For those of you who missed it, here’s a copy of my February newsletter.
That Winning Feeling!
Boy, am I ever pumped! I just came back from an amazing 3 day conference in Atlanta. The conference was on the Law of Attraction (LOA) and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Bob Doyle, who you can watch in the movie, The Secret, taught us all about the Law of Attraction. He helped the 55 participants learn more about this law which really is responsible for everything you have (or don’t have!) in your life right now. (By the way, if you haven’t seen The Secret, you absolutely must!) Master EFT practitioner Carol Look showed us how to gently and easily eliminate blocks or resistances that come up during the process of “attracting” what you want into your life. Learning how to combine those two techniques makes you virtually unstoppable! If you want to investigate these powerful concepts, Bob’s website is: http://www.wealthbeyondreason.com/?a_aid=Jsavoie.
Carol’s website is http://www.carollook.com
As you’ve probably figured out by my attendance in the seminar in Atlanta, I’m a big believer in coaching. Whether it’s for my riding, speaking, or writing, I always seek out the experts. I know that by investing (you heard me! I said “investing” not “spending money”) on myself with coaching or mentoring programs, I can save myself a lot of grief and time. Currently, one of my public speaking mentors is College Speaker of the Year, Jonathan Sprinkles. I love Jonathan’s philosophy. He says, “You were born an original. Don’t live like a copy.” You can check Jonathan out at http://www.jsprinkles.com
By the way, I hope you had a chance to join in on January’s teleseminar with Dolores Arste from http://www.zenguidance.com. We talked about everything from clicker training to the Law of Attraction. If you missed last month’s call, be sure to join me on February 14 at 6PM EST. This is your chance to ask me any of your training or sports psychology questions.
The link to sign up is:
Live Your Dreams!
WIN A MENTORING SESSION!
It’s not too late to enter! Win a free mentoring session! ($250 value). Send an essay of up to 500 words describing a special relationship you’ve had with a horse, a lesson you’ve learned from that relationship, or a unique connection that you’ve had with one of your equine partners. A panel of judges will select the best story, and the winner will be announced in the March newsletter. Email your story to me at email@example.com
You can use the mentoring session any way you like. Send in a short video, and I’ll help you with some of your training issues. Or we can discuss some of your own mental monsters, and I’ll teach you simple yet effective coping techniques. Or we can do a little bit of both. The session will be a one hour phone consultation.
BRING ME TO YOUR TOWN!
I’d love to get to know you all personally so if you’d like me to come to your area and speak to your club or group, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for one of my speaker’s brochures. Be sure to include your mailing address.
Also, in an effort to make my riding clinics more affordable to individual riders, I’ve switched to a group format. You can read the details on my website http://www.janesavoie.com under “Courses”.
ONLY HORSE PEOPLE
I’m not sure where this comes from, but I thought you’d get a kick out of it.
Only horse people…
Believe in the 11th Commandment: Inside leg to outside rein.
Know that all topical medications come in either indelible blue or neon yellow.
Think nothing of eating a sandwich after mucking out stables.
Know why a thermometer has a yard of yarn attached to one end of it.
Are banned from Laundromats.
Fail to associate whips, chains and leather with sexual deviancy.
Can magically lower their voices five octaves to bellow at a pawing horse.
Have a language all their own (“If he pops his shoulder, I have to close that hand and keep pushing with my seat in case he sucks back”.)
Will end relationships over their hobby.
Cluck to their cars to help them up hills.
Insure their horses for more than their cars.
Will give you 20 names and reasons for that bump on your horse.
Know more about their horse’s nutrition than their own.
Have neatsfoot oil stains on the carpet right next to the TV.
Have a vocabulary that can make a sailor blush.
Have less wardrobe than their horse.
Engage in a hobby that is more work than their day job.
Mucking stalls is better then Zoloft any day.
