The Training Plan

The Training Plan

I’ll be the first to admit I used to have a horrible plan when it came to organising my weekly sessions. Even more so when they were leading up to a competition. I used to drill, drill and drill until I stressed myself out, made the horse tense and then felt like throwing in the towel for that weekends competition.

Perhaps have a little sob on the inside… and outside.

It can be so easy to spiral down into a rut when you feel under pressure. I haven’t been into the competition arena for over 7 months, while this might not seem like a long time for some it was an extremely long time for me! I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a perfectly planned week leading into it. But it worked out pretty well on the day.

Why?

Because I didn’t stress out. I stuck to my usual weekly plan.

I had a paddock ride on the previous Sunday, Monday was a day off, Tuesday was a lunging session, Wednesday I had a super ride in the arena, Thursday was day off, Friday was a lunging day as was Saturday.

Things come up during the week and the days get shifted around or I simply run out of hours in the day.

The day of the competition I made sure I got on and had a good strong walk around the indoor to warm up, followed by a forward trot and canter. Then I ran through our transitions within the trot and canter. Made sure he felt positive, forward and was listening to my aids.

The training plan

My goal on the day was to score over 60% and I achieved this goal. I felt focused, I felt like I rode positively towards that goal. Of course, there is always something to work on and to strive for better marks, a few miscommunications and not well-prepared transitions during the test. But that is what this sport is all about, setting a plan to achieve your goals to progress through the levels.

Ideally my weeks would be to ride 3-4 times a week, lunge at least 2-3 times a week with 1-2 days off. Of course, being an amateur owner/rider, the days can change with work and weather etc. The days I ride I mix it up between the arena and the big paddock. I don’t like to do the ‘same thing’ two days in a row. Mixing it up is beneficial to the horses’ mind and body.

The training plan

 

It is all part of our training system that we are forever evolving and shaping into something better. Every rider is different, every rider runs their stable differently and every rider trains differently. But we are all in this sport together, wanting to achieve our goals and become better riders to advance up the levels and get the best out of our horses. While keeping them fit, healthy, happy and enjoying the work.

the training plan

 

I honestly enjoy reading about other riders training systems. How many days a week they work the horses, what kind of work, what body work the horses have, what training gear they use, how they recover the horses after the work and what they focus on with their horse within their weekly routine. I find it so fascinating finding out even the smallest detail of the way they run their own stable.

When you really think about it, it is everything and everyone involved who contribute towards your training system, your weekly plan and your success to achieving your goals.

For me most importantly besides the training aspect, I ensure our horses body work is once a month. Which, since setting their body work on a regular basis. I can see a huge difference not only in their performance but also in their posture and their work ethic. I also have set homework of stretches for the horses to help improve between their sessions. But I have to admit, I do try and be an A+ student! 😊 it truly is satisfaction seeing the horses improve between visits knowing how well you have been doing your homework!

So.

How does your training plan look? Do you have a plan, do you wing it, do you feel stressed out week after week or simply play it by ear?

I’m one of ‘those’ people who enjoy reading a book that as paper pages, I enjoy printing things to highlight important details. That why I have a small basic planner to help you think about your weekly aims and goals. I find it beneficial to sit down and put pen to paper and write out things.

The basic weekly planner can be downloaded from here, completely free! It is emailed directly to you after check out! (it’s my way to keep tabs on how many are downloaded 😉, any problems let me know and I can send it to you directly!)Basic weekly training planner

 

The not so perfectly planned year

When I was writing down my goals for this year I was super excited to picture my goal kicking year ahead. I was focused on three areas of my life; training and competition, personal development and professional development.

Recently rereading my post “goals for the coming year” my heart sank a little, because I feel I haven’t achieved not one small part of my goals that I had set out to do. Unfortunately, its life, things come up. I broke my collarbone in May and was out of the saddle for a while, which led me to have a knock-on effect to be a little unmotivated with my personal and professional development goals. Once you feel down and out it takes a while to gain that momentum for the uphill climb.

Once you feel down and out it takes a while to gain that momentum for the uphill climb.

But you know what, after enjoying a glass of wine (or two, or three. But, hey who’s counting 😉) I had a thought to myself. The year is not over, I still have time to tick a few of my goals off my list and start to shape my 2019 from here.

