Stop the Neg­a­tive Self-Talk

Dressage Today - - Inside Dt -

This past week­end I was sched­uled to run a Ragnar trail race for which I trained for months. Ragnar is a race where teams come to­gether to run a course through the woods over two days and one night. I was to run three loops, which to­taled about 15 miles. Un­for­tu­nately, my race week­end didn’t go as planned. I got my first loop (the long­est and hard­est) done. But due to a tweaked knee and an in­fected stye that left my one eye swollen shut and drain­ing into my lymph nodes, I couldn’t fin­ish. Thank­fully, we had a standby ready to fill the spot, so the team didn’t suf­fer.

That said, the neg­a­tive self-talk I dis­pensed over the next 24 hours was pretty harsh. I knew bet­ter than to beat my­self up, but I did my best to con­vince my­self that I was a fail­ure. Then I re-read this month’s story by U.S. Olympian Allison Brock (p. 36). While Brock’s tips for men­tal fo­cus are re­lated to rid­ing, I also found them help­ful for the sit­u­a­tion I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. The tip that struck the loud­est chord for me was No. 5: “Quiet Your In­ner Critic.” She warns us to be very aware of our in­ter­nal dia­log, say­ing: “When I’m hav­ing the neg­a­tive back talk in my brain, I’ve learned to sit there and chal­lenge and ques­tion what I’m say­ing: Is this a fact or a feel­ing? Am I ac­tu­ally a fail­ure or do I feel like a fail­ure? Feel­ings are not nec­es­sar­ily facts.” This spoke vol­umes to me, and I think you’ll find the rest of her ar­ti­cle a tremen­dous help in your own train­ing.

Our cover story this month is from for­mer USEF Na­tional Young Horse Dres­sage Coach Scott Hassler. He speaks to us about find­ing true col­lec­tion in the dres­sage horse and the im­por­tance that rhythm and for­ward de­sire play in the suc­cess of col­lec­tion. He of­fers a won­der­ful ex­er­cise that he calls “School­ing Through the Num­bers,” in which he grad­u­ally asks his horse for col­lec­tion in the can­ter. He in­cludes ad­vice for the horse just learn­ing col­lec­tion and for the more ed­u­cated horse. You can read about this ex­er­cise and oth­ers start­ing on p. 28.

This is­sue also in­tro­duces us to Quinn Iver­son, a young pro­tégé of U.S. Olympian and U.S. Eques­trian’s Dres­sage De­vel­op­ment Coach Deb­bie McDon­ald. McDon­ald saw Iver­son rid­ing in a clinic at First Level and knew the young rider had tal­ent. After dis­cus­sions with Iver­son and her fam­ily, McDon­ald wel­comed the teenager to join her and Olympian Adrienne Lyle (also dis­cov­ered by McDon­ald) as a work­ing stu­dent in Idaho and Florida. You can read Iver­son’s story on p. 42.

Other sto­ries this month in­clude an ex­cerpt from The Dres­sage Seat by Ger­man trainer and au­thor Anja Beran (p. 46), tips on clip­ping and blan­ket­ing from two of the sport’s top grooms (p. 56) and much more.

Un­til next time,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.