by, Liz Piacentini
Whether you need to motivate your mojo, crank-up your confidence or calm your concerns, music has an amazing ability to ignite action and inspire emotion. Just think of the last time your favorite tune came on the radio. You probably started moving to the beat as you turned up the volume. By creating a playlist of positive tunes, equestrians can use the motivational power of music to adjust their mindset before a show and during an important ride.
Riders may already be familiar with how the steady beat of music helps us feel rhythm. For example, having a song in your head can help you maintain a consistent tempo at the trot. By creating a playlist of particular songs, you can build a resource of tunes that inspire the energy and emotions you need to ride at your best.
Research indicates that by listening to music we enjoy, we can increase optimism, lower anxiety, and boost creativity. Therefore, listening to music provides a fun way to obtain a more positive outlook! Need help getting started? Here are some of my personal favorites with meaningful lyrics for your rider playlist:
10 Songs to Empower and Inspire Your Ride:
EMPOWERING TUNES – Tell yourself, “I’ve got this!” with these energizing belief boosters:
- The Greatest, Sia – Get this tune stuck in your head before a cross country run or endurance ride: …I see another mountain to climb. But I, I, I got stamina… Don’t give up, I won’t give up. Don’t give up. No, no, no.
- Fight Song, Rachel Platten – The song for anyone who needs a dose of perseverance and determination: This is my fight song. Take back my life song. Prove I’m alright song. My powers turned on. Starting right now I’ll be strong.
- Firework, Katie Perry – Ignite your come-back plan and crank-up your self-belief: ‘Cause baby you’re a firework! Come on show ‘em what you’re worth…Come on let your colors burst.
- Best Day of My Life, American Authors – Go chase that dream: I had a dream so big and loud. I jumped so high I touched the clouds…I’m never gonna look back. Whoa, never gonna give it up…This is going to be the best day of my life…
- On Top of the World, Imagine Dragons – Celebrate progress with some toe tapping motivation: I’m on top of the world, ‘ey. Waiting on this for a while now. Paying my dues to the dirt. I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ey. I’ve been holding it in for a while, ‘ey… Been dreaming of this since a child. I’m on top of the world.
INSPIRING TUNES: Re-set your mindset with tunes that remind you what to feel or what to do:
- Happy, Pharrell Williams – Start your day with a smile! We’re better at everything we do when we’re happy: Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. (Because I’m happy) Clap along if you know what happiness is to you…
- Three Little Birds, Bob Marley – Chase away the “what if’s” with three little birds: Singing don’t worry about a thing. ‘Cause every little thing ’gonna be alright.
- Living in the Moment, Jason Mraz – A great reminder to let ourselves off the hook, let the past go past and have more fun: I’m letting go of the thoughts that do not make me strong… Living my life, easy and breezy, with peace in my mind…
- Keep Your Head Up, Ben Howard – When you need to stay focused on completing the task at hand, with the horse you love, just remember: Keep your head up, keep your heart strong… Keep your mind set in your ways, keep your heart strong.
- Jump, Van Halen – Need I say more? You’ve got to roll with the punches to get to what’s real… Might as well jump! Jump! Go ahead, jump! Jump!
Whether you need to kindle energy or find relaxation, have fun creating the right mix of music to inspire peak performance. Then, before a competition or clinic, boost your self-belief and optimism by listening to your favorite tunes during the week before the event and while driving to the venue.
You might even discover that particular lyrics are meaningful to you. A short, powerful phrase within a song can become your motivating motto of encouragement. For example, “Easy and Breezy” may remind you to stay calm and enjoy the moment. “Head up, Heart strong” can be an affirmation that reminds you to keep your eyes up and continue on after a sudden spook. Repeating a motivating motto to yourself during your ride can help you focus on what to do or feel when you need it most.
Follow these tips to get the most out of the music you select:
- Put your playlist on shuffle. Your brain won’t get used to hearing a repetitive pattern. Keep your music fresh with the element of surprise.
- Give your playlist a rest when you’re not showing. Don’t let your favorite tunes lose their impact. Save your energy activators for the days before a big ride.
- Remember you’re a TEAM. Create the right amount of energy for you and your horse. Be careful not to get yourself so pumped-up that you send tension to your horse. Find the balance between motivation and relaxation.
- Change it up. New horse? New season? New goals? As we grow, our motivational needs change. Instead of trying to stay calm, perhaps now we need music to pump us up!
Listening to positive, motivating music is a great way to enhance the energy you need before a show and channel your concentration during a ride. Give it a try! Put a song in your heart, listen to your horse, and feel the rhythm of the ride.
Enjoy the Journey!