Feb 05, 2021

Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart: Movie Trailer

USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Three months ago we began a conversation about riding rehearsals. Since then I’ve introduced you to many unique ways to visualize your riding using different mental perspectives (think camera angles). In case you missed then, here’s a brief summary of the many different camera angles we’ve talked about:

  • Internal: Visualizing your ride as if viewing it from your own eyes.
  • External: Visualizing your ride as if seeing it from outside your body (like as if watching yourself on TV).
  • Perfect: Visualizing your ride as if doing everything perfectly (even though it won’t likely go that way!).
  • Realistic: Visualizing yourself overcoming a problem (like pulling a rail) and then finishing strong.
  • Partner: Visualizing your ride as if seeing it out of the eyes of your horse.
  • Motor: Visualizing your ride while also moving your body in time with your mental ride.
  • Mental Rotation: Visualizing your ride using any combination of the perspectives above.
  • Feedback: Visualizing (and creating) a negative response (like holding your breath when nervous) and then using biofeedback to practice eliminating it (like visualizing while taking deep breaths).

This month I’m going to introduce you to one final riding rehearsal. I like to call this perspective the Movie Trailer and it works like this: The next time you need a boost of confidence, close your eyes and visualize yourself riding using any of the camera angles above, but this time do so while listening to your favorite song! Make sure that song is meaningful and motivating and don’t be afraid to turn the volume way up! Just remember to turn the music off and remove your headphones before you mount.

The goal of this kind of riding rehearsal is to create a sort of movie trailer image in your mind (like the powerful images and music used in movie trailers) because when motivating images and upbeat music are combined they stimulate the release of feel-good hormones (endorphins) that make you feel more calm, confident, and courageous! It’s like a two-for-one sale for riders - when your images and songs are combined, you become one powerful and empowered rider!

As you now know, there is no shortage of different cameral angles you can use to visualize your rides, but there’s also no shortage of positive results that positive rehearsals can provide you with, including:

  1. Help create positive emotions: Visualize yourself smiling while feeling happy, thankful, and grateful!
  2. Develop muscle memory: All practice - including mental - leads to proficiency
  3. Any time: You can now practice your riding without always needing to be mounted
  4. Anything: You can mentally practice skills you shouldn’t physically practice (i.e. spooks and run-outs)
  5. Staying focused: You now have a positive alternative to spending time thinking of negative stuff!

This wraps up our conversation about riding rehearsals. Perhaps the best thing about them is that anyone can do them, and anyone can do them anywhere! Simply take a deep breath and turn on your internal camera - the popcorn is optional!

I hope you enjoyed the topic of riding rehearsals and hope you’ll give them a try. Next month I’ll introduce you to something new and surprising and really cool, but until then feel free to email me at [email protected] if you’d like more information on how your group can join my summer clinic tour this July and August!

May 13, 2021 Sponsor

FITS Returns to Sponsor AEC, ATC, Intercollegiate, and Classic Series

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is thrilled to welcome back longtime sponsor, FITS Riding, Ltd. for 2021. They are returning as a Bronze Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Adult Team Championships, a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Classic Series, and a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. As a sponsor of these USEA programs, FITS Riding will generously provide gift certificates as prizes for the Intercollegiate championship competitors, AEC and ATC competitors, and Classic Series winners.

May 13, 2021 Classic Series

Memories from the Vet Box with Kerry Millikin

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it was an amazing experience.” Twenty-five years ago, Kerry Millikin and her off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding, Out and About (who was only 8 years old at the time) won the individual Olympic bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, making her one of five females to have earned an individual Olympic medal for the U.S.

May 12, 2021 Competitions

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Announces $300,000 Prize Money for Inaugural Event

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced athletes and horses in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L) will be competing for $300,000 in prize money. Additionally, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing National Championship (CCI3*-L), running in conjunction with the 5 Star, will award $25,000 in prize money. Both events, as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, will take place this October 14-17 at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.

May 12, 2021 Education

Pre-Purchase Examination 101: With Dr. Shauna Spurlock

You’ve seen a horse you like. You’ve ridden it; you love it. The money’s right; you’ve agreed to buy it. What happens next?

Pre-purchase veterinary examinations are one of those topics that a roomful of horsey people could discuss - and argue amongst themselves about - for hours. For the amateur rider, that can be confusing and slightly alarming.

So, let’s simplify it. What is a pre-purchase examination, why are they done, and what should you expect?

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