Ride like Raffa!

I have been a fan of tennis star Raphael Nadal for many years. It is not only that he has overcome injury and come back or that he is a brilliant tennis player but mostly because of his attitude!

Photo (C) UKflashport. com

Recently I was listening to a radio report on the Australian Open . It was after the whole Djokovic issues were resolved and Novak had gone home to Serbia. A Canadian player was being interviewed and he said he was going to go in and play in this Championship like Raffa. He was going to focus on Every Single Shot . He said that is how Raffa plays.

Those words rang in my ears. Every Single Shot. I must ride Every Single Stride! I must Ride Like Raffa. Lately I have been struggling to ride better and more effectively. My coach Belinda Trussell always has encouraging words for me. But sometimes she has to remind me that I have lost my focus. I have taken a mental pause. There is no time for that! No time for that if I am going to produce Biasini at his best. To do that I must Ride Like Raffa!

My husband came to take video of my lesson. He stood next to Belinda so you can hear what she is telling me to do. I have earbuds and she is speaking into a mic system so I can hear her clearly. At around minute 2.34 Belinda asks me to drop my stirrups as I am leaning to the right and not centered in the saddle. I drop my stirrups and canter on. Later as he is cantering down the longside throws in several, not asked for, flying changes! When Biasini gets on the Hot Tamale Train even half an inch of movement in my lower leg will result in a change. Biasini gets so sensitive that he responds to even a tiny movement as an aid. Oh, and I still have no stirrups.

So where is the Raffa part of my ride. I am working on that. Going into every corner I must half halt, do it again in the corner, and again coming out of the corner. Focus! I must sit up and stay centered, give the reins when he has given the right response and correct immediately if he gives me the wrong one. Focus on every stride. That is my goal and that is how I will ride like Raffa!


10 responses to “Ride like Raffa!”

  1. Amy Avatar

    Takes a lot of strength and patience to train and to achieve! Beautiful video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Thank you Amy. Needless to say I am delighted to see Raffa win his 21st today and become an historic figure in tennis. And….two months ago he was on crutches after foot surgery. I just learned that today.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alli Farkas Avatar

    I forgot you are in Florida…I kept trying to figure out why everything is so green in Canada—in January! 🤪 Such a lovely place to ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      It is lovely. At home they are having snow and arctic temperatures. Here it is pleasant but tomorrow they’re forecasting temperatures down to freezing! They re blaming a cold front that is coming down from the north of Canada. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alli Farkas Avatar

        It is definitely snow and arctic temperatures here in Michigan. It got up to 20-something degrees in our unheated barn yesterday so I managed to get a lesson. The horse seemed not to care one way or the other. The day before it was only 14°F. Near zero at night. Knee-high snow too. ❄️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen Avatar

          At home we are getting -35 Celsius tonight. Not sure what that is in Fahrenheit but it is cold. Glad you could get a lesson. The horses dont mind the cold. I think the heat is harder for them. Stay warm as you can Alli!


  3. J.W.S. Avatar

    On the court, or in the ring…the similarities are amazing. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anne leueen Avatar

    No worries! David. In dressage we also have movements that require that we put an aid on the horse’s leg when it is just coming off the ground. The half pass for example need the outside leg aid to go on when the outside hind leg is just leaving the ground. One of these days I would like to meet Trish. She sounds like a good trainer and coach.


  5. David Avatar

    In the Trish camp, it is knowing where each hoof lands. I suspect it may be the same in the Belinda. Knowing each hoof fall keeps you on track in your motion and movement. You can’t afford to lose your focus. Once you learn it, it is bringing it up to competition pace.

    Nice video. That’s a nice practice ring too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David Avatar

      Should read: “I suspect it may be the same in the Belinda camp.”

      Liked by 1 person

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