Have you ever stopped to think about how much energy you use riding and competing? How you tap into it, add to it, conserve it and why you should? Think about the common scenario below:-
Why can’t we repeat how we ride at home on show day?
Ever noticed how we can ride really well at home then it all goes to pot on the big day!
Loads of us struggle with not being able to repeat our home performance, when it counts and understandably we feel frustrated in the process!
Why does this happen?
Mostly because we try too hard on competition day!
We over spend our energy and often spend it in the wrong places or at the wrong time.
Mentally and emotionally, what is going on?
We tend to focus on the wrong things on competition day. For example:
- We focus too much on what other riders are doing, we lose concentration on our own riding so end up producing something we hardly recognise!
- We focus too much on what our horse is doing and trying to correct it and fight against it, instead of making the best of what he/she is offering us on the day.
- We focus so much on the warm up that neither rider or horse has much ‘sparkle’ left in the tank for in the arena!
What can we do about it?
It is important to learn how to trust in your skills and to learn how to ride effortlessly.
We must also learn how to manage our energy levels, reserves and expenditure. This way, we avoid coming out of the ring exhausted, frustrated and red in the face!
We must learn how to re-direct our focus and mental concentration so it is in the right place! We need to learn how to manage a lot of ‘mental stuff’ whilst in the saddle and competition field. This starts at home so we can transfer it off site!
Our total body energy (physical and mental) needs to be directed in the right place, at all times!
What does “riding effortlessly” mean?
These are my own words and thoughts but as a coach, “riding effortlessly” means riding with balance, and with relaxation – it’s about doing as little as possible and getting out of the way of the horse!
When we can do this, it allows us to have enough energy (mental and physical) for any last burst needed in an “against the clock round’ or technically challenging dressage moves at the end of the test!
Conserving our energy also allows us to leave the arena with a smile on our face and feeling good!
Using less mental energy to stay relaxed sounds crazy and counter intuitive right? Yet it is exactly the skill we need to develop so we can ride effortlessly and enjoy what we do! That should help the horse perform at his/her best too!
If that sounds good to you, and you want to improve the consistency of your riding away from home, contact Jigsawequine.com/co.uk.