Winning Habits: How Elite Equestrians Master the Mental Game by Annette Paterakis

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  • Winning Habits: How Elite Equestrians Master the Mental Game



    Price as reviewed:

    £22.99 for paperback

    Winning Habits: How Elite Equestrians Master the Mental Game

    Author: Annette Paterakis
    Published: 2022
    Available as Kindle edition, hard cover or paperback

    View now at amazon.co.uk

    About Winning Habits: How Elite Equestrians Master the Mental Game

    Equestrian mental coach and author Annette Paterakis’s book blends theory of sports psychology with tales of her own experiences in the competition arena, interviews with top showjumpers and practical exercises for improving performance in horse sport.

    Chapter by chapter, the book tackles topics such as mindset, deliberate training, focus, flow, confidence, motivation and success. Annette introduces each topic and the theory behind it with back up from experts in the field, then uses quotes from the riders to illustrate how they interpret this or use it to their advantage, and then runs through with some exercises which the reader can try, before finishing each chapter with a summary.


    I liked the idea of this book and the way it is structured is essentially easy to understand and logical. There is also no doubting the credentials of the riders Annette interviewed, with names such as Laura Kraut, Daniel Deusser, McLain Ward, Cian O’Connor and Jeroen Dubbeldam in the line-up.

    On the downside, I didn’t always find the prose the easiest or most compelling to read. I also felt that in places the book was repetitive and some judicious editing, particularly of the quotes from the riders, could have been beneficial and allowed the points to be delivered in a more honed, streamlined way.

    The penultimate chapter is called “Learn from the Best” and consists solely of quotes from the riders, answering the question: “What kind of advice would you give young riders to improve themselves and their mental game?” These quotes are grouped into themes that relate to the book’s chapters and messages. I found this chapter one of the most enjoyable and interesting, but I wasn’t sure why it was the penultimate chapter rather than the final one, as the last chapter (“Success”) reverts to the structure used in all the previous ones.

    I read the book straight through in the order it is presented, without trying any of the exercises, but I would definitely consider returning to it in the future, picking out particular chapters that I felt could help me as a rider and giving the exercises a go.


    In places, Winning Habits can feel unnecessarily repetitive and tighter editing could have honed the final product. But this is an interesting book, which many will enjoy reading, both as a manual for improvement and out of general curiosity about how top riders perform at their best.

    View now at amazon.co.uk

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