The not so perfectly planned year

Coming back into the competition arena after 7 months. Better yet, 209 days ago or 60% of my 2018. (wow sounds a little depressing!) makes me feel a little nervous on the inside. Especially since we have only been back training since July, 66 days or 18.08% of my 2018!

The not so perfectly planned year

I have re adjusted my goals that I enthusiastically wrote down at the start of the year.  Still focusing on my three areas of my life. I might not be writing these down as enthusiastically as I once did at the start of the year, but I know I am not the only one out there who has fallen off the wagon. I can only start to shape my amazing 2019 from here.

Training and Competition
  • Pluck away at our counter canter and canter loops (in the novice 2.3)
  • Play around and get confident with some lateral movements
  • Sharpen our simple changes
  • Attend 3 competitions before the end of 2018. With good confident prelim and novice scores.

 

Personal Development

I’ve commenced the EA NCAS Coaching Course so long ago and have only completed the theory side of the first set of modules! I feel like I have a massive anchor holding me down, a weight on my mind that makes me feel as if I cannot progress. I need to shake this feeling, especially if I want to do what I love! In saying that I am aiming to complete one more section of my course before the end of the year. In hope one tick off the box on the course will lead onto another.

As for the exercise goals I had written down. Well, I haven’t progressed all that far with that! I might leave that as ‘ongoing’. Says the person who puts strawberries in her dessert to justify it to be ‘healthy’ 😉

Professional Development

I honestly feel this is the side of my life I am starting to have under control. I absolutely love Dressage Dreamers. It’s hard to believe how an idea sitting down on my laptop watching tv has led me to how it is today. It’s my project, it will change and shape into something different over the coming years.

The Standardbred Showcase has been working super, I absolutely love reading everyone’s stories and sharing them! You can check out the stories here.

I’m sure I am not the only one who has had an unplanned year, would love to hear how you are going towards your goals 😊 comment or drop me a line!

The not so perfectly planned year

My Goals For The Coming Year

As I sit down thinking and writing out my goals for this coming year, I find it hard to concentrate. A typical hot Australian summer day, looking out the window of my parents’ house at the paddocks while sitting in the air conditioning, a whopping 45 degree Celsius. This horrible heat wave makes it difficult to write down any inspiration, sitting down sweating, exhausted after the morning stable chores. But, fortunately as I start to cool off in the air conditioning watching Arnie in the paddock in the distance, I begin to picture our exciting venture for 2018.

Goals for the coming year

I started thinking about the different aspects of my life and what I want to achieve. I broke it down to a few areas.

 

Training and competition:

Finishing 2017 off with a protocol test gave me the confidence to work on the areas of our tests that need improvement. I feel focused and clear cut with what I need to do to achieve our desired result. My overall aim is to qualify for the State Dressage Championships in Novice, I require scores over 65%, which I believe can be completely achievable. If I stick to my weekly and monthly schedule!

Back in November 2016 I attended the Intelligent Riding Retreat with Brett Parbery, it was an amazing experience. Not only did I meet 13 other like minded wonderful ladies, but I managed to have an idea on my own training system and my own road mapping towards my goals.

I absolutely love having dressage as my main discipline, it allows me to have achievable goals and create a road map to make that goal more visual. Which makes me think about my main training goals with Arnie over 2018, I would LOVE to have an Elementary start on him one day in the near future.

As our training progresses I have a few little goals in mind:
  • Master our counter canter, which we have complete confidence on the left rein! So, I feel this could be quite achievable if we put our mind to it.
  • Get confident moving the hind quarters, don’t be scared of some travers!
  • With our simple changes progressing nicely over time, I would just love to ‘sharpen’ them, have more jump into the canter from walk.

goals for the coming year

Personal Development:

Around April last year I signed up to commence the EA NCAS Coaching course, I successfully completed one unit out of many in the Introduction level.

Being a little side tracked during last year with other ventures, my aim this year is to complete my intro level and commence Level 1 Dressage. Huge step forward towards what I feel is a dream journey, but I think it will be completely worth it if I concentrate and keep hustling through each bit of the course.

Something that has always been on my new years resolution list for the past 5 or so years, is to get fit! But this time I want to stick to it, not make any excuses. This is why I want to set aside time each week where I think about my own rider fitness and concentrate on exercises to help. Rather then putting my fitness in the basket labelled ‘lose weight’, because I know myself too well, I will avoid getting around to making time for it.

