True Blue: The Making of a Champion

True Blue: The Making of a Champion

We all love to have a tricolor hanging from our horse’s bridle—there is a great sense of accomplishment in achieving the consistency which earns a championship. It’s a culmination of many hours, days, months—even years—of practice, training, and thoughtful care.

But, let’s look beyond the moment we’re handed the ribbon and ask: what does it take to be a true champion? What about those small moments of victory that don’t garner an external reward? Is there a larger meaning? And, how do we foster a championship mentality all the time?

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It’s Finals Time! Let’s Avoid the Lure of ‘Perfection’

It’s Finals Time! Let’s Avoid the Lure of ‘Perfection’

It’s been a great year for me.  Wing and I qualified for all the medal finals we set out to qualify for.  Now, finals are upon us.

That’s great, but suddenly I can’t seem to nail a trot jump. What’s with that?!? A trot jump is part of almost every test, not to mention a key element in handy hunter rounds.  And, at the moment, I can’t seem to do it, or at least I can’t seem to do it well. Wing looks back at me as if to say, “What the heck is your problem? You’re making me nervous, Sister.”

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Had a Bad Fall? Bounce Back with Gusto!

Had a Bad Fall? Bounce Back with Gusto!

Have you fallen off your horse and hurt yourself? Did you sustain injuries not only to your body but also to your psyche?  In our career as equestrians, most of us will experience a nasty fall or two.  When a young rider tumbled off at the IEA Nationals last year, the announcer said matter-of-factly, ‘well, the only riders who don’t fall are those who don’t ride.’  True words.  

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Raising Confident Girls

Raising Confident Girls

What is it about girls and horses?  Why are girls—and women—so passionate about riding?

Because on the back of a horse we are powerful, effective, and full of ourselves. We are leaders.

There are lots of other reasons too, of course.  But considering the gender gap in confidence, horses can play a vital role in developing women’s self esteem and leadership skills. 

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Thinking about Change?

Thinking about Change?

As the year comes to a close and our schedules ease up, many of us start to think about where we have been and where we want to go—both in riding and in our lives generally. As we reflect on our accomplishments and challenges of the past 12 months, it’s a great time to give thanks for everything the year has offered and contemplate the growth we desire for the new year.

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On Course with Junior Rider Gracey Hensley

On Course with Junior Rider Gracey Hensley

I love to learn from different people and see things from various vantage points.  I find that everyone--young or old--has something to teach me and something to offer to the world.  One of the most gratifying things about my job is that I get to help people reconnect with their own gifts, from which they have become disconnected.  I am always curious how riders of all ages and levels of experience fuel their performance, keep a balanced perspective and continue to grow as they pursue their passion and navigate the ups and downs of the show world. 

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Say Good bye to Fear and Welcome Back Joy

Say Good bye to Fear and Welcome Back Joy

My blog on making friends with fear touched a nerve.  I heard from many riders about how they feel fear, anxiety, and even trepidation going into not only their show rounds but also their lessons at home. It’s clear that we as a group are very gritty and determined.  Nonetheless, this question presents itself: if we are pursuing our passion, why don’t we lead with joy more of the time?  

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It's All About Winning...Right?

It's All About Winning...Right?

A few months ago, I attended a year end medal finals with my youngest daughter.  Similar to all medal finals, it’s a big deal.  Riders have worked all year and are eager to display their well honed skills.  Trainers are amped up too, of course.  There is a lot of pressure not only because it’s the finals, but also because there is an age limit.  For a lot of riders, this will be their last chance to grab this particular win.  Hence, the pressure is on. 

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