Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good!

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell

I seem to be having a Malcolm Gladwell week this week. First the 10,000 hours needed for expertise and now the idea that I must practice the things I am NOT good at so that I will be good at them. Good at them at some point in the future! Well…OK!

This week my coach Belinda Trussell focused on my ability to get that next level of engagement and power and quickness of the hind end from my horse Biasini. Here is a video clip of some of our canter work from this week. In case you are not familiar with dressage the ‘travers’ is a movement when the horse’s head and shoulders go straight ahead and the  rider brings the horse’s hind quarters to the inside. This should be done without any loss of activity or rhythm.

 

And just in case you think the process of practice is ever finished I had the privilege of watching my coach Belinda have a lesson with her coach Christilot Boylen.  Christilot is a seven time Olympian and has been coaching Belinda ( a two time Olympian) for some 20 years. And guess what?  Christilot had Belinda practice: trot to halt (had to be a nice square halt), shoulder fore down the long side of the arena, half pass and finally centerline canter to halt.  These movements would be practiced and discussed and done until there was clear improvement. On a couple of occasions Christilot would say “perfect” and then it would be on to another exercise.

Here are some photos I took during the lesson. I did some tweaking in Lightroom with the editing of a couple of the photos…just for fun.

 

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A half pass in silhouette.

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The perfect square halt!!

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. Avery says:

    It is so great that you get to train with her and watch her lessons. So much learning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is great isn’t it? I am extremely fortunate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Avery says:

    Love this! and Malcolm Gladwell! Check this older post out…https://13ahamoments.com/2017/11/15/great-reads/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for reminding me. I have read Malcolm Gladwell a couple of years ago. Interesting to see him on this reading list!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you Jo Ann i appreciate your support!🐴😃

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Practice with intention, focus, **mindfulness** is true practice. Everything else is playing (as a musician) or ‘going through the paces’ as I suspect it would be called as a rider.
    And I agree about us being lifetime learners, no matter our skill set/level.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      You’ve got it! Mindfullness is certainly required in riding practice. I find i must be totally present and focused or it all just goes pear shaped. Thanks for this comment and bringing a musicians perspective to the practice concept.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. That’s the thing I love most about riding. You are never done learning, honing and improving. Once you tackle a skill it’s on to the next. And if you ever feel less than humble on your horse just wait until you ride a different one and all the rules change

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes indeed! I think the my admiration for the great riders stems from seeing them ride one horse after another and do well with all the different horses. Carl Hester is one rider who has had a career or this on horses that are not always the most likely to be stars on the international scene. And i agree that this never ending process is what keeps us going and never lets us get bored! Thanks for this comment!

      Like

  5. Alan Stenson says:

    Ah looking good both of you! Photos are great Anne 👌

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Alan! I appreciate your positive comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Biasini looks stunning in the first pic.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve always seen practice as something that is never done as well. Even once you’re good at something, practice is still needed, to carry on learning and exploring. That’s how I’ve always seen it anyway. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I would agree that we can never forget practice. As i replied to Sandy with riding we have to keep moving on and up. We can’t just stay working or practicing the things we know. Then what happens is we comeback to the things we know and find we are at a whole new level with those things too! I think of it as a spiral and when i come round to the same place i am higher up the spiral. Anyway thanks for your comment i liked hearing your thoughts and experience with practice.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like thinking of it as a spiral! 🙂 I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but that sums up exactly how I see it too. 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. sandyjwhite says:

    In skill development practice is never done.
    In life when practice is done we are six feet under.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Haha! Yes! In terms of riding we have to man up and work on the stuff we are not so good at or the stuff that is new to us. Thanks for this comment. I appreciate the perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

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