Professional Development:

I love to write, I love to blog, I love to share my journey. I hope to encourage a positive environment for other equestrians. This year I really want to vamp up Dressage Dreamers and really start to shape it into something special.

It’s life, a few things can get into the way forcing other priorities further down the list, but my aim is to be more organised and have Dressage Dreamers at the top and become more consistent. More writing, more sharing, I really feel in this day and age we need to have a good support system. I feel that I am extremely fortunate to have the positive family and friends encouraging me with all my ambitions.

goals upcoming year

 

Let me know what YOUR goals are for 2018?! It doesn’t matter how big or small, I would love to know!

Happy Training 🙂


What is your Riding Ambition? – Equestrian Blog Hop

I’m delighted to join in and be part of this month’s Equestrian Blog Hop run by Bridle & Bone. The topic for November is, what is your riding ambition? Do you have one? As I sat down and thought about what my riding ambition is and if I have a riding ambition, I started doing a little research and reading about ambitions.

 

Ambition is defined as “a true desire to do or achieve something”. Now, after some reading I believe if you have a passion, such as riding, there is no doubt that you would have a desire to go out and be with your equine partner. You do have ambition and desire to achieve the best you can.

“Ambition and love are the wings to great deeds”- Goethe.

You could say my ambition started from an early age. Being surrounded by horses, riding and competing at shows, qualifying for royals. The desire to achieve my best in the show ring soon developed into my harness racing days. My ambition shifted to become a better driver and achieve the best for the horse. Again, my focused shifted as I made the change to get back in the saddle again after a break. This is when I found dressage, which has become my love and passion ever since. I have found a discipline that allows my riding to grow and develop into a better rider.

Arniwho Riding ambition

The early morning alarms, saddling up while the sun is rising just so I can get a good 30-minute ride in before heading off to work. Walking through the front door after the sun has gone down after exercising horses after work. Falling asleep on the lounge after dinner while watching TV. Non-equestrians really sit there scratching their heads wondering why on earth we do it and what possibly could we gain out of it.

Love is why we do it, ambition keeps our head in the game. The ups and downs, tears and laughter, equestrians wouldn’t have it any other way. No matter what discipline we are all set out to achieve something.

 

Riding Ambition

For me where I am with my dressage journey, no matter how far down the path I go. It’s the burning desire to become a better rider that keeps me heading on my merry way. The path will never come to an end, you will never stop learning. Most importantly, you are never too good to learn.

How do I stay on the path? I have two main things that help me.

First one, I currently I have 12-month goal set out on a poster written up the very top. I have the months broken down underneath in headings, I plan out parts of the 12 months. Such as, lessons, competitions, time off, body work etc. Basically the building blocks heading towards that end goal.

Second one, surrounding myself with like minded people. Whether you surround yourself with positive like minded friends or even having your social media feed positive and inspiring. Chatting to the other dressage girls inspiring and motivating each other to keep striving to do our best each ride. Or simply following the top riders and trainers in our sport, aiming to be that person you follow religiously online.

 

It begs the question, what are your riding ambitions? What is your burning desire with your equestrian partner?


Lessons learnt during our September competition

Arniwho APD

What a month September was, time as seriously flown by. I was fortunate enough to attend the SPPHA NSW Training Day with Kate Taylor-Wheat, Kate is our coach who I try and have lessons with at least every 2-3 months (time slips away a little too much!). I always look forward to a lesson, I love to see how far we have come from our previous lesson and where we are currently at working towards our goals. Plus Kate makes Arnie feel very clever! Such an amazing horse to work with. During the beautiful day at Suntori Park at the SPPHA NSW training day, we worked through our lengthening movements. You can read the full lesson recap here. 😊

So, when it came to our competition the following weekend I was more than ready to set my goals! I entered two unofficial Novice tests with 3 main points in mind.

  1. Improve our scores with our lengthen trot
  2. Improve our scores with our lengthen canter
  3. Improve our marks for the 10 m trot circles and 15 m canter circles.

