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Nic Prepping for Showtime

On Tuesday, July 27, Alex Rodriguez will show Nic in the Watt Arena in the Will Rogers Complex in Fort Worth, Texas. Alex is one 16 veterans representing the BraveHearts program in Harvard, Illinois.

Alex is on a team, along with a National Champion youth, and I am their team coach. It’s all inspiring and exhilarating. We’ve all been getting ready to show. That’s what this video is all about.

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How to Deepen Your Seat

This week, this question came up: “What does deepen your seat mean?”

Now, that’s a GREAT question.

That’s what this podcast is all about.

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Define ‘Close To’ A Horse or A Person

If you’ve been with me for the past few years, you know what most people want more of with their horse. It doesn’t matter. It’s the same across the board – English, Western, recreational, or competitive rider. You might also know something most riders (and trainers) think can’t be taught, but I don’t see it entirely that way. That’s what this video is all about.

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Four Elements of Feel

It’s so easy to feel all kinds of things that, quite honestly, don’t feel so great! We’re distracted when we go to the barn, thinking about our day and all the things we need to do. Or we’re nervous – or we’re tired – or discouraged.

And when that happens, we have a hard time getting it together to ride at our personal best. That’s understandable

But if we take away all the fluff? What we really want more than anything is to feel like one with our horse – to feel connected.

Now the term ‘connection’ is used a lot. That’s because, according to research, it’s our greatest human need. I think that’s so interesting. We all want to feel cared for and interact with others in an authentic and very personal way.

In the saddle, that translates to ease, to balance, to rhythm, and so on.

Last year I began to research more about connection with a horse in the saddle. I knew it had to do with integrating ‘mental skills’ with classic horsemanship skills. I discovered a sequence and rhythm to the integration to develop new behaviors and become habitual. The best part is the sequence is effective for all disciplines.

This video is about what I discovered.

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From Theory to Habit

In the past 11 weeks, I’ve been talking about things in your riding that are super important to do (no matter the discipline), but they are very challenging to integrate into your riding. Taking these 10 ideas from theory (“I need to do them”) to new and powerful habits – where the rubber meets the road – is what this video is all about.

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Counterintuitive Series #10: The Most Important Person to Believe In You

Have you noticed that it’s easy to become discouraged about riding?

We’re trying so hard to do the right thing. We spend a lot of time, money, and effort. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

For episode #10 in our counterintuitive series, I chose to do a short podcast. You can download it if you think it might be helpful to listen to it from time to time.

It’s about the need for YOU to continually nourish your belief in yourself – which can definitely be counterintuitive. But I believe this is one of the most important thing you can do for yourself and your riding.

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Counterintuitive #9: Speed Up or Slow Down?

Have you noticed that sometimes we tend to use our cues too fast (our hands or feet get too quick) when we need to be slow and smooth? And then we want to go too slow with our cues when we need to be quick – but still stay smooth!

What’s going on there?

This video is #9 in our counterintuitive series. It’s all about discovering how to be in the tempo and speed flow of the moment. And yes, what’s required is counterintuitive!

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Prepare to be Inspired

This past week I had the honor to be invited to do a 2-day cutting clinic in Oklahoma with 16 veterans and 15 National Cutting Horse Association professional trainers. One vet was paired with one trainer/coach – all in preparation for team competition in Fort Worth in mid-July during the NCHA Summer Spectacular.

The July teams will consist of one vet and one regional champion youth – both coached by one trainer as their team captain.

We had an amazing time. Thank you, BraveHearts, for inviting me to be a team coach (huge honor). The entire experience was moving and fun – all at the same time! And my horse, Nic, did a great job helping Alex Rodriguez, our veteran teammate, learn the ropes of cutting.

I interviewed Alex about his clinic experiences. He had a blast. And he shared how learning to breathe saved his life. That’s what this video is all about.

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Counterintuitive Series #8: When You Grow & When You Get Weaker

Hello, my friends!

This is our eighth episode in our counterintuitive series – those things in our riding that are important to do, but we all tend to do the opposite

This week’s topic is all about training ourselves to recover our energy and lower our heart rate at will. This certainly is a huge challenge in our world of being on the go every moment! But it is the key to consistency and sustained high performance.

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Counterintuitive Series #7:
Love My Mistakes? No Way!

Hello, my Friends!

This is our seventh episode in our counterintuitive series – those basic things in our riding that are important to do, but they’re so easy to forget – and easy to think they don’t carry that much weight.

The first six topics in our series were about:

  • The power of intention and how that sets us up for a positive experience with a clear focus
  • The amazing impact of keeping our eyes up to ensure direction and focus
  • How breathing can transform a ride for the better in literally one breath
  • Feeling your horse move beneath you by focusing on your seat bones
  • Using your seat and legs first before your hands
  • Having the patience to complete the tiny-step sequences in all maneuvers

But most often with all these counterintuitive elements, our natural tendency is to do exactly the opposite! That’s the interesting part to me.

Our seventh topic in this video is all about the challenge of not only getting comfortable with making mistakes, but actually looking for them as the golden keys to your most efficient progress.

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Counterintuitive Series #6:
Tiny Steps Done Well

This is number six in our counter-intuitive series that discusses many of the basics of horsemanship and riding, interwoven with the mental tools and skills that we all know we should do, but we tend to do just the opposite.

Today’s topic is about the tiny steps involved in doing any maneuver we do on a horse. If we don’t do each one of the small steps well (in the chain along the way), then the maneuver as a whole will not be smooth. Or it may not build the confidence of our horse – or us.

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