Discouraged? What comes next?

The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need tomorrow.

Robert Tew

This past week I have had a struggle with my riding. I had one lesson this week when I could not get it together. My coach Belinda Trussell is always encouraging. But she also tells it like it is. Here is an example of one exchange we had in that lesson.

Belinda: “What do you think of that canter?”

Me: “Not enough activity.”

Belinda: “I don’t see you doing anything about it. “

I knew what was wrong with the canter but could I fix it? Well, I went through my rolodex of fixes and none of them seemed to work. Belinda took some video and told me she would not be speaking during the video. When she stopped she said: “I don’t think you are going to like what you see on this video. ” I knew she as right. Biasini was too long in his frame and his canter was just three beat blah.

I struggled on and I began to feel discouraged. Those are the moments when the Brain Committee starts to chip in with: “You’re not strong enough to ride the way you need to at this level.” “You are too old to be riding at this level.” “What is the matter with your right leg? Why can’t you be effective with it?”

But by the end I had it better. When I got home I watched the video that Belinda had taken at the end of the lesson. It looked ok and Belinda was very encouraging.

But how do I deal with that Brain Committee that was still chattering at me? This is not something new. I have had lots of rides that have been very discouraging. I have learned that the best thing I can do is to come back the next day and try again. I have to do this even on days when I want to quit and give up. And guess what? When I come back on that next day I almost always do better. And those days are the ones when I often have a breakthrough. This was the case this week .

I came back and with Belinda’s help and encouragement I rode with determination. Biasini sparked up and became the “hot” horse. In the past I have found that in the canter work he gets so strong I am waterskiing around the arena trying to hold him back. But in this lesson I thought “No…I am not going to get pulled around the arena. I am going to half halt this energy and use it. 1. Legs on! 2. Brace my back! 3. Feather my fingers! These three things have to be done almost simultaneously. So there I am with Biasini powering around the arena and me half halting every second stride. But it worked.

This was the first time I have been able to ride that hot and powerful Biasini and not have him take over but instead use the energy to get even better . The struggle of one lesson day helped me to get the strength I needed for the next.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. I love the high of a great brain committee & the awesome ride that follows, after being so uncollected. On bad brain committee days I tell the committee you know what I got outta bed, I saddled up & rode maybe not great, but I did it despite the committees rantings, then I sack the lot of them & hire a new bunch. Always the next day is better. lol. Thanks for sharing, the struggle is real.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes indeed the struggle is real. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    Good for you. Getting the brain committee to shut up is always half the battle for any sportperson or creative person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes I am sure it affects creative artists as well. Thanks for commenting Emma.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You did brilliant. We all doubt ourselves, and our ability 😊❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David says:

    Elizabeth, when she was a younger rider, she could become easily discouraged. It was like “Why does Deborah get it and I don’t?” But, when Trish stopped the lesson to give Elizabeth (and the horse) a break, it just fed her frustration. That’s when she would pull off her helmet, take off her spurs and said she was done with riding, crying out her eyes. Both Trish and Deborah tried to console her, and tell Elizabeth “We’ll get it next time.” She said, “There won’t be a next time.” When next time came, Elizabeth was ready. Trish had her helmet and spurs waiting for her. When she became a junior, already knowing how to curse, Elizabeth would curse herself to no end. “Ksenzi, you’d better get your f***ing s*** together.” (When she talks to herself, she uses her middle name.) She’s her own harshest taskmaster. Even when she lost her spurs for a week, Elizabeth apologized to Trish for the mistake. Then, she would curse herself for making a mistake. Trish said what makes Elizabeth a great rider is she doesn’t know what quit means. That’s how she pulled #15 out of the fire last season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You got it . Elizabeth sounds a bit like me. I don’t get mad anymore because I know I will get it in the end and at my age there is no point in wasting precious energy on anger. Thanks for this comment David. It made me smile. ( in a good way)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am no expert. However, I hope you stay encouraged as improvement is not always tracked in a straight line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes you are right it is never a straight line. I try to just keep on going.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You have shared a lesson needed for all 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Subbashini!

      Like

  7. Anne Sandler says:

    So much of learning a skill is to build on what happened before. Good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Turning up and showing willing is more than half the battle I think.

      Like

  8. Good for you. If you can leverage the Brain Committee’s chatter as motivation, and not let it sap you, that’s half the battle right there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes the Brain Committee always has a lot to say. Thanks for your comment Robert.

      Like

  9. This is great Anne and it’s what many riders go through just before their skills improve again. We never got this level of feedback during our riding days (when mobile phones were the size of a brick and could only be used for phonecalls). It’s so helpful to have video where you can watch yourself in the saddle and have those eureka moments. Wishing you and Biasini happy trails and a blessed Easter 💛🐴 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Xenia and Happy 🐣 Easter to all of you in the Highlands.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Anne! 💖 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

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