The Success Design is not just a blog, it chronicles people who lead extraordinary lives. Just like its companion radio talk show, this blog seeks to discover what makes the uber-successful tick. This leads me to my recent interview with New Zealand Equestrian Olympian Joe Meyer. A 40-year-old veteran of the sport, Joe has accomplished numerous goals during his career and he’s not about to stop now. He recently competed in the Red Hills International Horse Trials and won first place with his horse Sanskrit in the Advanced Division.
On Saturday, March 8th, I had the distinct privilege of interviewing Joe at the Red Hills International Horse Trials. During our interview, I learned so much about Equestrian training both on the part of the rider and the horse as well as the mindset that an Equestrian must have while training and competing in competitions, especially the Olympics. I was also schooled in the sport of Eventing and its 3 parts: Dressage, Stadium Jumping, and Cross Country. Each event tests a different skill set of the horse. Joe tells me that dressage demonstrates “a well-trained horse” and the riders ability to show off the horse’s skills. Stadium Jumping shows off the horse’s strength and Cross Country shows off the horse’s endurance and agility.
At Red Hills International Horse Trials, Joe was entered in both the Advanced and Preliminary divisions and took home the first prize in the Advanced division. I was curious about the kind of training regimen that an Equestrian must adhere to compete and win in events such as Red Hills. Joe tells me that he works out with six or seven horses per day as his usual training regimen. For major competitions and the Olympics, he goes to the gym three or four times each week to work on his cardiovascular fitness, core strength, and flexibility which are all vital for a rider to possess.
2008 Beijing Olympics
Fulfilling one of his longtime goals, Joe was selected to represent New Zealand as an Equestrian at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. He finished 5th in the team competition and in the Top 25 individually. Joe and I discussed what it takes to be an Equestrian on an Olympic stage. Joe urged that “it is important to get competitive internationally”. A rider should compete in as many international competitions (such as Reds Hills International Horse Trials) as possible to gain experience on an international stage.
As far as preparing for the Olympics, Joe urges riders to keep everything the same both in a rider’s training and preparation before the games and once the rider has arrived at the Olympics. Joe observed some equestrians being tempted to over train themselves or their horses or to over groom their horses. He says that it is best to stick with what works and, most importantly, maintain focus. To achieve absolute focus, Joe recommends shutting down social media websites and concentrating on the events that lie ahead.
Joe Meyer was an absolute pleasure for me to interview. Informative, yet to the point, Joe’s many years of Equestrian experience have propelled him into a well-polished erudite. Although I am certainly new to the world of Equestrian Eventing, I look forward to following Joe’s career as he continues to ride high.
Joe Meyer’s Radio Website
(Search for Nate & Joe Show)
Joe Meyer competing in Stadium Jumping