Name: Blythe Novick
City/State: New Canaan, Connecticut
How long have you been part of the horse world? 10 years
What part do you play in the horse world?
I compete nationally in show jumping and regionally in ice hockey. I love that I can experience two completely different worlds. While they may appear different from the outside, I feel as though the lessons I learn in riding and hockey surprisingly complement each other. So many key lessons have come out of both and, ultimately, I’m better because of it. While pursuing riding and hockey, I’ve learned immense resilience, composure, perseverance, grit and how to cope with any outcome.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love the coaching I receive while doing both hockey and riding. Even though the sports are so different, the lessons are very similar. The mental tactics that I have learned are transferable to all aspects of my life.
My trainer, Ruth Nicodemus, has instilled in me that such a small margin of riding is what happens to you, and an immense portion of it is how you react to it. She taught me how to reflect on the positives and acknowledge the things that need work, but not dwell on the negatives. When something goes wrong in the show ring, I feel that mindset has given me the ability to fight and pull my round back together and finish on a high note, without letting it spiral.
This invaluable tool has been one that I carry with me from the ring to the rink. In a competitive hockey game, things can quickly take a turn. The determining factor between a comeback and a loss is knowing how you respond to pressure. That tool Ruth taught me when I was 8 has become instinct in moments like these, and this has made all of the difference in my success playing hockey. I can stay positive, stay motivated and react accordingly, which seems to be contagious on a team.
Another tip I picked up in the rink and used with the horses is something my hockey coach, Ryan Hull, constantly says: “Just be good. When you just shoot to do your job and be good, that’s when you are able to open the door to greatness.” It’s a tool I find myself always using when I begin putting unhealthy pressure on myself.
What’s your biggest achievement?
In terms of physical achievements in riding, I would say probably accumulating numerous tricolors at Marshall and Sterling and CHJA Finals through the years in the ponies, hunters, medals and jumpers. My biggest ice hockey achievements have been winning first-team All-County and All-State accolades following the conclusion of each of my three high school seasons, along with winning counties, states and regionals with my team.
What are your goals for the future?
Eventually, I’d love to become a professional in show jumping. I would love to focus on bringing along young horses and doing sales.
What’s he best thing about your life?
The best thing about my life is the people I’m surrounded by, in particular Ruth and the team at Serenity Show Stables. Ruth stops at no lengths to make sure my goals are attainable. I’m also eternally grateful for all the incredible animals she has brought into my life and allowed me to ride. I admire Ruth’s poise, grit, intelligence, resilience and compassion for the animals and people around her. I strive to model these characteristics daily and I’m a better person because of it.
Best-kept secret about what you do?
I think my best-kept secret is to meditate! No one really expects that from me, as I’m constantly on the move and not one to sit still for very long. Ruth got me into meditating for these exact reasons: She thought it would be beneficial to my riding if I could create a clean, calm headspace. Now, it’s the most important part of my day!