FEBRUARY EQUIFIT TIP
By Linda Freeman
Begin this month sitting tall in the saddle and standing tall on the ground. Nothing denotes a more confident presentation than good “posture”. A good body position should include trunk stability that is lengthened and free – never restrictive or stiff. If standing, begin with feet hips’ width apart, toes straight forward, weight distributed evenly across the feet, and knees “soft” i.e. not pushed backwards or dropped inwards towards each other. (1) Draw the navel to the spine. Simply engage those transverse abdominal muscles that circle your lower torso much like those elasticized back supports. Engage these muscles to support the lower back as well as to firm and control the lower abdominal area. (2) Retract the lats: Draw the latisimus dorsi muscles (also the area around the shoulder blades) slightly down and together. Note – do not poke your ribs forward or pull your shoulders back and down with tension. (3) Gently lift the collar bones. Voila! Look in a mirror and you will be pleased with what you see. Good posture must look strong but effortless – much like good riding.
Be strong! Your trainer, Linda
My name is Eva, I live in Germany. I started riding as a child, more than 35 years ago.
I just finished reading your book “Positiv denken – erfolgreich reiten”. I’m a NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) practitioner and know many of the techniques you introduce in your book. Nevertheless your descriptions helped me a lot!
I’m writing to you because I want to tell you how successful I was with the visualization you describe in your book:
My horse “Idefix”, a 18 year old Trakehner, and I have a problem. He is very quick in a state of tension (I don’t know if this is the right expression in english, sorry) and then makes a honking noise with his sheath caused by tensed belly muscles, I think. Several months I had not one ride without this noise. This was frustrating and made me crazy. Above all, I want him relaxed because I’m sure that is better for him. I concentrated on relaxing (myself) and trained his condition a bit because he was not in good condition due to hoof and respiratory problems. He became much better. There was seldom tension in trot, but in gallop there was no improvement. Hmm. You must know –Gallop is not my favorite and I
realized, that when I thought of gallop, I saw myself on the horse running round and round, becoming more and more quickly and stiff like a walking stick.
At home some days I visualized a relaxed canter with me sitting very comfortably and happy on my horse. I visualized it also “realtime”. Imagine what happened! Since 3 days there is no noise!! I’m sure it’s because of the picture in my mind.
By the way, I like to see the shades of gray! (Note: See previous newsletters.)
With kind regards,
GET HEALTHY EASILY
This great tip comes from reader Jacinthe Bourdon. I really like it because she focuses on what she CAN have rather than on denying herself certain foods.
I have a little trick for the people who want to lose weight or eat healthier. I personally don’t believe in restraining yourself even for small amounts. Instead, I prefer to give myself some challenges. Maybe it is because I’m a competitive person!
The challenge that I feel helped me the most in order to lose weight is to make sure that I at least had 5 portions of fruits and vegetable each day. Of those, I would only allow 1 portion to be juice.
I also added another challenge to my diet. In addition to the 5 portions of fruits, I make sure that I eat at least 3 portions of milk or dairy products.
Just by doing those 2 challenges, I make sure my diet is healthier and I am less hungry for other type of food. I never restrained myself and I can really eat any thing else, as long as my 5 portions of fruit and 3 portions of dairy products are fulfilled. In addition, these challenges force me to change my habits for better ones.
I hope that this little trick will help some of your readers!
ASK A TRAINER
The following is reprinted in part from an article I did with Showlife Magazine.
Q: I know that my poor performance in the show ring is partially my fear of competing. I do well in my practice sessions, but when I enter the ring, everything flies out the window and I can’t even do the simplest of moves. Also, my horse tenses up, I guess because of my tension. How can I get over this anxiety when I compete?
A: Make no mistake about it. All equestrians can experience “stage fright” to one degree or another. You are not alone, Rebecca.
In my own personal quest, I have discovered practical techniques that have given me a performance edge.
“Dressing Up” Your Practice Sessions
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of dress rehearsals. Your practice sessions should include dress rehearsal on a regular basis before a live audience.
Grab a few relatives and friends and invite them to your “performance.” Have some on the sidelines and one or two in the “judges’ chair.” Before the rehearsal, braid your horse’s mane. Put on your show attire. Can you feel the adrenaline already starting to surge (for you and your horse)? Can you feel the anxiety building? With enough practice of this type, these preparations will no longer add to your stress.
“What do the judges/spectators think of me, my horse, my performance? Do they think I am a poor performer?” Amateurs get so side tracked and preoccupied with what other people think that they can’t attend to their job in the show arena. Dress rehearsals give you an opportunity to practice concentrating on your performance with the distractions of people watching and judging you.