I’m so proud that we managed to tick 2 out of the 3 off from our competition! We improved our lengthen trot to get both 6 & 6.5 in our tests put a smile on my face! Our circles were pretty sharp also 😉

Unfortunately,  while I was reading over my test paper beside the car before we left the grounds this sad feeling came over me when our overall score sunk in. I thought Jesus, can I not catch a damn break. Why can’t I get a better score? Our tests felt better, I feel like we are slowly turning a corner and getting somewhere. I’ll admit, it did take a few extra minutes (or maybe it was the car ride home) to evaluate the test and realise what areas really let us down.

It was point number 2. Our lengthen canter. In a novice test, you are scored on the lengthen canter but also on the transition back to working canter. If you don’t show a nice bold lengthen canter,

A) you won’t achieve a great mark and,

B) because of point A, you won’t get a great score for your transition back to working canter.

When I saw a nice 7 and 6.5 then followed by a 5 or even a 4, its EXTREMELY deflating. BUT what I set out to achieve at the competition I managed to score better than my previous competitions. While i was reflecting back on our rides during the day I realized it’s one of the main reasons why I love training and competing in dressage, I have my goals each competition that I wish to achieve. To keep training and improving our work to keep ticking our goals off! I always have to remember at the end of the day, did I achieve everything I set out to achieve?

Arniwho APD

I appreciate techniques of different sportsman and sportswomen, I follow and read about so many different individuals… Including Rugby players. What I love is the different techniques and how I can apply them into my riding and competition training. I mentioned briefly in my previous post “what’s on my book shelf” about Richie McCaw. Huge fan, naturally own his book and watched the movie Chasing Great. The most important thing I learnt from his movie is how he mentally prepares for each match.

I adapted it to suit, I mean I can’t convince the judge to take the 5 back and give me a 7 😉 while smiling….. (non Kiwi rugby fans might get that!) Before each competition I go through my tests, the night before I write down key points on what I want to achieve. I have my overall score, and I also have key points such as the 3 mentioned above.

Arniwho APD Cuddles

How have everyone’s September panned out? Let us know!

 

Happy training 🙂

Improving your dressage scores

improving your dressage scores

It might not be the end of the world, but it might not have been the best performance at the last competition . It might be the fact you could’ve ridden parts of your test better. Just because you ride that circle a little lop sided, or just that your horse isn’t soft underneath you during your transitions. We all tend to be our own worst critics, especially when we are out under the watchful eye at a competition, which can be both a positive and a negative.  Trust me, it is not the end of the world… even if it might feel like it!

But if a few things didn’t go to plan I guess the first thing we need to evaluate is why? (even after a few tears and before the glasses of wine) Why did you ride that terrible short side? Why didn’t you set up properly for the next movement? It’s easy enough to walk out of that arena and to have that attitude of “I knew that was going to happen because he does that at home”. Well honestly, what else would you expect if you are allowing these mistakes from home hang around with you on your competition day.

Think about it, we all enter a competition with the aim of achieving something. It could be the aim of scoring a certain percent, the aim of scoring certain marks in movements, or if we are on young or green horses, the aim to get around safely and have a good relaxed warm up. It is important we stick to these aims when we enter ourselves at competitions.

Sure, we can over commit and aim above and beyond of what we are capable of at the time of our training. But that is also when expectations harshly meet reality, if we are not prepared to take that next leap in our training. As we all have that desire to be the best rider we can possibly be, at times we may have taken that leap into the next level a little too early.

So, what do we do when we don’t achieve the results we desire. I mean, we have all been there throughout our riding careers. Frantically reading over our test marks and comments, and I’m sure a few of out there have re added up the scores on the test. (Yes, I totally do this. I have been correct on one occasion. Which was my first elementary test!) You know, just to check the scorer did a good enough job. Taking that deep breath, carefully read the judges’ comments and digest the remarks made picturing that moment in your test they are commenting on.

If the scores and comments are a little deflating-  I can speak from experience it can be hard to be motivated to get back in the saddle and train to aim for the next competition. This is when we need to put our emotions aside, roll our sleeves up and nut out a plan on HOW you can achieve that desired mark.

Decide commit succeed dressage meme

The big question, HOW. Well, for me I’m a visual person. I LOVE to write everything down. I feel very old school, I have a poster and textures and I write it ALL down.  Considering how terrible my hand writing is, I decided to create a printable PDF. I enjoy breaking things down bit by bit.

