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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Street to Stable Column Two Point with Darby Bonomi, PhD - Had a Bad Fall? Bounce Back with Gusto!

Street to Stable Column Two Point with Darby Bonomi, PhD - 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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Street to Stable Column Two Point with Darby Bonomi, PhD - Too Old to Ride?

Street to Stable Column Two Point with Darby Bonomi, PhD - Too Old to Ride?

Recently one of my clients exclaimed, “maybe I’m just too old to be doing this.” This person is not old by any means; her comment emerged from her sense of guilt for enjoying the horses so much and wanting to continue to show ‘at her age.’ I wanted to exclaim—what, too old? Are you kidding me? (She’s at least a decade younger than I am!)

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Street to Stable Column Two Point with Darby Bonomi, PhD - Dignity and Kindness

Street to Stable Column Two Point with Darby Bonomi, PhD - Dignity and Kindness

A few riders and I were recently having a conversation about how we conduct ourselves in and out of the show ring. Our discussion was spurred by Izzy Baker’s The Kindness Movement (see recent interview on Street Stable) which she launched last year to raise awareness about kindness, the prevalence of bullying in our sport and how our community sometimes places value only on results. Our conversation meandered over to the topic of dignity, and how it relates to kindness.

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Street to Stable Column Two Point by Darby Bonomi, PhD - Thinking about Change?

Street to Stable Column Two Point by Darby Bonomi, PhD - 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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My Story in Hélène T. Stelian's The Next Act for Women

My Story in Hélène T. Stelian's The Next Act for Women

I'm thrilled to share my story in Hélène Tragos Stelian's blog, the Next Act for Women. Her blog is full of inspiring stories of women's transformation in mid life. Check out the full interview below:

The desire to be fully present with and for her children was the catalyst for Darby Bonomi, PhD to close her psychology practice of over 20 years and embark on a new path. Now, as her kids are older and more independent, Darby has combined her passion for horses and the equestrian sports with her background in psychology to become a performance consultant to equestrians and their families.

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Riding Scared

Riding Scared

I used to ride scared. I still do sometimes, but now I’ve made better friends with fear. Not perfect friends, mind you, but better friends. After all these years, we’re still getting to know each other. Most of the riders who come to me for help are wrestling with some form of fear: going too fast, jumping too high, falling off, missing a distance, going off course, not being perfect

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Looking for a Horse? 5 Things to Consider

Looking for a Horse? 5 Things to Consider

Investing in a horse of your own is tremendously exciting!  For most of us, it's also a big financial commitment.  Even if the initial cost of the horse is modest, the ongoing upkeep in terms of board, training, veterinary, and farrier expenses is substantial.  Remember it costs as much to keep a cheap horse as it does an expensive horse…and even more expensive to keep a lame horse!  Just as with any investment, be sure to do your due diligence and hire the right experts to guide you.

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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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Ready to ride?

Ready to ride?

I think I speak for most amateur and junior riders:  we don’t get nearly enough time with our horses!  Barn time is wedged between work, school and family commitments.  Many riders not-so-jokingly refer to barn time as their ‘therapy.’  Why is that?  I think it’s because horses invite us—really require us—to leave behind all the busy-ness of our lives and be right there with them.

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New Year, New View, New Path

New Year, New View, New Path

I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions.  I aim to live each day to its fullest and bring my best self to every decision and moment. Nonetheless, the turn of the calendar offers us an invitation to step back and reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go. For me, 2017 served up plenty of change and with that change an opportunity to realign my priorities and my path for 2018.

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