RECALIBRATING PERSPECTIVE BY EMILY SHIRLEY
This poem is read at the start of every show day for the dressage subset of the Miami University Equestrian Team. Leading up to and after becoming the treasurer of MUET, my mindset changed about riding in the intercollegiate realm.
To take a couple steps back, I grew up riding and competing horses. This quickly taught me the value of hard work. I was one of those crazy horse girls who liked the hot summers where you spend 12 hours at the barn every day, get weird tan lines, and are covered in a layer of dirt at all times.
I came in as a freshman with a big ego, like most. I had just spent a summer competing at a Junior Olympic level and thought I was going to come in and sweep the competition off their feet. After all, I had much more showing experience than anyone else. To my illusion, I was wrong.
Freshman and sophomore year were a rude awakening. I was left constantly wondering why I didn’t perform as well as I thought I would, placing in the middle of the pack. Slowly, I became better at not riding for the gold, but creating positive change in a horse with a short amount of time. This new mindset I was developing became crucial as I started junior year. Coming in this fall with a leadership position, I knew my mindset was vital to the success of the team. Being the top point rider on the team, all eyes are on me to set a positive tone for the day with the first ride.
By having small traditions like reading this poem, taking a step back to reflect and recalibrate your ego, and taking time to bond and have fun, I make conscious efforts to lead the team and live out my branding. My time here at Miami will come to an end in the next couple years and it’s how I act now that will impact the future of the team.