I have created this awesome Improving your dressage scores printable (totally free, don’t stress!) I enjoy sharing what helps me with my riding and training with others. By breaking down your marks one by one I find it incredibly helpful just WRITING down parts of my tests I need to work on. Helps bring it into reality when you jot down those words.

You can download the PDF from the store by clicking here. 

The Competition Checklist

It might seem so simple to some but having a checklist before a competition could be a life saver! Well… for me anyway!

When I’m doing my daily (yes that’s right daily) scroll through nominate on the upcoming competitions, what is coming up soon to add to my calendar of events, tests that are lining up to the work I’m currently doing at home.

The different clubs and locations trying to see where I want to go for the tests on offer and the quality of the grounds. Of late I have become a little “fussy” on the grounds on where I compete my horses, Arnie I can take anywhere do anything kind of horse however, he is a little fussy on the grounds. I do enjoy the grounds that have sand arenas which also can be a negative if they are too deep for him to work in. So, you could say my daily scroll through nominate is a little limited on what I can enter.

What I like to have running in the back of my mind while I’m scrolling through is the grounds and what tests are on offer, but also if I enter that competition is that benefiting towards my dressage journey. Is this helping me achieve my goal?

I guess you could call this the beginning of my mental checklist.

  • Club location and the grounds of the competition
  • By entering this competition is this benefiting towards my dressage journey goal
  • The test on offer is what I am working on and achieving with our work at home

Arnie is currently competing EA novice, he has achieved so much. I’m super proud of him and we still have so much more to work towards. I’m 100% comfortable with the 2.1 and the 2.2 but if I see that 2.3 at the moment I go back to the events page and keep scrolling for another comp! The only thing now that I feel is holding me back is that bloody canter loop! The leg yielding with the two 10m circles I’m comfortable with. But that canter loop I feel the depths of Mordor open up ! I shouldn’t sell myself short…. Our canter loops are O.K…. However, we have much to work towards with these! Canter loop left and even our counter canter left, tick, tick. Happy days! Canter loop right and counter canter right… mediocre tick. Which is completely fine and acceptable with our training, it IS something we are working towards. Once we start becoming more confident and achieving our training goals there will be more things for us to achieve and become more confident in our work with.

So, once I enter the comp that I feel confident with I have the test diagram saved on my iBooks on my iPhone. Which I refer to about 20 times a day, I mentally ride the test while I’m on the phone to customers at work, I mentally ride the test while I’m drifting off the sleep at night and I even mentally ride the test while I’m driving around.  If I can’t mentally picture myself riding the test it just won’t happen for me. Visualisation is a strong powerful tool.

As the competition starts to get closer and closer I start to run through the daily list leading up. Two days before I like to have a good long ride really running through the tests and ironing out the kinks that I need to. Leaving that day feeling pretty good A+ workout. The day before the competition I like to have an ‘easy’ ride making everything I do damn achievable, I have this overpowering sense of perfection days leading up to a competition (I’m certain I’m not the only one 🙂 ) that’s why I came to the realisation that the day before needs to be a relaxing one, I’ve put in the hard yards leading up before I enter the competition, I’ve put in the hard yards once I’ve entered the competition, I have a strong feeling on what areas of the test I need to pay more attention too and ride better and more accurate.

It’s always the night before I feel a little stressed, bit flustered, it’s the day I clean my gear, pack the car, wash and plait Arnie. I’m bound to forget something ! Don’t worry I have! I like to visualise, when I’m packing the car I make sure I visualise all the gear I need for the day. Saddle – check, what else goes on the horse. Girth- check, saddle cloth – check, half pad- check, bridle – check.

This is why I have created (a very brief version) of a competition checklist, for all the dressage dreamers out there! Who are just like me  🙂 We are all here to help and inspire each other.

Please  CLICK HERE to download the checklist.

There will be more resources available soon for everyone to share. 🙂

 

Happy Riding 🙂

What’s on my bookshelf

I have to admit I’m a bit of a horder.. Especially books. To be honest I use to hate reading back at school, personally I think it’s because those topics never interested me. But now anything about horses and for my own personal growth. I’m all for it. With age comes wisdom right!?

