“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.
A half pass in silhouette.
The perfect square halt!!