Might be Painful!

I had a topic come up this week. It’s an important idea that’s often overlooked for two reasons. First, it takes energy and effort to do. Second, it can be a little painful!

I suggest you video your rides and study them before anyone else does.

Most of us tend to shy away from watching our videos because we don’t like how we look or ride, or it’s tough to watch errors happen.

But independent video watching can be a powerful tool in your self-improvement toolbox. That’s what this video is all about.


When you watch your video:

  • Decide what went well and claim it. Celebrate it! That would be you! See yourself as a competent rider who will always keep improving.
  • Decide where your opportunities are to grow.

I like to break the “to improve” section down into two categories:

  1. First, what’s important to you to master? What’s bugging you? What would you love to master?
  2. Next, is there a fundamental horsemanship skill that needs work, like your seat, hands, or legs?

Side note: Often, #1 and #2 are the same! :-f)

You can pick several areas to focus on and try these steps.

  • When you watch your video, see where a mistake just began to happen. Most of the time, it’s moments before the error occurs. That’s where you’ll correct it in the future.
  • Do you currently know how to make that move correctly? If you do, mentally practice making the correct move when it needs to happen. Stay slow on the inside as you visualize it. Practice it on your horse, too, if possible.
  • If you don’t know how to correct the challenge, ask a mentor or trainer you trust to give you advice.

I think it’s always good to get a professional’s opinion, of course, but walk through your video first on your own. Think it through. Claim the good and devise a plan for the next time you ride.

Critiquing your video forces you to be thoughtful and creative in designing solutions. You will be invested in those next steps because you prescribed them yourself.

Let me know what you think! Please leave a comment for me.

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7 Comments on Might be Painful!

  1. Renee Racine on Sun, 25th Sep 2022 1:33 pm
  2. Another on point video! Thank you, Barb. I have also found watching great riders helps my riding without me even thinking about it. One year I had had surgery and could not ride for a few weeks. I spent that time watching videos of my trainer riding my horse and was pleasantly surprised to find my riding improved when I got back on.

  3. mark c mahnken on Sun, 25th Sep 2022 1:45 pm
  4. Hi Barbara – I have found in watching my own videos in the past that I thought I was busier than I really was. I also thought I was going faster than I was. So for me I needed to pick up the pace and make my presentation more exciting for others to watch. Our minds can be thinking and racing but our body and horse might not be. My large fasts needed to be faster, my run downs needed more top end to get the stops etc..

  5. Rebecca on Sun, 25th Sep 2022 2:58 pm
  6. Thank you Barbra. Such great advice and am so excited to do this.

  7. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 25th Sep 2022 3:14 pm
  8. Hi Barb, It seems difficult to set up a video camera in the arena to video some of my rides. I guess I can have a friend video me too. But you are right about how hard it is to see oneself on video, unless this is a practiced procedure. Recently I have a video of my loping my 10 year old mare and all I can see is how “fat” i am. Hard to get past that. But that makes me want to lose the weight I need to lose–Ha Ha. for me and for my horse!!! It’s only about 8 lbs so that should be easy–right?—wrong:( Thanks for the good advice. 🙂

  9. Harolyn on Sun, 25th Sep 2022 10:12 pm
  10. I always watch my videos, always!!! Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised, I love tjise times. Most of the time I see what I could have done better. You helped me with that. Thank you

  11. Jonathan Yarbrough on Mon, 26th Sep 2022 7:51 am
  12. How do you always know exactly what I need!! Thanks!!!

  13. ralph albano on Mon, 26th Sep 2022 2:46 pm
  14. BARB, you voted JR #1 any comment on his expertise on climbing on?

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