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
We have teamed up with Equine Magazine to offer an exclusive package of dressage goodies including a copy of The Crystal System Book, A Blue Chip Dressage Saddle Cloth and a set of Kitt Equestrian Dressage Wraps.
I am absolutely delighted with The Crystal System book review featured on Page 45 of the July 2016 Issue of Equine Magazine, they say … Continue reading Equine Magazine – July 2016
Real Life Rider Series
A recent message touched a nerve with me and I thought it would be a great subject to share.
“My biggest hurdle is trusting myself that I can do it. I trust my horse but not myself.”
As I read this a quote from my book came instantly to mind …
“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think” – Benjamin Disraeli
It’s not easy to fully understand the specific issues from just one sentence so I hope my advice hit the spot. In any event, it’s a good read for anyone not feeling particularly awesome about their riding just now.
Perhaps you feel like you’re a fraud, an imposter, or simply not good enough?
The dressage fraternity can do that to you. I was surprised to learn that the vast majority of successful people feel like impostors from time to time; it’s actually a positive sign. Feelings of faking it are usually associated with intelligence, diligence and, paradoxically, competence. Slackers, blusterers and the genuinely incompetent tend not to stress about feeling like fakers.
Try to re-frame your thinking: Continue reading Trust Yourself To Train Your Horse
Real Life Rider Series
“Being able to focus is my biggest hurdle. It is so easy to go off the wagon.”
I received this message from a new subscriber today. I found myself nodding and staring at the words, remembering my own struggles. I sympathise, I really do. A common problem that many of us are guilty of is to think about how hard something is to achieve. Just thinking about it makes you tired. I have been known to talk myself into being so tired that I couldn’t possibly put in the physical effort required to train my horse only to find that if I dig deep and do it, the riding actually energises me and I feel so much better afterwards.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started”– Mark Twain
Instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. So, don’t think about how tiring it is to go to the stables, tack up and ride, instead focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done. The fruits of your labour will help to energise you. When you dig deep into your ‘drive reserves’ and make the effort to ride you often get your best results. This always amazes me and is a scientific fact. There are small organs (look up Mitochrondria) located within our cells that work like tiny power packs to produce energy and the more aerobic exercise you do the more energy becomes available to you via these tiny organs. Just Wow!
Get Focus – Finding The Drive Reserves …
Continue reading Focus – A Big Hurdle
You are having a lesson
Your issue is that your outside shoulder drops and turns to the outside on the right rein. Your coach explains what is happening and demonstrates how your body position is affecting your horse. You are very clear in your mind what is going wrong and what you need to do to rectify it. It’s your turn to show what you have learnt. You put yourself into position and off you go onto the right rein. You start off with the shoulders in alignment with the horse but before you have turned half a circle the shoulder has dropped and is tuned in the wrong way, exactly as you had before the instruction. You do it wrong.
Are you not trying? Are you a fool? Of course not, you are perfectly normal and have reacted exactly just as 85% of riders do. Why? Because of muscle memory. Most of us have come across this term at some point in our training, but it is not a memory stored in the muscles, of course, but memories stored in your brain. If you’re practising your riding skills over and over again, the idea is that you’ll continue to improve, after all ‘practice makes perfect’ right?
My very good friend’s horse is broken (her words). It is an utter tragedy. This horse is a lovely character, he is handsome and well bred (Rubinstein), a great mover who had fantastic potential; a real gem of a horse and very much loved. Out of respect for my friend I will not go into detail but I tell you this because the irony is weighing heavy on me.
Looking out for another horse, insult is added to injury (no pun intended) due to how appallingly difficult it is to find a young warm blood here in the U.K. with pure gaits. I am not suggesting it is easier on the continent either! Pure gaits are so important in dressage because they help create a supple, symmetric horse; developing a healthy muscle structure that supports the spine and the ribcage evenly through every expansion and contraction. Asymmetrical, short stepping horses develop muscular restriction with every step that impairs their health and thus training progress.
Now I do not want to open up a can of worms, because I have forming views that I do not like, have not completely and fully researched and as yet are unproven. The fact is that we are seeing more and more horses coming to our small yard with asymmetry issues, so much so that in the past 6 months we have begun to specialise in post op, rehabilitation with at least 5 x spine surgeries, 2 x suspensory ops, 2 x dental ops, every single horse some level of remedial farriery – I could go on but it is waaaay too depressing.
So, turning to the search for a backed four year old who is ready to start his/her career the focus is one the whole horse and pure even, active gaits.
What are PURE GAITS?
Continue reading Pure Gaits
Page 14 and 15 – Daisy Jackson Dressage ‘connects’ with The Crystal System Book – see full review below.
Also, this month In The Stirrups magazine …
- Catches up with Dressage Star Valentina Truppa – great interview
- Meets the adorable foals of Corradee Stud
- Talks to Valerie Ashker about her 3500 mile trek across the USA to raise awareness for ex racing Thoroughbreds
And lot’s more:
Daisy Jackson ‘CONNECTS’ with The Crystal System Book
Continue reading In the Stirrups Magazine – May 2016
Do you have a Dressage Test coming up? Want to ditch your caller (or commander) but just don’t have the confidence to know you will remember that test when the pressure is on? For some bizarre reason I can do this well! Remembering a test is the least of my problems on competition day. If you have difficulties with this it can increase the competition day stress factor considerably.
There’s a learning theory called ‘Edgar Dale’s Cone of Learning’ which reveals how we retain information when delivered in various styles. It shows you, at a glance, how we retain information from the activities we are involved in.
This information is not only going to help you retain information for your dressage test, but help you to develop a strategy for remembering – full stop.
According to the Cone of Learning Model after 2 weeks we will remember:
- 10% of what we READ
- 20% of what we HEAR
- 30% of what we SEE
- 50% of what we SEE AND HEAR
- 70% of what we SAY
- 90% of what we SAY & DO
Generally, we learn actively or passively.
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