Reflecting on progression

It’s when you have all the time in the world you start scrolling through old photos and comparing, sitting and wishing competitions were back in action again. I found two pictures of Arnie while I was enjoying looking back at some memories.

I really want to share two pictures that stuck out to me. The first picture was from around February 2018 at Sydney Dressage. I was so, so proud of the way we were going at the time (to be honest I’m always proud!). It’s not until you put a picture side by side with another picture and start to realise a difference, in this instance I like to call this progression.

Feb 2018

The second picture is from what I say was our best competition ever, September 2018. We had decent scores and he just felt amazing. To this date hands down best competition with Arnie. I think we placed 5thwith a pretty competitive score to really boot!

Sept 2018

When I think about it, there isn’t much time between these two pictures really, about 8 months give or take. I mean, considering I couldn’t ride for 72 days in that 8 months (yes, you’ve probably guessed it- pretty sure I was counting the minutes also). I would say it is quite the improvement.

If you’re thinking this is going to be some quick fix, short cut way to progress. Some amazing supplement I bought and made the difference… Then you need to guess again. I’m not about quick fixes or short cuts or in fact anyway to race forward to the end to cut out the middle part. As the last few years have taught me, I’m all about the hours learning not only in the saddle but also out of the saddle.

Now I know I’m far from perfect, I could have this post listing all the imperfections between the two pictures, what I want this post to really be about is the transformation and progression in our training. The change between horse and rider as a combination. The knowledge I had rolling around in my head February 2018 is far less than the knowledge floating around in September 2018.

Our progression

To be honest this was 2 years ago, I can’t remember the exact path I took, call it the coffee craze or the wine haze. But what I know is that I just kept plugging along doing what I was doing, always trying to do better. Trying to have a better posture while riding, trying to improve Arnie’s paces, making sure he was picking up his diagonal pairs with the centre of gravity underneath him. Getting him to use his body more, keep up the regular body work treatments and best of all – asking questions to help improve us both.

Knowledge is a powerful tool and so is motivation. I like to think these two-work hand in hand to support our training. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am now and to be honest, I’m far from where I want to be. At times we need to take a look back at how far we have come, be it 8 months or 2 years. Sometimes we need to take this step back to reflect to realise we are on the right track. I guess that little stint on the sideline did me some wonders to advance my learning skills.

When was the last time you reflected back on your training?

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