I’m not really an impulsive person either, it’s been 12 months since I have decided I wanted to do an equine body work course. I must admit I did to a taster early last year and passed with flying colours, I don’t know what is holding me back pressuring my dreams. There are many types of courses out there that I would just love to do.. and I want to do them all!

So, over the last 12 months my collection for books has grown… a lot. I love to expand my knowledge, I want to learn something new every day, even if that is learning from my mistakes in my training. I always want to be pushing myself to be a better rider. It has been just over 12 months I really have made an honest commitment to expand my knowledge by starting with understanding the mechanics of the horse. To learn, understand and appreciate on how the horse moves its body, why and how I can achieve the best out of them.

Currently I have the well-read edition Equine Injury, Therapy and Rehabilitation by Mary Bromiley, it honestly looks like I’ve read this every day for the last 10 years. Well partly because I took this book away on holidays to Botswana in my backpack last year, but it is also a well-read book. Which it is, I use this as a reference all the time. When you have that fantastic book that pretty much covers a-z is a good feeling. Explaining the musculoskeletal system, injuries – causes, effects, a well detailed therapy section (great reading by the way), rehabilitation and common rider injuries.

I enjoy to have a few books in the mix to quickly glance over before I go to sleep. I honestly enjoy reading over Equine Massage (A Practical Guide) by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt he is amazing. I even downloaded a few videos! He honestly explains everything you need to know in great detail that you can relate to. He covers everything about massage, stress points, hydrotherapy, areas of stress specific to each discipline (FYI for our dressage horses depending on the work, hind end, shoulders, chest, upper neck and even the base of the neck) and a great chapter on saddle fitting.  I also enjoy flicking through Stretch Exercises for Your Horse by Karin Blignault this is a very detailed book. Extremely easy to follow and find what you are looking for, its great I honestly never thought of a few of these stretches and how they can help improve the horse. (if only I had the patience to follow one for humans!)

Now the best book I must admit which I LOVE to read although it is my very own journal from Brett Parbery’s Intelligent Riding Retreat. I know that might seem a little strange being my own notes, but it was a wonderful opportunity to attend the retreat and what I have learnt I will (hopefully) remember and put towards my training for many years to come. I have a few pages that follow on from the retreat when I had my comp with Arnie last year, I have noted down what I need to remember for the test. Each part of the test I would struggle with. Pace Control- Set up lengthen, go forward rock him back into working canter/trot. Watch Feet Control- set up my leg yields, straight, over, go forward, reward.  Don’t go too deep into the corners coming out of the movement but use the corner going into the movement.  The best part is I have ENJOY after all my notes, at the end of the day you need to enjoy yourself and the horse needs to enjoy himself.

I should admit I am a bit of a rugby fan and a huge admirer of Richie McCaw (umm who wouldn’t be!?!) After watching the movie Chasing Great (totally inspiring regardless if you are a rugby fan or not) It was then I got the idea to write down my notes for each comp the day before then review them on the day before I ride. This is what Richie implemented into his rugby matches knowing the opposition, having a strategy for the set plays, the breakdowns, knowing what he could get away with and best of all Richie always wrote enjoy at the bottom.

After watching the movie, I really thought to myself wow maybe I can create the same way of thinking towards my dressage competitions. I found it helpful writing down my weaknesses. Having them on paper to review then while I was riding thinking about what I have to do movements before. Making sure I was on the ball, setting up all my movements making sure it was flowing. It really paid off as I achieved my goal of 65% and first place, fingers crossed I can transfer this from a training day result into an official competition result.

Just thought to share a picture of all my books I currently have been reading through!

Happy Riding 🙂

It’s not about being the best, it’s about being better than you were yesterday

I always feel super my first ride at home after a lesson, I have that “don’t worry, I’ve got this” feeling when I get on. Honestly I’ve been having so much fun working with Arnie lately, time literally passes so quickly in the morning.

My day usually starts out jumping out of bed energetic around 5am knowing I have enough time to ride Arnie before I’m off to work. Best way to start the day.. Am I right !?! Don’t worry some mornings are a real struggle. I’ve put it down to these are the days Arnie has off and therefore not motivated to get out of bed. Arnie and I are most defiantly creatures of habit, we have a set time in the morning that we work. We are usually all over the shop on a weekend when our rides are in the afternoon, it’s just not part of the routine! We are both a bit lazy I guess you could say 🙂

One of the advantages to working Arnie straight out of the stable early in the morning is he has energy and lots of it, I just have to direct it! Without a doubt I have a bit of a laugh to myself when I ask for our first walk- trot transition its huge, it’s a power lift off see ya later moment. So, since my lesson it’s been great confidence boost to keep playing with the tempos. I have to be honest he pretends not to register what I’m asking for the first dozen strides. Then he soon comes back and listens.

