Category Archives: Motivation

Shoot For The Moon

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?

We all face obstacles in pursuit of our goals, particularly us amateurs whose goals are associated with our hobby.  That is our free time.  The very definition suggest that there is more important stuff to be getting on with, and sure enough this important stuff will always get in the way.  The job, the family, the spouse, the household and for those of you that have them, most definitely the children.

Maybe we believe we are on the right track but realise we’ve chosen the wrong approach and we are not making progress; we’re enthusiastic and hard-working, but our support system collapses when we need them the most or we’re just about to make significant progress when a life changing event over which we have no power occurs.

DreamEnthusiastic, self-disciplined, tenacious as we may be, we all have a breaking point; that moment when the potential rewards simply stop justifying the effort.  At times like this when your world is turned on its head, before you throw in the towel consider this:

  1. Because You’re Worth It

You had a good reason for committing to this plan. Odds are, you still want those things as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could do it because your attempts have yet to yield the full results.  If you push on and extend your deadline will it be worth it in the end?

  1. Analysis Paralysis

There are masses of great sites with powerful and sometimes conflicting information, it is so easy to overwhelm yourself with more knowledge than you can apply. You read, participate in coaching sessions and join forums.  You spend a disproportionate amount of time planning or you devote minimal energy to multiple plans instead of committing to one solid approach.

Don’t give up because of this, streamline your data, narrow it down and start again from a less overwhelming space.

  1. Judgement Day

It’s useful to consider what would be the worst thing that might happen if you do not achieve your goal.  Often when I want to turn around and walk away it’s because I’m afraid of failing; afraid to disappoint others. In reality, no one ever judges us like we judge ourselves, and we always grow and learn through the process of striving, regardless of what we attain.

If you don’t keep going, you’ll never know how far you could have gone and you’ll miss out on being the person you’d become through the effort itself.

  1. Kick Back Dude

Are you acting on impulse or emotion instead of thinking things through?  Sometimes our emotions give us hints about what we want and what we should do, but other times they’re just responses to stress.  If you act in that moment of intense emotion, be it anger, fear, or frustration, you may regret it once the wave has passed.  Kick back, take note of what you’re feeling. Feel it fully, without judging it or yourself. Then act when you’ve gotten to the other side. Sleep on it perhaps.  At least then you’ll know you made your decision in a moment of peace and clarity.  

  1. Gimme A Break!

Would your life be better if you gave up this goal?  Not very motivational but sometimes giving up is the right thing to do. Perhaps you set a completely unrealistic goal and the pursuit of it is filling you with a constant sense of inadequacy and anxiety. Give yourself a break, make a new goal.

  1. The Sunk Cost Principle

A concept studied in social psychology called “the sunk cost principle” indicates the more we’ve invested in something, the less likely we are to prematurely walk away.  How invested are you? Have you devoted a lot of money and time? How many sacrifices have you made? Are you really willing to chalk it all up as a loss because you’re not feeling confident in your abilities?  Remember, you have learnt a lot on the way, you may have reaped all the benefits you are going to reap.

  1. Be Your Own Best Friend

Would you tell your best friend to throw in the towel because she can’t possibly reach this goal if she were you? Or would you practice your finest motivational speech and help her see what you see in her potential?  You are your own best friend because you more than anyone else in this world, deserve your own belief and motivation.

  1. Somewhere Over The Rainbow

DreamJust how close are you to this goal?  If only you knew what an impact would be for one more training session, one more lesson and just one more late night working on your passion. What if just a little more time would get you over this negativity hump?

Are you going to give up or recalculate your journey to your dream destination?

I’m hoping that reading through these eight thought-provoking paragraphs will help you see that attaining your goal is about adjusting your performances; tweaking the specifics of the goal; giving yourself a break when the curve ball hits and keeping that golden shred of hope alive.

Maybe take a different approach or enlist new help, perhaps scale back your time commitment. If you still have a spark in your soul and hope in your heart, dust yourself down, pick yourself up and just keep going.  Go find your passion.

Me?  I’ve just had the best news on a struggle I have been ‘fighting’ for 17 years.  I’ve decided to put all that extra time I have into my dream and living my life the way mum wanted me to.  Happy, calm and fulfilled.

Best wishes as always,

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster

8 Tips To Help Your Brain Retain Instruction

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

Celebrate the Small Wins

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

5 Olympic Values That Shape What I Do

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.

Crystal System DressageA 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

Blue Chip Feed – Competition Give Away

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.

Blue Chip Feed

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

Pick Me Up

 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 Pick Me UpMark 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)Embarrassed Smiley

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

11 Dressage Lessons Your Instructor Will Not Give You

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

dressage lessonsI’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

Strong and Pretty In Pink – GIVEAWAY

PinkLooking Strong in Pink!  WHO likes the look of this set?  And wants one absolutely …PinkPink

  • Pink (no sorry Raspberry)
  • EuroStar Full Size
  • Dressage Cut Saddle Cloth
  • Diamond quilting
  • Fly Veil
  • Pretty edge design
  • Smart logo design in the corner
  • Saddle Cloth Retailing at £49.00
  • Fly Veil Retailing at £20

So, £69.00 worth of giveaway! Completely FREE

Continue reading Strong and Pretty In Pink – GIVEAWAY