This past summer, 32-year-old Danielle Goldstein stood on top of the podium at the €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Cascais CSI5* and placed in the individual top ten at the FEI European Championships. Aboard her superstar mount, Lizziemary, the fiery pair’s powerhouse season shows no signs of slowing down.

With her eyes set on the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, and then the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Israeli rider is no stranger to the kind of pressure that’s found inside the world’s most high-stakes arenas. Here, Danielle shares three ways she gets her head in the game and keeps her focus on the job at hand.

1. Keep your mind on your ride.

“The biggest thing is focusing on the job and not on the event,” explains Goldstein. “If you start thinking about the crowd and how important the event is, you’re done. It’s really important to just think about the plan and stick to it. Go in the ring, look down, don’t look at the crowd, just keep your mind on the game.”

2. Yep, deep-breathing works.

“I always take three, big, deep breaths. I warm-up on the horse, I’ll walk before my last vertical, and then I take three…breaths and try to get myself in a calm state,” says Goldstein. “Those deep breaths are the best way to calm down and get focused before I go in.”

3. Superstitions are totally normal. 

“I’m a very superstitious person,” Goldstein says, chuckling. “I always kiss my horse on the neck before I go in the ring—I’ve done that since I was a little kid. It’s habit now, I don’t even realize I’m doing it.”

Photo by Thomas Reiner for NF Style.