That Winning Feeling!
I just got back from an awesome seminar for the Chesapeake Dressage Association on The Fear Factor. I wanted to share part of an email from a seminar participant with you. (By the way, if you’re interested in organizing your own Fear Factor seminar, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I was introduced to the Law of Attraction about 8 months ago or so and have been working hard to put it to use in my life. I have watched “The Secret” several times, have listened to CDs by Esther and Jerry Hicks, Wayne Dyer, and Jack Canfield and find that it really does work! And I really love the idea of a gratitude journal. That has helped me tremendously because I could wallow in self-pity with the best of them. Now I find I get impatient with folks who spend more time looking for the bad in their life and can’t figure out why they keep getting more of it…..
I think dressage riders tend to be a bit negative because we can always make that circle a little rounder, that half-pass have more crossing, the changes be more uphill and on and on. It has helped my riding tremendously to keep being grateful for what I have and picturing what I want out of my rides. Now I really look forward to what the universe has brought me today!
So, there you have it. Attract what you want into your life through gratitude and ALWAYS…
Live Your Dreams!
I want to thank all of you who took the time to send in essays about your special horse. The entries were unbelievable! I’m so glad I didn’t have to choose the winner. In fact, the committee had such a difficult time making a choice that I’ve decided to award three prizes. Even if you didn’t win, I hope that sitting down and putting your thoughts and feelings about your equine partner, was a rewarding experience for you.
So…..drumroll please!….The winner of the mentoring session goes to Cindy Strate with her essay on Pinafore. You can read her entry below.
I’d also like to award a set of Train with Jane dvd’s to the second place entry, Alyette Jacques and Incitata. Third place, which is an autographed copy of my new little quote book, A Winning Attitude, goes to Rebecca and Dutch. I’ll be printing Alyette’s and Rebecca’s essays in upcoming newsletters.
Pinafore came into my life ten years ago. She is my first horse. She is a dapple bay with an eye that stops people mid step, turns them around and returns them us so they can disappear into the depths of her beauty. What is interesting about Pinafore, in all of her feminine beauty, is if you happen on someone who has known her previously and ask them to tell you about her, as I have, the only answer ever given is one word……. “WILD”.
I don’t know her as that, but then I am not sure we easily recognize ourselves in others. Before I ever ran into anyone that knew her, I used to tell her she was a “wild animal”. There wasn’t anything she did in particular that made me say that, it is just one of those monikers that developed.
Pinafore being my first horse and me not knowing any better, I did everything with her. I spent hours in the woods with her. We traveled with a local herd of deer on several occasions by their invitation. We developed a bond that allowed me to ride her with out a bridle as well as playing games when it was just to cold to ride. Pinafore became part of the fiber of my soul and that is where this story begins:
I have some very dear friends who tragically lost their horses, donkeys, and cat in a fire. They bravely forged ahead after some time of healing and rebuilt and found new horses to fill their hearts with equine joy. One of the horses was a huge grey fellow whose barn name was Moon. He gave his rider some wonderful rides and they became very special partners. Moon developed swelling in one of his hind ankles and it was discovered that there was a chip that had come off of his sesimoid bone. It was decided that he would have surgery to remove the chip, so we packed him up and took to the hospital for his surgery. My best friend (wife of Moon’s person) and I stayed and watched the surgery and stood vigil until Moon was out of recovery and safely back to his stall. All seemed to have gone well and we left Moon to recover in the safety of the hospital. Moon died a few weeks later while still in the hospital. When I got the call that he had died, I immediately went to Pinafore’s stall, collapsed to the floor knees to chest with my head buried – crying. I was aware that Pinafore’s head was bowed to me, so close that I could feel the displacement of air around me but she did not physically touch me. I felt safe and that she was there for me so I continued to sit and tried to make sense of the continued tragic events of my special friend’s lives. As I thought and cried I was aware that Pinafore’s head stayed very close to me and that she was gently moving her head from one side of me to the other “rocking” me as a mother comforts a child. As Pinafore continued her consideration of me my mind switched from tragedy to the fascination of what was really happening to me and that what Pinafore was doing was “Energy Work”. Her gentle strokes had drawn my sorrow out and cast it away and replaced it with the joy and wholeness that can only be attained through love and stewardship.
I just received your set of four dvd’s and watched the one on getting your horse to think forward.
