Emotional Strength & Mental Fitness Coaching; Strategic Life Skills for Peak Performance.



(Model in photo: Christina Antonucci. Photo Credit to Peter Pham)

Emotional Strength and Mental Skills Strategies;
the Ultimate Peak Performance Coaching for Young Riders

The key to being a great equestrian and a competitive athlete is to have accurate self-knowledge. What drives you to think and behave as you do? Where are you sabotaging yourself? What are you not seeing? What do you need to tweak? Where are you holding yourself back from being the best that you can be?

From mother (and FEI Judge, Jumping), Elena Couttenye: "Nancy, you're the best! I can't thank you enough for everything you did for my daughter."

My training system is all about figuring out your personal puzzle and then teaching you how to retrain your brain, your emotions, and how to manage your nervous system. There is nothing more important than teaching children, teens, and young adults emotional intelligence, mindset strategies for change, and how to raise their standards and achieve peak performance. 

We need to teach the strategies for emotional strength and fitness very early in their lives because the repetition of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors will create neuropathways in their brains. This is how habits are established. The longer those habits are practiced, the deeper those patterns will become entrenched in their brains.

The key is to establish the most empowering, high-performance neuropathways in the brain as soon as possible and to teach children how to break disempowering habits and how to elevate their lives to peak performance.

And finally, my coaching program teaches resiliency. I prepare children and young adults to go out into the world confident that no matter what life throws at them, they have the inner strength and most effective tools to handle any situation and to overcome any adversity.

Resilience: Don't Let Your Children Leave Home Without It!

Today's culture is a tough battle for our kids. This is why I've developed my Emotional Strength and Fitness Coaching Program. We make them battle ready for whatever life throws at them! These are the skills ALL children need, whether they ride or not, to prevent them from tripping up and ending on the wrong path with addictions, divorce, etc.

We teach the techniques below:

This coaching is a life-changing gift. Here are just some examples of my coaching subjects for both children and adults; taken from the chapter titles of my book.

  • Flying Changes; how to change their "state" and quickly transition their moods and emotions; a game changer for equestrians that are competing.

  • Walking the Course; mapping out a strategy and visualizing.

  • The Cavalry; how to develop your inner warrior; an empowered state of mind determined to fight and win any battles in life.

  • Horse Plow; how to get out of being stuck by giving up their "story" of excuses in favor of marrying their truth; extreme ownership.

  • Raise the Jumps; how to raise your standards! How to adopt an identity of being a winner versus the choice of feeling a dis-empowered victim with excuses.

  • Stallions; how to create and maintain a self-confidence that they can handle anything, including their emotions and reactions. How to develop a competitive spirit.

  • The Course; how to focus on one stride at a time, one jump at a time. No looking back (focusing) at the knocked down rails!

  • Ride Deep into the Corners; no cutting corners in your daily rituals of maintaining a strong mindset and physical fitness! 

  • Grazing; see below our training on healthy nutrition that keeps the brain sharp and the energy up!

  • Spooking; the art of flexibility and being able to quickly adapt, while also remaining calm and relaxed. 

  • Vet Check; self-awareness of looking on the inside. How the rider's needs, core beliefs, and values (sometimes unconscious) are directing their emotions and behaviors.

  • Getting Back on the Horse; steps to creating resilience; how to reframe "failure" into a learning experience and how to bounce back quickly.

  • Drop Your Stirrups and Reins; letting go of fear. How to build courage by learning how to take risks and to walk through fear. How to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

  • Harnessing the Energy; how to effectively channel the energy of fear, anxiety, anger, show nerves and the adrenaline of the competitive spirit.

  • Clearing the Obstacles; how to navigate events and life-stage transitions including parents divorcing, deaths, moving, traveling, break-ups with boyfriends, etc. 

  • Classical Training on the Fundamentals; the simple basics of psychology, to include how to recognize and deal with the unhealthy, dysfunctional behaviors in others.

  • Creating Rituals; deleting ineffectual daily rituals (breaking bad habits) and replacing them with new, empowering daily rituals. 

  • Smooth Transitions; how to live with "disbelief" during the transition through the gap between your current "old rider" identity up to your future "high-performance" rider. 

  • The Real Horsepower; beliefs. Finding and getting rid of the old, unconscious core beliefs and inserting the new ones.

  • Incantations; self-talk and drowning out the old tapes running in your head. 

  • Correction; how to short-circuit the negative emotions (and the resulting reactions) behind the perception of the "negative judgment" of criticism.

