holding you back. You learn that when you are actually tapping into the power of your mind you have a fabulous tool and resource to improve your riding.
Next, you learn to see and acknowledge your emotions – moving from reaction to response. What are you feeling and how you are emoting? How is that affecting or contributing to your results?
Finally, with this mental and emotional groundwork lain, you move towards energetic mastery. You come to know that thoughts, emotions, words, and actions all carry an energetic – and those energies can work for or against you.
What I know is that your time in the saddle is infinitely easier, more connected, and more enjoyable when you have the energetics working for you!
When you choose to work at this fine-grained, energetic, level, you can see the shifts you desire very rapidly – transforming the way you ride, train, and compete.
You begin riding confidently, creatively – consciously – to your highest potential.
I absolutely LOVE this work.
Are you ready to take your riding to the next level?
Special offer for Bridle & Bone readers!
If you want to check out what performance coaching is all about, click here and enter offer code bnb08171.
Ready to jump right in? Click here and enter offer code bnb08172.
About the writer: Dana Ann Dapolito is a Peak Performance Coach, owner of Performance Energetics, and creator of EquiTations: Visualizations for Competitive Excellence. Her mission is to be a trusted, leading edge resource in the competitive equestrian community, delivering programs and products – founded in conscious coaching practices and techniques. For more information on Dana and Performance Energetics; The Conscious Rider Facebook Group; Instagram