it depends on your focus

Where we focus our attention is super important to how we get the result we want with our horse. That’s what this video is all about.


Hey, it’s Barb.

Today I want to speak with you about focus.

The first thing I’m going to tell you will not something new to you.

When we focus on something it often happens.

That’s such a simple idea and yet it’s so easy to forget… or sometimes we don’t even realize what it is that we’re focusing on! So we’re not really crazy about the results.

That reminds me of a story Anthony Robbins told forever ago. He talked about going to a party. He just walks into the party and doesn’t know anyone. He’s just observing the people.

On one side of the room are people having fun, laughing, and dancing. They’re having a great time!

On the other side of the room are other folks. They’re kind of grumpy. They’re complaining about the band and the food. They don’t think it’s a very good party.

So was the party a good party, or not?

It depends on where the observer decided to focus.

The same thing holds true in our riding.

One of the things we tend to do is focus on the end result of whatever we want. When we focus only on the result we tend to get abrupt with our cues. We end up with some kind of distorted version of what we really want.
Yes, you do want to feel the end result in your mind. But what makes it happen are the moments leading up to what you want.

I’m going to show you what I mean on Nic.

I’m just going to walk around and demonstrate at a walk.

Let’s say that I want to stop with my seat, and not so much with my hands.
(Barb demonstrates on Nic.)

I put my hand down here. I exhale. I drop my seat, There’s no problem if he doesn’t stop abruptly. I can use my hands to support my stop request after he’s had time to feel my seat.

But to get the stop, I focused on my breath and my seat. Over time, as he feels my seat, he will stop more on his own, because he gets to rest.

(Barb demonstrates again and Nic stops sooner).

My key message for you is to focus on the process and let results happen on their own.

Another little tip is when you watch your video, instead of watching only for the end result, watch how things happened as you came up to the end result. What worked well? And very importantly, exactly where did things start to not go so well? That’s where you focus on improving your riding.

I hope this helps you know more about where you can focus.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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4 Comments on it depends on your focus

  1. C. Read on Sun, 28th Jun 2020 12:06 pm
  2. Barb, you two have been my hero’s for a long time. Curious about your “Nic” as I have a Greg Ward trained Reminic in retirement … NicChex. Lessons learned … if you cannot afford to educate the youngsters don’t breed them. He is still a stallion yet a solid gentleman… as all great cow horses are. Enjoy all you have to share, Carolyn read

  3. Tonya Holmes on Sun, 28th Jun 2020 9:36 pm
  4. Great tip. We just finished rodeo rodeo Bible camps of Idaho. I was teaching the barrel racing. This is such a perfect thought about focus. I would love to share it with the young girls I taught. Always time to teach soft hands but in reality it is focus on the objective.

  5. Eileen Wiskar on Mon, 29th Jun 2020 5:04 am
  6. This video is a great reminder for everyone that the end result is all about making sure you take the time to work on the process. Our horses deserve clear signals. Loved that you apologized for pulling on the mouth. Wish more people had that empathy towards their horses. Educating riders will improve the life of their horses. Thanks Barbra

  7. Claire and Feather! on Tue, 30th Jun 2020 3:32 pm
  8. Good one on all fronts! I am always so intrigued by the fact that the horses-if consistently ridden-will start to pick up on those “pre-cues” and become so light and responsive…it is a very fun journey..but sometimes takes a bit of thinking backwards-like you just explained!
    Have a great July 4th everyone-it will hopefully-be dry and quiet around here! Too much fire hazard!

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