  • Improve Your Seat; connecting with others. How to improve their relationships as well as their connection to horses. Dealing with issues of jealousy with fellow riders.

  • Changing your Herd; how to stop hanging out with, or how to tune out, negative people.

  • The Right Aids; spurs or a crop? Discover what all your personal leverages are for motivating you forward into taking the action to change your life.

  • Leg Up; putting together your support team and asking for help. How to communicate to your trainer and parents the most effective process for working with you.

  • Sidelines; dealing with down time at shows, injuries or the financial inability to show and train as much as a rider would like to.

  • Ribbons and Trophies; conquering all those limiting beliefs about what you "don't have," "the tough competition," and how all that will prevent you from winning.

  • Practice Ring; you are either practicing habits of weakness or habits of strength.

  • Extreme Ownership versus Excuses; taking responsibility for our results in the ring and in life. 

  • Communication & Connection; how to effectively communicate with trainers, peers, and family for building healthier relationships.

  • Staying the Course: make a plan, commit to the plan, and stay the course. Quitting is not an option.


"This training has been great. I feel so much more confident going into the show ring, doing my best whether it is a training class, a real class, equitation or jumpers. It has really helped me throughout  the circuit at WEF. 

"That's really why I've had such a fun circuit.

"I am feeling so much less nervous in all parts of my life; my grades have improved because of our coaching  too! I have the confidence to speak to anyone about anything now. 

"This has been an amazing experience for me. I am not even the same person that I was before. You are incredible, Nancy. "

Lili Kaissar, NY, NY. Shown her with Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farms during WEF18. Photo credit: Nancy Dye



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To ensure a quality lifestyle and peak performance, for children or young adults, I offer several programs.


For Peak Performance:

  • Sports mental conditioning coaching for children up through young adults. This is not about the actual skills for the sport, but rather the 80% mindset and emotional strategies necessary to win. And while some sports coaches talk about with focus, anxiety, etc, I get to the deep core reasons why riders are being held back. I transform the foundation to include their identity and the "story" they showing up with in their riding and their life. I teach them how to build their own emotional strength and how to deal with the rest of their life; peer pressure, food and fitness issues, grades, social anxiety, depressions, relationship breakups, parents, divorcing, low self-esteem, self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors, loneliness, and how to change bad habits, etc.

    This is all the background noise that distracts athletes from focusing on and maintaining their drive to win. These fundamentals for being able to shift ourselves from reverse, or an idling position, can be applied to every stage of the child’s life.

    Most importantly, I uncover core beliefs; what a person REALLY believes about themselves, the world, their past and their future that may be holding them back from moving forward into their new high-performing personal best. Sports is all about the inner lives matching their new, improved physical skills, so I help riders transition from their old identity of who they used to be and into their new identity of who they dream to become.

    I discover what limiting beliefs they may unconsciously hold unto that could sabotage their success. I also discover the key leverage thoughts, events or beliefs that will work to help your child to move forward into action.

  • Emotional Strength and Resiliency Training for non-athletes; children up through young adults.

  • Coaching/education basic skills for parents/non-athletes; A variation of the above program that is also one-on-one coaching. 

Give your child the powerful gift of insight and strategies for peak performance. 

This is one-on-one, RESULTS coaching. This is about getting to know your child; who they are, what they need to shift, and discovering the blocks that may be holding them back from being their personal best.

I will be piecing together the puzzle of each unique individual and matching powerful strategies for each unique child. Your child will experience the process of using life skill strategies and techniques and they will feel the shift as well as the resistance and the solutions. 

This is a time commitment of one hour a week on the phone and then they will have small, incremental action steps to keep them in the mindset of consistently moving forward to implement these tools for jumping over all their hurdles. Change is about taking action! We know children are busy, so this is NOT a huge course on top of their already maxed-out schedules of camp, school, or competing (or work).

This coaching is powerful and effective. It is a game changer for peak performance, an absolute MUST for competitive equestrians and a truly life-changing gift. 

The changes are rapid and lasting.

My goal is to ensure that children or young adults can successfully build strong inner lives for becoming top competitive riders living out their dream lifestyles. 

Testimonial By 16 year old Kate Egan Who Trains With Emil Spadone at Redfield Farms in NJ and Ocala. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Ryback

Kate Egan finished in the top 1% of all my riders and then won this trophy and a car at the WEC Premier Equitation Cup!

Before coaching, list 2-3 of the greatest challenges in your life at that time (what types of things kept you awake at night and were pressing problems that needed to be solved in your life)?

a.) I was a perfectionist.

b.) I was an overthinker.

c.) I was stressed.

