Tag Archives: training motivation

Crystal System Dressage – Chapter 1


Crystal System BookPhew!  I have never been one for taking things to the wire.  I am a planner by nature but getting this book to you before Christmas has challenged me.

The launch date is set for 30th November 2015 and on the lead up to the big date I will be sharing with you snippets of The Crystal System Book (in condensed form) to give you a feel for what to expect and help you decide how it might help you.

Let’s kick off with Chapter 1 explaining the format of the book and what you can expect from the system.

TransitionsReally, hope you like it …

Meet Crystal …

It is with great pleasure that in Chapter 1 I introduce you to Crystal, a cartoon character, illustrated by yours truly, inspired by Mark’s very own Lusitano mare, Sintra.  She will lighten your spirits and inject a little fun along the way! 
Look UpEach chapter has a motivational quotation at the beginning, which reflects the content of the chapter and sets the mood. Continue reading Crystal System Dressage – Chapter 1

Coming Soon! The Crystal System Book

It’s on it’s way … The Crystal System Book!

It has been what seems like forever since I began The Crystal System Book but it is finally with the printers and we are now on the build up to release.  So, in honour of getting to this point, my website will also be relaunched very soon, as I’ve had it redesigned in readiness for the book launch.  From the new website you will be able to pre-order the book and certainly within the next month I should hope to have a launch date.  Anyone who wants to register their interest in receiving the book should subscribe to the blog or email me at help@likecrystal.com.

I’m talking to a number of retailers about how to get the book to you and of course, no self respecting author can get to a worldwide audience without the help of Amazon where it will also be available.

Crystal System BookI am very, very excited to be sharing this with you.  Over the coming weeks I will give you some snippets and tasters from the book to allow you to assess if you think it could help you.  Lets begin with the synopsis about The Crystal System.

About The System

“Many horse riding training methods and systems of training are mechanical; techniques which the trainer will try to instil in a pupil.  To ride well you need ‘feel’, which is not only difficult to teach, it’s difficult for a trainer to explain and difficult for a rider to grasp.  It helps if you can develop sensitivity and tact; build your body so that it can work with the horse’s movement; understand the affects you are having on your horse and understand what is at the heart of everything you do. Continue reading Coming Soon! The Crystal System Book

In the Stirrups Magazine – October 2015

In the StirrupsIn the StirrupsIn the Stirrups Magazine is back, bigger, brighter, better and packed full of goodies that you’ll love.  Anne Cage at Confident Horsemanship shares advice on how to handle your ‘spooky’ horse. There are interviews with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin and Daisy Jackson Dressage gets some great news about her ride on Blackberry in her blog article.

But not least, check out my article on pages 31 through to 33 and sign up so that you don’t miss future issues.

In the Stirrups Magazine – October 2015 Issue article: Could You Cast The First Stone?

Observing a riders’ application and proportion of punishment to reward can be endlessly fascinating, a great way to learn and very telling of a riders training methods and riding mindset.

Continue reading In the Stirrups Magazine – October 2015

Fair Weather Rider

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!  Fair Weather RiderThis 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

In The Stirrups – January 2015

 In the Stirrups Magazine – January 2015 is out.

My article entitled ‘This Business of Dressage’ is the second part of a two part series looking at a business like approach to your training.  It is very motivational can be found on page 29 through to page 31.  I have, however, replicated the article below for you, but please take a look at the magazine, it has some great stuff, including …


and much, much more …


In my last article I made a number of comparisons between business values and how they can be applied to your dressage journey.  This month I am continuing that theme with BIG thinking.  I have been relatively successful in business and it occurred to me that a businesslike approach to training would not only bring a fresh look at everything but also might just be a little thought provoking.

Continue reading In The Stirrups – January 2015

In the Stirrups – Dec 2014

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.



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.


Continue reading In the Stirrups – Dec 2014

12 Dressage Tips for Christmas 2014

In 2013 I bought you 12 tips over 12 days on The Dressage Tipster Facebook Page.  This year I have amalgamated all 12 into one post for those of you who had not discovered The Crystal System last year.
A bit of festive fun and some useful stuff in there too …dressage tips
On the 1st Day of Christmas the Dressage Tipster said to me

Guess“Above all else ensure that your horse is forward. As long as the horse goes forward, he will not have time to think of evasions. Whenever you get a problem of any description, think of my favourite ‘F’ word” 

 On the 2nd day of Christmas the Dressage Tipster said to me …

Meet A Finalist: The Dressage Tipster by Haynet


There are now four days left to vote in this years hotly contended Haynet Equestrian Blogger of the Year 2014. Every day this week, we are showcasing each finalist promoting their blog and why they should have your vote.

Today’s promotional post is from Patricia who writes the super The Dressage Tipster. Here in her own words is why she started writing her equestrian blog:
Continue reading Meet A Finalist: The Dressage Tipster by Haynet

Dressage Competition – Test Pilot

Hi Folks,

I haven’t given you much to work with lately and I apologise profusely, I am busy finalising the book and doing the illustrations.  I just wanted to drop you a brief line to say that the Dressage Competition for the Test Pilots is closed and they have been selected.  Now all I need to do is contact with the winners.

I will reveal all next week.  How exciting!

Dressage CompetitionIn the meantime, if you have any specific problems that you need help with right now, feel free to drop me a line either by email or just in the comments below and I’ll get working on some more tips for the blog for you.

Have a good weekend all.

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster


Good Balanced Position

Having issues establishing and keeping a good balanced position?

I had a comment from my good friend Johanne Picken which might help you all …“I remember a blog you wrote regarding it most often being the rider that is unknowingly at fault, rather than the horse but I just didn’t realise just how much the rider’s body and position affects how the horse goes!” 

balanced positionHere’s the blog Johanne is referring to …Is it me or is it my horse?

Give this some thought yourself. What are you doing to influence the horse?  If when you ask correctly you get the correct response, doesn’t it follow that if you are not getting the correct response you may  not be asking correctly?   Step back, take a look at yourself. What could you be doing wrong?  Self analysis of your position from head to toe each time you climb aboard your horse will reap benefits.  Give it a go.

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster