5 Back to Schooling Trainer Tips OR How I Discovered The Importance of Note-taking with Training
In thinking about my Back to School theme with this month’s eNews editorial, my mind began to drift on schooling and training in general. I began thinking about note-taking and comparing my extensive dressage lessons to the, very new to me, surfing lessons and how I could apply my experience as a well-studied equestrian to develop my surfing skills. I’ve developed some not so stellar habits, reinforced some issues with confidence, and have been re-thinking the “you just need time in the water to improve” mantra. It hit me at the top of yesterday’s surf session when it was suggested I go into each session with a single intention. “Hmm?” I thought. With all my backsliding as of late, how about just popping up? Ok, so surfing seems like a dramatic departure from dressage but truly are they all that different? The intent of harmony between two objects on a giving surface where perfection lays in the appearance that the human is doing nothing to control the board. This thought led to scrolling back through some older dressage articles I’d written where I noticed patterns in my training cycles. I compared these articles dates to my post ride notes dates. The ebb and flow of it all made me realize the distinct importance of note-taking directly after your rides and especially after your lessons.
Whether you’re a beginner or an international pro, write down your thoughts, ideas or issues faced in your daily rides as you’ll likely face the same issues in different circumstances throughout the years. For example, almost all of us are “handed” meaning we’re stronger on one side of the body than the other just like our horse athlete partners. Writing down what you felt or how your body shifted will reinforce, for many through decades of riding, where our strengths and weaknesses lay hopefully allowing us to build on those strengths and improve on or overcome those weaknesses.
As I began to write about my last month’s take aways from my new sport, I collected a variety of highlighted tips from my dressage notes the last ten years which I’ve found repeatedly helpful. No matter what discipline you ride, I hope they might inspire you in your rides as well…
Training with Gwen Blake:
Clinic with Janet Brown-Foy:
Training with Anky van Grunsven:
Theory with Elizabeth Madlener:
Training with Geoff Butler:
Theory with Jean Luc Cornille:
So try this… Keep a pencil & paper, your smartphone, laptop or tablet handy in the tack room to jot down ideas you had from your ride or lessons you learned or perhaps even what you want to focus on with your ride the following day. Perhaps that single intention to step in the sand with? Just give this a try for one month, look back, and see if you notice a more dramatic improvement in your riding. While the perfection we strive for is often illusive, note-taking provides a path of personal education and exploration that we can’t fully embrace otherwise.
My August tip?.. Do yourself a favor and try Bye Bye Odor if you haven’t yet. I have a bagillion uses in my equestrian life and am already finding some amazing uses in my surfing life as well!
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