Hy Rey Bound intermediate champion award
NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Intermediate Open Champion – proudly owned by SDP Buffalo Ranch

A Champion’s Mind

Do you want to be a champion? Do you want to be the greatest? Well, me too! How do we get there?

There is a cool book by Dr. Jim Afremow called “The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive.” This book breaks down the mental strategies that champions use on the field, supports these claims by drawing on examples from all fields of athletics and then shows you how to adapt those same techniques to further yourself. Jim says nobody has a “champion’s mind” gene. You are not born a champion, you become one. If you practice thinking like a champion, then you will, in turn, act and feel like one.

So, how do champions think? Champions think only of the win! They never aim for second place, nor do they settle for it. The only mission is to perform at your very best. Jim lays a lot of stress on the idea that mental conditioning is key, using the analogy of stacking blocks to build a castle. Here are the building blocks he says you need to arrange in order to become a champion:

  • TechnicalYour mechanics and your coordination
  • Tactical – The strategies you use to outmaneuver your opponent on the court, field, etc.
  • Physical – Strength, stamina and conditioning
  • Mental– Your thoughts, your feelings and your emotions. Note that this is different from tactics; it doesn’t relate to the mental techniques you use on your opponents, but upon yourself. It’s more about psyching yourself up than psyching someone else out.

A lot of us focus overwhelmingly on the first three blocks. But Jim argues that if the mental building block isn’t in place, then the entire stack will tip over under pressure and victory will evade you.

Jim gives us these Champion’s Mind tips about being a champion on your big day of performance:

Make practice as close to the big day as you can. Our intensity level is often too low during practice. Try to get the most out of your practice by devoting the same intensity to your practice that you do to your performance. Make it as close as possible to actual performance conditions.

Minimize the magnitude of the big day. In fact, don’t even think of it as a BIG DAY. Consider it a “fancy practice.” Jim talks about athletes turning on their “game face.” His advice: get rid of game face. Just bring YOUR face, which is always game-ready.

Roll with the punches when you lose. What makes a champion a champion? Not just their skill at achieving victory, but their resilience in springing back from defeat. Champions have thick skins. Are they devastated by defeat? Absolutely. But are they discouraged? No! Champions relish the opportunity to perform to confront adversity. They lose, they lick their wounds, they come back and they win in style. If you practice thinking about yourself with that level of resilience, so can you.

Kids petting horse
Clay Volmer, Shane Plummer with his kids, Maggie and Smith

At SDP Buffalo Ranch, we try every day to have a champion’s mind. We practice and work on the building blocks to set us apart in this industry. As a team, we practice being the very best at everything we do. There is not on part of SDP Buffalo Ranch that is more important than the other. We all need to be working at our very best to make us the CHAMPIONS of what we do. We all work very hard and we are very proud of who we are!

In the past, we have been surrounded by champions in different disciplines. If you look at each of them individually, they are all great at what they do. Collectively, they all have something in common… A CHAMPION’S MIND! The owners, the trainers and their team of professionals and the horses…ALL of them have a champion’s mind! They think gold; they never aim for silver, nor do they settle for it. Study the champions in your life. Learn from them and think like them. We can all be champions.

In this instance, we would like to congratulate and celebrate the latest CHAMPIONS in the SDP Buffalo Ranch family – SDP Hy Rey Bound and PG Heavily Armed.

Clay Volmer stopping cow on fence
Photo by Primo

SDP Hy Rey Bound is by the great sire and Dual Rey’s No. 1 siring son, TR Dual Rey. He is out of our very own homegrown mare SDP Hydriven Hicapoo. From the beginning, this black stallion was special. He had a look and a way about him. He was started by Christian Miller, who was the assistant trainer for Paul Hansma at the time.

Christian said, “He was gritty from the start. I think Clay fondly calls him ‘Brute,’ and it fits him to a T. He was always very athletic and had a lot of heart.”

Once Clay Volmer took the reins, he was impressed with the horse.

“The first time I rode him, I realized he was exceptionally strong. He wasn’t very big, but he was so strong! I gave him my test drive, and he was strong enough to stay on lead at full speed, so that was great. As he progressed, he would just keep on impressing me. He stops huge, he turns huge. He is so gritty.”

Clay Volmer circling cow
Photo by Primo

“After this run, I just knew,” Clay said. “It was so clean and organized; the plan had been executed perfectly. This is what this horse was born to do! He is so incredibly fast, but he is so controlled and intentional. I’d like to thank Shane for sending him to me, I look forward to his future!”

Well, PG Heavily armed is on FIRE! He is by $9 million sire Playgun and out of 1997 NCHA Horse of the Year Not Quite An Acre. He and James Payne are just slaying it! This stallion is so impressive.

James says, “The biggest thing I like about him is his physicality. My stuff is grit and cow horse, and I feel comfortable on a horse that I can expose, and he fits that mold. I can hold a bad cow or a good cow for a long time, every time.”

PG Heavily Armed Cutting
Brazos Bash Classic/Challenge Open Champion & Southern Cutting Futurity Classic/Challenge Open Reserve Champion – proudly owned by Mike & Brenda Armstrong

PG Heavily Armed was just crowned the Classic/Challenge Open Reserve Champion at the Southern, adding to his impressive show record, which includes the Brazos Bash Classic/Challenge Open Championship, West Texas Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting Open Championship, NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Open Championship and The Non Pro plus The Open Derby Open Co-Championship. He has been an Open finalist 25 times to date and his lifetime earnings now exceed $228,000.

We are proud to be standing PG Heavily Armed. His 2019 breeding fee is $2,000 (plus chute fee). Contact us today for your contract.