At home, depending on your set up, I would advise warming up in one arena (the way you would at a show), then moving to a second, performance arena. Often at shows this movement from warm up to performance arena is anxiety producing. Watch your and your horse’s reactions as you go from one venue to another. Practice this move until you and your horse are so bored with it that it is no longer a novelty, just a “ho-hum” part of the routine.
Better yet, load your horse into a trailer, go a short distance down the road to a neighboring farm, and hold your dress rehearsal there (with the permission of the owner, of course). The action of loading and unloading and being away form your home turf will add an extra dimension to the practice.
Use the dress rehearsal to practice continuing on after a mistake in your performance. Learn not to focus on the problem you just encountered. If you do, you are sure to ruin your next three moves. Stay in the moment. Don’t let it snowball.
Just Another Sand Box
Robert Dover has certainly done it a few times! Dover, a six-time Olympic champion and coach to many Olympic and World Championship students (including me) taught me some valuable lessons. One in particular will help you to overcome the fear of competing.
Dover used to say that whether you were performing at the county fair or the Olympics, you were just doing your work in another 20-by-60-meter sand box but in a different place.
Competition is a very personal pursuit for me. It is just another opportunity for me to get into a sand box and build an even better sand castle. I am competing against myself. I set up personal achievable goals for me and my horse, and I concentrate on achieving those. I am relaxed to the point that I don’t even look to see who is in my class or what the scores are.
Last winter, I was exhibiting in my first Florida show of the year with a horse that was competing for the first time at 4th Level. I had set up three very achievable personal goals: (1) use my corners effectively; (2) perform clean flying changes (this was the first time my horse would be doing these in sequence in the show ring); and (3) do well using a double bridle (again, a first for this horse in the show ring). After the show, it didn’t matter to me how I had placed. All that was important for me was that I had fulfilled all of my goals.
A couple of days later, I met up with one of the guys competing in my class. The conversation went something like this:
Him: “You beat me!”
Me: “I did?”
Him: “You won all the money!”
Me: “I did?”
I was that oblivious of the results.
Make competition personal; it removes so much of the pressure of competition.
Remember to Breathe
Deep breathing exercises can add to your relaxation. Diaphragmatic breathing is excellent for helping you to get into an Alpha state, in which brain waves slow and we feel relaxed, free, and easy. As you inhale deeply, keep your shoulders down and let your stomach expand. As you exhale, lower yourself into the saddle and back of your horse so you feel like a centaur.
It’s Show Time!
Get to your competition early. The day before is best; it gives you and your horse time to get used to the venue.
Ride your horse before you compete. This will give you a chance to see his reactions to his new surroundings. Put him away for a few hours to relax, then bring him out again. Notice that the second time he is more relaxed.
If you can’t ride him (or in addition to riding him), hand graze him. Get him out of the trailer or stall as many times as you can (of course with rest periods in between). Each time notice that he is progressively more relaxed. The more relaxed your horse, the more relaxed you will be.
Your mind set is most important. Amateurs have a tendency to get into a frenzy of anxiety. Remember: This is just another ride, another day, just a different place. Be sure not to change something because you see someone doing it differently. It is imperative that you stick to your routine. This is not the time to be trying something new that is not part of your practice. Have your personal goals in mind. Make those your focus.
Also, if you do make a mistake, stay focused on your next movement. You can’t change what has already happened. Dwelling on a mistake might cause it to snowball into several more mistakes in the upcoming movements. Remember: this is only one score of many scores. And this is only one of many performances to come.
Now, break a leg!!
I have a poster hanging in my office that I’d like to share with you. I hope it moves and inspires you the way it does me. It comes from Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within.
Repeat each sentence out loud. Say it with intense feeling and allow your voice to get progressively stronger with each line.
Now I Am The Voice!
I Will Lead, Not Follow.
I Will Believe, Not Doubt.
I Will Create, Not Destroy.
I Am a Force For Good.
I Am A Leader!
Defy The Odds!
Set A New Standard!
I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter. If you know someone whom you think would also enjoy it, please forward it on–Thanks! You are welcome to forward or use any portion of this newsletter as long as you include my web address which is http://www.janesavoie.com. If someone has forwarded this to you–Enjoy!
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I’d love to hear from you. Send any comments, training tips, fitness tips, stories, and triumphs to me at email@example.com