Iusually highlight articles that have influenced my horse and my riding. But producing the magazine is a team effort, so this month I want to share insights that resonated with Prac’s Managing Editor Emily Daily and Associate Editor Jocelyn Pierce.
Emily’s favorite: From Lisa Wilcox (p. 35)—“If you happen to be on a sensitive and/or claustrophobic horse, busy warm-up rings can make achieving the relaxation and preparedness that you hope to bring to your test difficult. It’s your job to make the world a safe place for him, so devise a strategy to protect him from unnecessary warm-up stress.”
Emily’s reason why: Lisa offers tips to not only survive but thrive in a chaotic warm-up ring. My mare takes every opportunity to spook or tense up in nervous show-ring situations, so Lisa’s thoughtful step-by-step approach to avoid any potential disasters and prepare yourself for the best ride possible was helpful in creating a successful game plan for our next outing.
Jocelyn’s favorite: From Eric Navet (p. 19)—“Don’t try to do better than the others, but do the best you can on your horse in the moment. When it’s done, whether you win or you’re third or you’re fifth, you’ve done your job. It’s a competition about yourself and your horse, not so much the others.”
Jocelyn’s reason why: Eric’s sentiments are a good reminder to focus on your own riding skills and the strengths of your horse instead of being distracted by and dwelling on what other competitors may be doing. If you and your horse perform at your best, it doesn’t matter where you finish in the order.
My favorite: From Richard Spooner (p. 39)—“At the end of a show day, I try to step outside of myself and look objectively at whatever problem I had that day … .” Horses, horsemanship and show jumping can be vexing, so this “obsessing” has to be done without emotion. Frame mistakes, by horses or riders, as instances to be dwelt on only long enough to learn from, then let go.
My reason why: The other day, I was leading my usually sedate horse from his pasture when he got excited, pulled away from me and trotted off. I finally got hold of him, but I was mad (really, after all he’s 23!). With Richard’s thought about no emotion on my mind, I put my horse back into his pasture until I mastered my temper and then did ground work to get his attention on me.
Those are our picks. Let us know which ones have influenced your horsemanship at email@example.com. Editor