Riding the Corners

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Keep Your Focus, Achieve Your Goals

by Catherine Madera


Photo credit Mark Madera

It’s February, how are you all doing with those New Year’s resolutions? I make a few every year but often discover I am off track by summertime. Why does this happen and how can it be avoided? The key, I believe, lies in focus.

Dressage is a wonderful discipline to teach focus. At a lesson not too long ago my instructor made an observation: “You are riding so much better when going straight,” she said, “at the corners is where things fall apart.” Indeed, at the corners I was prone to throw my horse away and get sloppy, following what he was doing rather than riding with purpose. In short, I lost focus.

Over the holidays I was unable to ride much. When I finally got Eli out for a schooling ride at a nearby arena he was furry and full of it. We trotted around and around (impulsion being pretty good) while I focused on his lack of focus. We looked at the horses both inside and outside the arena, my mind wandering to unpleasant scenarios as well as to random things unrelated to riding. Interestingly, Eli was especially distracted at the corners and prone to misbehave there. I thought of my instructor’s words. My horse was full of energy but the real problem was my lack of focus. I began riding with a strong purpose, pushing everything else out of my mind. Soon Eli settled down. Not only did our “straight” improve, the corners did, too. We finished a frisky ride safely and happily.

In life what you focus on has a funny way of manifesting. During this time of resolutions, don’t lose touch with what you want when you get to a “corner.” Keep riding with purpose and you’ll achieve the goal.

We have lots of articles this month to help you on your horse journey. Don’t miss the article on the Plumlees and Mission Farrier School, people who know what it means to focus on and achieve worthwhile goals.

Ride the corners!


Published February 2013 Issue

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