I feel like we are in a good place at the moment with our training, I feel slowly we are getting everything together bit by bit. Can’t rush these things right!? The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, Arnie and I are going to be part of the life after racing display on Miracle Mile night at Menangle Paceway. Can’t wait I’m super excited! I got interviewed as part of an article coming out in The Land this week too! Oh My Gosh! I was so nervous I honestly cannot recall what I even said, so I’m a tad nervous to read the article when it comes out. I just hope I answered all the questions the best I could, I kept playing the questions back over my mind a few days after thinking geez I could have had such a better answer to that! It was my first interview I’m pleased the way it went, if I ever do another interview I have some great answers lined up now – lol!

Not only have we got the promotion of the life after racing happening at the moment, I decided to bite to bullet and enter for Equifest.. Why? Honestly I have no idea, I’m probably going to get the biggest wake up call. But the other side of my brain is saying, well why shouldn’t we enter. Arnie and I have been working super hard and everything is falling into place bit by bit each ride, each week I feel like we are getting stronger and getting somewhere, getting closer to achieving those scores I’ve been visualising about.  Nevertheless, it’s going to be a huge learning curve one way or another!

I just have to remember each day. It’s not about being the best, It’s about being better than you were yesterday. Such true words.

Happy Riding 🙂

Make 2017 the best year yet – 12 month planner

Another year has come and gone, quite frankly a little too quick.

How many of you each new year’s set goals and resolutions but don’t end up sticking to them? I know I can put my hand up..

Did you know research suggests only about 8% of those who set new year’s goals achieve them? Bit of a poor statistic isn’t it !?

It wasn’t until I attended the Intelligent Riding Retreat with Brett Parbery that I realised how unfocused I was. There is nothing better than to be surrounded by like-minded people, listening, learning being inspired.

Keeping motivated and continuing with being inspired is hard, you must keep your mind focused on that goal.

It was here that I started working on my road mapping skills.

On a poster, I wrote in big letters what my goal is, for Arnie it is to achieve 65% in Novice (official EA). I know to qualify for DNSW State Champs it is 68%, but if I can reach 65% I know it could be possible to push forward the next 3%. Providing we keep working hard.

Underneath the main goal I have the next 12 months broken down, I have things under each month some I have the same every month. For example, I have training system under all of them, under training system I have a few points noted what is involved with my training system. It’s more of a reminder, making it simple and something I can read and see each day I look at my map.

I have a few training days in there for the beginning of 2017, I also have a competition or two. One of the things I have to keep in mind is not to over compete, I want to make sure each competition I attend I have a clear purpose and we are working well towards our goal. I don’t want to compete for the sake of competing if its not going to help me work towards my goal. I have planned mini breaks for Arnie. I also have notes under the months when I feel he should get some body work done (Chiro, massage etc).

I’ve decided 2017 is going to be MY year. MY year to achieve my goals, MY year to earn success for all the hard work I’m planning to put into my training.

I developed Dressage a Standardbred’s Tale to Success to share my dressage journey with everyone, which has been a fantastic journey so far! Which made me think about that next step further.

I feel it is SO important to have a strong support network within the Standardbred community. We should be encouraging, motivating and supporting one another while we raise the bar making this breed noticed in open competitions.

SO, I developed Dressage Dreamers. A place where I can help create a strong support network.  I want to share as much knowledge as possible. I want to make people think about their goals, I want to help people think about their training, I want to encourage people to help reach their goals. The journey is more enjoyable when you have people to share it with also 🙂

I would like to share one of my resources I have available on my website, it is a 12 month planner where you can note down anything you want to. Put down those training days, those competition dates. Put down where you want to me in 3 months time, the put down where you want to be in 6 months time.

2017 Planner jan-june

2017 Planner July-dec

I will be slowly adding to the resources page on the website, I will write up a post about each resource to make full advantage of it.