This morning in the workout we just did some dynamic stretching and some strength training drills. Some of the dynamic stretches Mike had us doing were: toy soldiers, which is where you kick your leg out in front as his as it can go with still leaving your leg straight,; karaoke; lunges; squat lunges; jumping jack squats; and sprint sets. This was all designed to stretch our legs and lower back while also working on muscle building and flexibility.
The seminars I attended was with Jane Savoie and Betsy LaBelle. Jane’s lecture was over will power. Now one thing about humans is that under stress we tend to psych ourselves out without even knowing. In our permanent long lasting sub conscious thought there are two things that we need to understand: 1) that it hears and believes everything we say and imagine and tries to make it so ( this could be saying that we can’t do something or that we are afraid of something or even that we will do something knowing we are afraid of it); and 2) that it can’t tell if you are lying — it just believes everything you say. One way to combat the negative thought process and stress is by sheer will power and by the power of positive thinking. Our minds are naturally more adept at attaching to negative emotions because we tend to remember anything bad that happens and it dwells in the back of our minds for awhile. However, just by believing that you can is already a big step in the right direction. Another thing I learned during the seminar is that the brain skips over the word not. So it is important to be careful about what you say. The next step is adding present tense to the positive self talk. Not only saying this to yourself but also imagining it. The images need to be detailed, vivid, involve as many of your 5 senses as possible, have emotions attached, be in a relaxed state yourself and repeat them like a mantra. By doing all of this we can achieve a state known as IPS (Ideal performing state). This is where every rider needs to be in the show ring, and they need to be able to move themselves to this state no matter what has happened. During Betsy’s lecture she talked about what the press was really looking for during the press conferences and then we ran a few simulations of a press conference to get some practice under our belts and a better idea of what to say when you are put under the spot light.
Today we decided to do our lesson in the double bridle just to check and see where Woo was with his comfort in the double and also because today was a lighter day of riding. Normally he is not great in the double because he sucks back away from the contact and behind the leg. One exercise that Lendon gave me to help with this is to start Woo in a training level like frame and work on forwardness and stretching to the contact from the hind end. After this was achieved she asked me to pick him up into a first/ second level frame by asking him to step under with his hind legs and to add some suppleness through his body while still pushing to the bit and staying in front of my leg. Only after this was achieved could we pick him all the way up and focus on just the connection and throughness. All we did once here was check to make sure he stayed in this frame during collected and lateral movements. For me this was a great learning curve because it had been difficult for me to keep him in front and pushing into the contact, but now I have a way that I can address the situation and work on making Woo more comfortable in the double.