Discouragement and the Visual Learner.

“Fatigue, discomfort, discouragement are merely symptoms of effort.”   Morgan Freeman

DISCOURAGEMENT.

Let me start with the discouragement.  At the last show Biasini was a better performer than I  was. He did everything he was asked to do. The problem was with the person giving him directions. That would be me!  I was just not on my A Game that weekend. We showed at a National ( recognized ) show and had the privilege of  a 5*, Olympic level judge. Cara Whitham has only recently retired from judging the biggest international competitions and she was the judge.  When we got a movement right we got a good score but if there was a mistake or sloppiness we got a very low score. Rightly so.

After the show I was feeling discouraged and annoyed with myself.  At the start of my first lesson the following week I told Belinda how I was feeling. She told me to take a look at videos from the previous summer and then come and tell her what I thought.  I did that.  Well…..   as soon as I looked at those videos and then looked at the video from the most recent show I could see that although I may not have  been riding my best there was considerable and visible improvement.  So…onwards!

At the next lesson Belinda told me that what was needed to get more expression from Biasini  was more lower leg support and more effective use of my lower leg. How was I going to get that?

Ride with no stirrups for the next six weeks.  I would not have to do the entire lesson or my own rides entirely without stirrups but by the end of the six weeks Belinda told me I would be comfortably able to do a full  30 minutes.  And…my lower leg would be much stronger and more effective!

FATIGUE AND DISCOMFORT

Riding without stirrups is somehow much more work than riding with stirrups  so fatigue can set in earlier. Belinda is aware of this and so our lessons were not too long and very much to the  point.

Week one we started with all the canter work without stirrups and for the trot work she would tie my stirrup irons to the girth. This kept my lower leg on Biasini’s side in the correct position. Here is a video from week one of some canter work. Belinda asked me to ride shoulder fore and then change to travers (haunches in).  You can see on this video that I did not make a good start ,so I circled and started again and got it better.

Week two we did the trot work without stirrups and took them back for the canter work.

Week three, is the week I am in now.  We did bothcanter and trot without stirrups for a total of about 15+ minutes.  I have to be honest there was no serious “discomfort ” involved.

THE VISUAL LEARNER

Belinda had asked me to bring my phone with me to our lessons so she could video me. She would take short video clips and then I would take a quick break to look.   If there was something that was not working well I could see it right away. Then back to work.  9 times out of 10 I would correct the problem almost immediately. Belinda had this to say:

“I could have talked for another five minutes and you still might not have got it. But  I show you  the video and in two seconds you’ve got it.”

And that, Dear Readers, is the living proof of a visual learner.  I cannot explain to you why it works. It is not an intellectual process. I do not look at the  video and analyze what I need to do. I look. I see what is wrong. I pick Biasini up again and it goes right. It really is not about “thinking” at all.

Some neurologist or psychologist might be able to tell  me why it works but really that does not matter. It works!

Here is a video of some of the trot work we did today ( Tuesday July 18 2017)

 

Photo credit: Connie Gee

27 Comments Add yours

  1. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth says:

    Both of you looking wonderful in that video!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Elizabeth!

      Like

  2. Phuh, getting exhausted just watching 😉 Neat job with the No Stirrups! I always get so sore after… This is real nice. I think next snippet of filming I ever get, I’m going to try something – stopping and reviewing it real quick. Then try again, and comparing the two films at home, looking for improvement! Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      For some reason, not sure what, I have not found that I am sore after these sessions. I’m now up to 20 mins and take a walk break between the trot and canter phases and move my legs around . That seems to help. If you can get someone to do short bits of video and then stop and watch you may find it helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, dunno, it’s SO hot here, sweating is inevitable. So, with that, lots of breeches rubbing on the legs in new places when there’s No-Stirrup work. Sigh 🙂
        After our vacation, I’m going to enlist my little boy to come and film, and give me a chance to view it before continuing with the ride. They have a few more weeks of summer break, so I’m sure I can bribe them to come out!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        I hear you about the breeches. I started a couple of years ago getting the Animo breeches that do not have a full seat of leather and also they don’t have leather on the thighs and knees just strips of sticky stuff. It’s great because in the heat you don’t get so sweaty and sticky. The other thing is that I have had to learn over the past few years that my upper leg ( hip to knee) must be completely relaxed with only the back ( hamstrings engaged) in use. So for me all the no stirrups stuff is just about my lower leg, calf and then extra push with the inside of the ankle. So that helps with the rubbing . Anyway…… this dressage thing is way more difficult than it may appear to the observer.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Curious – sticky strips/dots, all sorts of stripes. Have pairs you’ve ridden in for at least 2 years? Holding up alright as compared to full seats?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. anne leueen says:

        Yes two pairs for three years and they are holding up well. I now have white show breeches the same. One pair Animo and the other another Italian make ( can’t remember the name sorry).

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Awesome. I’ve fallen for the Romfh Sarafina’s right now, love the two pairs I have. But I hear the sticky dots calling my name! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful horse, Anne! And yeah, many people are visual learners. There are so many different types that once you find yours, life seems to take on a different meaning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! It is good to know that it is never too late to learn how to learn!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great learning tool. I often have my coach do the same thing for me so I can match how the horse felt to how it looks in the video, so I know what the correct feel is for what I am trying to achieve.

    It also helps to have videos to look back on to mark progress for the days when you feel like you’re never getting any better at all.

    Biasini looks beautiful as ever, well done to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for the comment. You appreciate the ” not getting anywhere’ thing that happens to all of us riders! Good to know you like the video training/teaching app as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am all too familiar with “not getting anywhere”!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for the reblog!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dray0308 says:

        Most welcome!

        Like

  5. Well done! I too am a visual learner as well as a kinesthetic learner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re doing awesome, Anne Leueen!
    I’ve grown to like doing stirrup-less lessons, although I admit that I have not gone without them for a while now, lol! They really do help with both your seat and your leg! Keep up the amazing work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thanks for the encouragement! It is much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is interesting. A great learning tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. Good teachers have a large tool kit of “instrument” to try .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they do and it shows you are paying attention and reaping the rewards immensely.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a partnership between horse and rider. If only both could talk, but I guess there are many physical cues horses provides to the rider. I’m glad you’ve learned it’s not about listening and have become a visual learner! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are right it is a partnership. And they do speak but not in our language so we must listen and look for the cues. Thanks for your encouraging comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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