How were the above problems impacting your life (list as many as you can recall)?

a.) If something was not perfect in my round I would beat myself up about it. It would be hard for me to turn around my emotions to make use the pearls for the next round.

b.) I would think things I said or did would cause others to dramatically change their viewpoints about me. Additionally, I would think if someone saw a mess up in my round they would believe I was a bad rider or not worthy of a catch ride.

c.) I felt that I had many responsibilities that I could not handle. I felt that I was unable to get them all done, and that idea scared me.

What finally had you say “enough is enough” that inspired you to work with a coach?

All of my problems started to affect my mental state and riding in the show ring. I felt less confident, I was always crying, and I wasn’t feeling myself. I knew I needed to get back to who I truly was and become the strongest rider I knew I could be.

What was one of your favorite aspects of coaching?

One of my favorite aspects of coaching was not only learning the mental skills to be an equestrian rockstar, but also learning to have the time management and dedication I needed to achieve success.

Since coaching, what are some of the tangible results you’ve experienced in your life?

I feel unstoppable. I feel strong and empowered enough that no tasks or challenges are too much for me to do. I can balance all aspects of my life and execute everything with success. My show and academic results have improved, and my confidence in and out of the show ring is at its peak.

I became everything on the New Rider Identity list that I wanted to be!



Natalie Coffin, age 15, trains with Bull Run Equestrian Center in Elburn, Illinois

Photo Above from Lamplight Equestrian Center: Natalie ending up winning both rounds in the Juniors  to end up Champion. This new team also  started the week out strong by receiving Champion in the Modified Jumiors.

Her Testimonial (which was half-way through my program and before the above results!) 

On a scale of 1-10 (1 being "I can't believe I signed up for this coaching stuff" and 10 being "the most amazing thing I've ever experienced") please rate your coaching experience: 


What is your favorite part of the coaching process that you find to be the most helpful?

Learning the power poses and learning how to talk back to my Old Rider Idenity/Issues.

What challenges or goals do you feel are not being addressed at this time?

I can't think of anything.

What is not working well for you in the coaching experience?


What are some of the tangible changes in your life/business as a result of coaching?

I think I have done a complete 180. I don't let anything take away my skill, I can come out of a not-so-great warmup and still go out there and kill it! And I've noticed and stopped the negative and self-sabotaging stories I've been telling myself for so long that have held me back or tripped me up.

Jill Coffin (Mother): “Thank you, NancyDyeMindset, for all you are doing to help my daughter to be the best that she can be! What a difference you have made!’

Dave Coffin (Father): "Thank you for all you're doing for her. It's helping like you can't even imagine! Like game changing! Thank you!" 


Olivia Combs, one of my Equestrain Rockstar Brand Ambassadors. Trains with international showjumper, Kyle King in California.

Started coaching with me at 17, and now an AO showjumper. 

"I am 19 years old. I ride with Mark Kinsella of MK Equestrian based in Temecula, CA. About 10 years ago, I started seriously taking riding lessons at a small, local barn in Michigan before moving to what is now Ascend Equestrian, my family's hunter/jumper barn. I trained under Sarah Robertson for my entire Junior career. Her guidance took me from pony finals to numerous equitation finals and the low junior jumper championships. 

After finishing equitation finals in 2021, I moved to MK Equestrian to train under Irish Show Jumper, Mark Kinsella. By doing this, my goal was to better my show jumping career and fine tune my riding. While riding with Mark, I have obtained a lovely string of horses; Daisy Dee 16, Blueberry De Breve, and Once Upon a Time De Sens, I have reached and surpassed many of my goals for this year including success in the Medium and HIgh A/O Jumpers. 

My goals for this year are to debut my Grand Prix career and continue to have confidence and success in the ring. I am so grateful to my horses and everyone who has helped me to achieve my goals. I can't wait to see where the future takes me as I continue down my Equestrian Rockstar path!" 

Testimonial Question: 

 On a scale of 1-10 (1 being "I can't believe I signed up for this coaching stuff" and 10 being "the most amazing thing I've ever experienced"), please rate your coaching experience. 

 Answer: "10! I loved everything about it! Also, I absolutely loved reading Nancy's book! It was incredibly relatable, filled with her humor, and to top it off, educational. Well written with a charming voice, it was an extremely enjoyable read. Through her book and coaching program, my jumpers have never gone better, and I have never ridden so accurately!