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
A Crystal System subscriber wrote to me because she was feeling guilty for not riding in the rain.
Hey Ho! not riding due to the weather, once in a while isn’t worth beating yourself up about. It’s when it becomes a regular thing and is affecting your overall progress that you need a strategy to overcome any lethargy you are experiencing over, riding in bad weather.
To help you feel less guilty you could use the time to do something equally constructive towards your goal, like fitness training, stretching or stamina work maybe. Learning or applying massage techniques that may help your horse is a good one. Cleaning tack can be very therapeutic! Reading the Crystal System Blog archive will always help! This work is just as needed as the riding, so if you are having a bit of a fair weather rider day, you won’t feel like you have wasted the time as long as it is something that is contributing towards your dressage goals.
Continue reading Fair Weather Rider
Just realised I didn’t share December’s edition of IN THE STIRRUPS MAGAZINE with you … Doh!
Here it is for your belated enjoyment. My article is shown on pages 27 – 31 and in all it’s full glory below.
THIS BUSINESS OF DRESSAGE
As the year comes to a close, we become reflective and looking back I have been relatively successful in my career, starting out as a secretary and moving through first line management to middle management and now reaching the dizzy heights of Director.
Turning to my dressage ambitions, it occurred to me that what separates ‘the wheat from the chaff’ in the equestrian world is a burning desire, a thirst for knowledge, structure and a businesslike approach. This has clearly been applied in my working life but until recent years has been sadly lacking in the approach I took to my riding. The burning desire was there but no structure. Success then is a philosophy, an attitude, it’s a state of mind and it is available to each and every one of us. So if you want it, but can’t get the leverage you need, I’ve put together a three part series, beginning with business values that can very easily be applied to your approach to your training and help you get the focus and motivation to achieve your riding goals.
- WHO MADE ‘COMPETITION’ A BAD WORD?
Continue reading In the Stirrups – Dec 2014
My thought processes are too slow! The messages from my brain to my body are too slow! I have to sharpen up.
In a dressage test there are a succession of movements, one after the other, all requiring different thought processes, aids, body movements in which the aim is to do as little as possible!
So, after my latest not-so-good training session I walked, trotted and cantered the movements on foot (without the horse) – going through each step of what I should do when on the horse. Tracing the tracks I had made in the surface (note to self, you are not using the corners and your straight lines are not straight!)
The hope is that it will be retained whilst I have the time to think and become semi-automatic when I climb aboard. It is a useful exercise, but make sure that your friends know what you are doing – you look mighty silly cantering round the ménage without a horse!