Challenges and Solutions

I love to make plans. Plans keep me sane. I also fully appreciate that even the best made plans, as Robert Burns once said, go oft awry.  But as I head toward a competition I rely on making plans.  I worked with sport psychologist Dirk Stroda during the winter competition season in Florida and he gave me a very workable outline for the weeks approaching competitions, starting 4 weeks before the competition. So with a competition May 26-28 how am I doing?

Week 4: Checking and asking questions. Is all my equipment in good shape ? Do I need to get anything repaired? How are my show clothes, tailcoat, breeches, shirts, stock ties, show boots?   Is there anything I forgot at the last show for myself or for Biasini that I need to remember this time?

So, did I do all that last week? No, I did not. I was busy being sick and dealing with a porridge consistency brain. No worries I will do my Week 4 checks this weekend.

Week 3: That’s where I am now and I was halfway through the week when I realized OMG the show is in two and a half weeks!   Ok. No Panic.  The theme for week 3 is Challenges and Solutions. No worries.  There are challenges I can easily solve. These are booking the trailering to the show. Arranging to have some help at the show. Talking to Nicole, another student of Belinda’s, who is going to the show and making sure we have everything we need.

There are also other challenges that are not so easy to solve.  Since I have been back from Florida and working with my coach Belinda Trussell she has been moving us up in terms of the quality of the canter. Training is similar to hiking a mountain trail.  Many years ago, I trekked the Inca Trail and so this is the image I often go to in my mind when training with my horse.  inca-trail-to-machu-picchu-4days-3days

There are times when the trail is very steep, it is more like climbing than walking. The altitude is taking my breath away. Every step is a mountain in itself. No stopping, no lingering , the mountain pass must be crossed. Then a respite, I reach the top of the pass and there is a stunning view. What a sense of accomplishment!

And so it is with the Biasini and me. Last summer we struggled through improving the quality of the trot. Now we are working on the canter.  In my lesson on Wednesday there was a breakthrough.  Belinda was calling for “more jump”, “make him sit more behind”, “Let go! Half halt …give!” “More power!”

In my head I was saying: “ Lower legs on!” “Half halt…come back to me. Relax my wrists…. give!” “Remember the mounting block seat!” (see link below)

Biasini was saying: “She can’t want more!” “What?”   “OK! I’ve got this! I’ve totally got this!” “Oh! Now she wants me to scale it back.” “Why doesn’t she just let me take over and do this?” ‘Ok! OK!”

Then it happened. He came up in front, sat more behind and the canter took on a whole new feel. We were bounding.

The Challenge?   The Challenge Dear Readers is to keep that canter in the competition ring.  That is the challenge.  The Solution?  I shall work with my coach Belinda on the canter in my lessons so that I can get a solid feel for how to achieve that canter. Here is a short video clip of the canter work in my lesson on Friday.  You can hear Belinda’s instructions to me so you will know what I am doing.

I was happy that we could get the good canter back again on Friday. The only remaining part is to have the courage to go for that canter in the ring.  That is the final part of the Challenge and the Solution is in how I prepare my head. It is all about that five-inch arena in my brain.

Next week is “clarity and certainty”.  Belinda will be away as she is competing in a CDI (Concours Dressage International) in Ottawa.  I shall be working on my own and continuing to prepare. I’ll let you know how it’s going!

 

Beginners Guide to Riding the Mounting Block

Photo of the Inca Trail: Travel One Expeditions.

34 Comments Add yours

  1. Horses are happiness on four legs 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Izrael says:

    All the best! Much love. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful, just beautiful! I love to ride, although it’s few and far between. When I arrived in North Carolina, I looked for therapy riding for adults. All I found were programs for children. Do you know of any such thing?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      There are programs for adults both for physical therapy and psycho therapy. The psychotherapy ones are harder to find and I think there are just a couple in the US. Physical therapy ones certainly exist for adults here in Ontario. I know of two near to Toronto. That doesn’t help you much however. Perhaps if you got in touch with the USEF (US Equestrian Federation) and asked them they might be able to help you. Let me know how you get on.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much for your reply! I will definitely check that out!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. anne leueen says:

        And please let me know how you get on. I don’t know anyone here connected to therapy riding for adults but I could contact someone I know who is connected to the Canadian paraequestrians and she might know of an avenue to follow.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’ll keep you informed!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I hope you are enjoying the weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. dray0308 says:

        You as well!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. mumsthewordblog1 says:

    Good luck! 😃🐻

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You are so dedicated. That is wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Susie! I think. You are a dedicated person too!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Elizabeth (HorseLover4Ever) says:

    Thank you for sharing and teaching us so much!!! ❤ Oh my goodness!!! You and Biasini look just so great together!!! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. sandyjwhite says:

    I continue to be amazed by the complexity of what it takes to compete in dressage.
    I enjoyed the video and especially learning about riding the mounting block.
    I can see that would be no easy task, but would be enormously helpful to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for making the effort to follow the complexities of dressage. It can be difficult for those of us who ride this discipline as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        You are welcome.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. The trail, its view is amazing Anne. I could imagine how peaceful when you’re up there..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I did the Inca Trail back in 1984. There were few people on it then and everyone had to pack their own tents and food. Now they have pack animals ( burros and alpacas or llamas) and there are many ( hundreds) of people. Nonetheless I thin it would still be worth doing as it is very beautiful and inspiring! Maybe something for you Nurul?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for sharing the video, Ma’am

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Akuokuo says:

    Wowee! That Inca trail photo gave me the tingles. Magical place. Inspiring post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I trekked the Inca Trail back in the 80’s. There were not many people on the trail then. I understand now it is very different. You are right it is magical place and there are many Inca ruins along the route that you can only see on the trail. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Can you put pictures of the things you mentioned in your next post. So to know what are they?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m afraid it is not possible for me to take pictures while I am riding the horse. I got my husband to come and take the video so that it would illustrate the frame of the horse and my coaches instructions could be heard. I am not able , for copyright reasons, to show pictures of other riders performing various movements. I will try to give a better explanation of the movements next time. for riding the mounting block if you click on the link there are photos explaining that. Thanks for taking the time to read the post.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Aaa okay, now I got it. Their must a way around for it. You can put go pro on your helmet like cyclist do.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. anne leueen says:

        I could do that and for a trail ride it would be a great idea. But for dressage in the arena it would not show what the horse is doing. You would only see my eye view as I went around the arena. But I like the idea for a ride out in the forest. I will try to do that over the summer. Thanks for the suggestion.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. You are most welcome, I will try to be your blog developer, Since I have experience of business developer lol

        Liked by 2 people

  12. CatMeena says:

    Lovely post & to see you both in action! We’re working on the jump in the canter too. I’m finding its a real high wire balancing act –
    “Control the shoulders!” “half halt, push!” “Control the shoulders, half halt, push!” my trainers voice echos in my brain!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      The work never stops in dressage! That’s why we will never get bored. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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