If every aid needs to be different and the aid should be given lightly, then what would be the aid for the horse to go into a trot from a standstill and not just walk? I’ve always thought asking for the trot from a stand still was just a “louder” version of the aid to walk. In your dvd, I understand you to say that it all should be light and quiet. If so, how can the horse tell whether your asking for the walk or the trot from a standstill.
Excellent question! I didn’t address it on that particular dvd as it is for people starting out who would only do simple transitions (rather than skipping a gait by going from halt to trot or from walk to canter).
Anyhow, the aid would be just as light as the one you use to go from halt to walk. You would, however, add two things to help the horse distinguish. The first has to do with your INTENT. Visualize your horse stepping to trot. This works on 2 levels. 1. Studies show that your muscles will fire in a way that will create the result you want and 2. Horse’s think in pictures, as well, and your horse will “see” you mean trot as opposed to walk.
The other thing is to involve your body. As you lightly close your legs, give a little push with your seat. The feeling is similar to sitting on a swing and trying to swing higher or pushing the back of the saddle toward the front of the saddle.
The leg aid is just as light, so if he ignores you, you still need to go through the whole process of putting him in front of the driving aids as described in the dvd. But now he has two additional things to help him distinguish halt-walk from halt-trot.
IT DOESN’T INTEREST ME
The following was sent in by a reader. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living,
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your
It doesn’t interest me how old you are,
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your
dream, for the adventure of being alive…..
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon,
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you
have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain…..
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to
hide it or fade it or fix it…..
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance
with wildness and let the ecstasy fill your to the tips of your fingers and
toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the
limitations of being human…..
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true,
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you
can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can
be faithless and therefore trustworthy…..
I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s not pretty, everyday,
and if you can source your own life from its presence…..
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand
on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the moon, “Yes!”…..
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have,
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here,
I want to know if you will stand in the fire with me and not shrink
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want
to know what sustains you from the inside, when all else fails away,
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the
company you keep in the empty moments…..
If you could have only one piece of exercise equipment, without doubt my recommendation would be to purchase a moderate resistance piece of tubing with handles. (My personal favorites are JC All-Purpose Exercise Bands and JC Travel Bands from http://www.performbetter.com.) Toss a band in your gear bag or your tack trunk and you have an inexpensive, lightweight, no-brainer training potential with you at all times. Let’s begin in the barn (or hotel room) with your tubing, biceps and triceps. (As always, there are more options than we can number and we will choose only one to work each of two opposing muscle groups.)
Biceps: stand on tubing (on one foot for less resistance, on both feet varying width for more) with tubing equally divided. Hold handles at sides with palms facing forward. Avoid overgrazing for that will distort the exercise and cause strain to the forearms and elbows. Bending at the elbows while keeping them parallel to sides of body, slowly lift handles towards chest in a traditional bicep “curl” movement. Do not raise all the way to touch chest or shoulders but return to starting position slowly resisting on the way down. Perform 3 sets of 12 at slow tempo.
Triceps: Loop tubing about waist level around a vertical support that won’t budge. Stand back with tubing straight but with little tension, hands held about hip level in front, arms straight but with “soft” elbows, palms facing downwards. Slowly press hands down and back simultaneously lifting to back until you can feel the contractions in your triceps (back of the arm). Press upward through the resistance and slowly lower and return to starting position. Again, perform 3 sets of 12 at a slow tempo.
Biceps and Triceps are important muscles and are used everyday for barn chores, grooming, tacking up, and riding. 3x a week will increase strength, 2x will maintain. Work muscles with 48 hours between sessions. More tubing exercises to follow in coming months.
As always, any questions? Let me know. “March” right along! Your trainer, LInda Freeman
THE CHAMPION WITHIN
I have this poem on a poster in my office. Hope it motivates you as much as it inspires me.
You carry the torch of a champion. You may not fully recognize it, but it is with you, wherever you go. Its’ fire is your winning spirit.
Within you lies a golden ore of potential. Mine it. Uncover it. Let your burning spirit meld with your potential to forge your own winner’s medal. Now you are ready to become a champion. The torch will guide you on your way.
See yourself wearing your winner’s medal. Feel it. enjoy it, and know its value. This medal is your permission to win. The secret of winning in life is that, first, you must believe you are…
The Champion Within!
“All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he’ll listen to me any day.” Author Unknown
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