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!
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!