Creating the Conditions for Success with Grant Setnicka: Part 1

March 30th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Grant Setnicka

It takes more than a good horse to be successful in cutting. It takes planning, practice and positivity. That’s according to someone who’s had plenty of success of the show pen, $3-million trainer Grant Setnicka. Not only that, Setnicka’s clients also enjoy plenty of success themselves. Setnicka shares his tips on how to set yourself up for a satisfying experience in cutting.

➤ Step one is decide what shows you are going to attend for the year. And then learn what each client or yourself needs and adjust the training, work and practice schedule to suit.

In January, Setnicka creates a show schedule that he and his clients discuss. They decide what shows they want to go to and which ones they want to miss so everyone can plan their time and costs. Each client has a different need. He said some of his clients want to practice everyday while everyday is too much for others.

It can be hard to set specific goals at shows so Setnicka and his team have a barn goal to make the finals at every show. He really believes that if you can be a consistent finalist, you will have a lot of success. He doesn’t think anyone ever goes to a show and says I’m going to go win this show because it just doesn’t work like that.

Grant teaching riders at a CHTO clinic

➤ As a competitor, you have to go into the show pen with a plan. But with so many variables in cutting, you need to be flexible and be able to respond to the changing situation accordingly.

As a trainer, Setnicka said it’s his goal to have the client be the only variable. He has their horse prepared so they don’t have to worry, and then he says he should be able to do his job so they have three good cows to cut, and if he does that he’s satisfied as a trainer. If they have trouble and hot quit or make another mistake, it’s out of his control and those things improve with experience and practice.

➤ Set small, medium and large goals in the short and long term. Print out CHTO’s goal worksheet from tools and resources in your member dashboard and insert into your annual budget and calendar.

Setnicka said he will set small goals for himself, but doesn’t obsess about it because it can create too much pressure which can negatively affect your performance. Last year he wanted to surpass $3 million in earnings, but he said his goal every day is to have a good, positive attitude. He said he was once told that positive things happen to positive people.

To set a goal properly, you have to have a why, or a reason you do what you do. Remind yourself everyday. Put it in your phone, on your desk, near your bed, somewhere you will see it all the time.

Setnicka said his inspiration and drive to get up and work hard every day is the horses. He said he’s fortunate to ride some really great horses that he loves, and he really enjoys when they perform. He also finds teaching, and helping people inspiring.

“You can’t help but love an animal that is so forgiving…if you’re having a bad day or maybe you didn’t work them great the day before for whatever reason, they don’t hold a grudge and they come out everyday with a neutral attitude…That’s what I love about them. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of good ones that have done me good for my career and financially, you can’t help but love them for that too,” said Setnicka.

Setnicka is all about attitude. He said the biggest thing he sees getting in the way of people making their goals is negativity. And realistically some people just have more opportunity than others. That is not a negative, it’s just a fact he said. If someone has 10 horses to show, they will probably win more than the person with one horse. They have better odds, they have more opportunity and often more experience. But the trick is not to dwell on it, Setnicka said. Keep your attitude positive and focus on yourself and your horse’s journey.

To handle show nerves, have a plan, trust the process and then execute the plan, think “One cow at a time”.

You can’t think about who scored what or what money is up for grabs, Setnicka advised.

Just take it one cow at a time. Don’t forget to keep breathing and talking!

There are no penalties for talking to the guys in your corner about cows. He thinks non-pros and amateurs should do more talking, to make sure they are on the right cow, but also to keep them calm.

Setnicka’s plan before he shows is to go over his cows with his herd holders one more time, and dry work his horse to make sure it is ready to go. He then walks down to the herd and cuts his cows in a good spot. It’s important to remember, he said, that that is all you can do. That is, you can’t worry about the things you can’t control.

Learn why something went wrong, then shake it off so it doesn’t haunt you.

For those who struggle with confidence, Setnicka said, “you have to realize that everyone has been there and at the end of the day, aside from your core people, no one really cares. If you make a mistake it’s easy to feel like there’s this huge spotlight on you and everyone will remember it, but they really don’t…you could get 20 positive comments and one bad one so don’t chose to dwell on the one bad one. If you dwell on that one bad moment, you’ll never get confidence, listen to the 20 positive comments.”

Setnicka feels that success and experience really help with nerves. Once a client has a good run and gets over the hump, things get a little easier. Mistakes will happen, just try not to make the same mistake over and over again, you’re going to come up with new mistakes and that happens.

➤ Get Coached by Grant Setnicka! Send us your videos of your show run or riding at home and get Grant to personally critique you. Click HERE to learn more about Get Coached!

Click HERE to use our annual Budget Planner in Tools & Resources in your member dashboard. 

Watch Grant Setnicka’s Videos HERE!

Brought to you by Tara Stark Real Estate Group


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