2017 is in full flow and now that the summer is here most of us will be turning our attention to what it is we want, nay need to do in 2017.
The end of 2016 was a very reflective time for me. I lost my mum in November which was profoundly life changing. Not just because she is no longer here and I have a big dark hole in my heart, but because she was so ill for so long that the anxiety I felt whilst looking after her has lifted. I now seem to have so much time.
I got to thinking about my horsey goals and my competition dream which I tinkered with in 2016 but couldn’t be pursued in earnest. I got to thinking.
- Is this still relevant?
- Do I REALLY want to do this with my newly found and extremely valuable spare time?
- Is the effort worth the reward?
- Do I even have the energy?
Continue reading Shoot For The Moon
Quite why I am unable to recreate all the good work I do when my coach is standing in the middle of the manege has always been a bit of a mystery to me. It is a sad fact that I rarely put in as much physical effort when schooling alone and it is the encouragement of my trainer that tends to galvanise my resilience and fortitude, but instructor dependence can be soul destroying.
It seems that those riders that do not have an issue with this have trained their brain to retain the instruction and have a mind-set that creates a hugely powerful incentive to adopt certain behaviours or choices that are critical to training success. No matter what has gone on in their day they have the determination to put everything aside for the ride.
But how do you retain that instruction?
Continue reading 8 Tips To Help Your Brain Retain Instruction
There I was, stood looking at the results board, whilst she grinned from ear to ear, chattering away with her entourage, she had every right to be celebrating her victory … again!!!
I don’t really know her well, just know her name really from being at the top of the leader board and I may have taken a peek at her facebook page, so I didn’t have to celebrate with her, a mumbled ‘well done’ with a touch on the arm was sufficient. Turning away with a heavy sigh, I could feel the weight of defeat heavy against my chest. It had happened again, just like before, I bombed out! There has to be a silver lining in it all, right?
If I was going to fail at every competition, then it was time to stop and take a moment to celebrate the small wins. Not the red rosette, the 70%+ score, or the Regional Qualification, no. Instead, I’m talking about celebrating the small stuff; the little things that most brush off as no big deal or not good enough, particularly when the goal is to be competitive. I’m talking about actively looking for the wins and celebrating them. Here are some small win examples from my last outing: Continue reading Celebrate the Small Wins
I know that there are two sides to every story and whilst I have very clear, definitive views of my own, I am able to empathise with other viewpoints and put myself in other people’s shoes. I will always listen to a reasoned arguments. Continue reading The Way We Think About Dressage Is Depressing
As we travel life’s arduous road, our life experiences help us shape and develop the core values we hold dear. They mature into a set of principles which we deem significant and refer to time and time again, because we consider them worthy, useful and important to us.
There are so many fabulously inspirational stories coming out of the Rio Olympics; stories of how athletes have overcome great strife to achieve their dreams of becoming an Olympian. Continue reading 5 Olympic Values That Shape What I Do
I’d like to bet that the majority of aspiring dressage riders enjoy their riding. Yet how often do you see a smile on the face of a rider whilst training? The answer, in my experience, is not often.
A very simple and hugely beneficial tip is to relax the lower part of your face; smile from the inside. By doing so, your face will soften, your eyes will relax, so will your jaw and it will help you to relax your shoulders and arms.
Continue reading SMILE FROM THE INSIDE
Gotta love those generous guys at Blue Chip Feed, following the success of their All Star Academy series on Horse and County TV – a mixture of Big Brother, The Apprentice and Pony Club involving 8 contestants going head-to-head in various equine and media related tasks to find the eventual winner, Rhi-Lee Jones they are running a competition in which one person on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter will win over £290.00 worth of products.
Mahoosive contratulations to Rhi-Lee.
Hop over to the Blue Chip Feed Facebook Page and give it a go! Just gotta like and share.
Continue reading Blue Chip Feed – Competition Give Away
A little PICK ME UP
Problems and set-backs in your riding are inevitable. When everything seems to be going wrong, practice asking these questions of yourself to give you a quick and easy ‘pick you up’:
“How far have I come?”
During a recent training session I kept dropping my inside hand in the canter a centimetre, maybe two. It was having a detrimental effect on my horse’s ability to stay on the circle. To Mark this kind of problem is like a beacon flashing at him, to him it looks like I’m dragging her round with the inside hand and he said so! I got a little uptight about the whole thing so ‘skulked’ off after the session to reminded myself that there was a time when I couldn’t canter more than 2 circles without collapsing in an exhausted, purple faced heap and my circles were what I now call squircles (squarish circles), egg shaped or worse I couldn’t actually get my horse onto a circle without actually dragging her round with the inside rein. (I am ashamed to confess)
It’s all relative, when things are going wrong, it’s hard to recognise what is going right. It’s easy to screen out the good things and only focus on the bad things. Remind yourself that some things are going right. Purposely look for the positive, even if it is something very small. Continue reading Pick Me Up
The more you know, the more you will realise that you don’t know!
I have made a lot of mistakes, had my expectations shattered and I’ve wanted to throw in the towel many times. So today I want to share 11 Dressage lessons I’ve learned. No instructor is going to give you these dressage lessons in the arena, you’d probably not want to waste your saddle time talking to them about this stuff. It is all about finding out about yourself as a rider and how you are going about making the changes you need to make.
It’s a long article, so grab a cuppa!
Dressage Lesson #1. Pah! Advice
I’m going to start with one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned, which is to learn to filter advice. Yes, even my advice. In the end, what works for me may not work for you. You have to listen to your inner GPS and see what feels right for you, then do that. Continue reading 11 Dressage Lessons Your Instructor Will Not Give You