Podcast with Sandy Collier

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Barb: Hi everyone. I’m here with my good friend and colleague, Sandy Collier. Hi, Sandy!

Sandy: Hi, Barb!

Barb: Sandy, we’ve been doing clinics together for a few years now including a half-day Mental Skills Workshop. I want to ask you what single tool has made the biggest impact on you regarding competitive mental skills?

Sandy: Barb, I would have to say that it’s the skill of training Recovery. It’s something that I’ve used for years and was never really aware I was doing that! I didn’t really know why it worked until I started hanging out with you and learning about the mental skills.

For those of you who are new to the tool of recovery, it’s training yourself to lower your heart rate and get back to a state of calmness at will. And for me in a more general sense, it’s taking a breath. It’s relaxing. It’s coming back to the present no matter what situation I’m in. And then going forward in a new unit of time. That’s been really huge for me.

As far as utilizing it for training, it can be the moment in your rein work pattern whenever the pattern calls for a hesitation.

I call it a little mini-recovery. I take a breath. I think about the next maneuver I’m going to do, and then I move forward and execute it.

In cutting, it’s when you quit your cow. After you’ve turned back to the herd, it’s that moment where you take a breath; you find your cow and then you execute.

For training a horse… sometimes we can get them a little bit stirred up while we’re training on them. It’s that time when you just drop the reins and let the horse stand until he has taken that deep sigh and licked his lips … and you know that they’ve absorbed.

I’ve watched how much it’s helped people in our clinics… the ones that Barb and I do… to just slow down and become more aware and focused. And when you do that… you really increase your absorption rate. You’re able to learn more… and the same is true with the horses.

I think it’s something that we all really need to be aware of and train so that it’s part of our everyday life, too.

Barb: You know Sandy, what you just said about absorbing, learning, and growing, is so true. When we put energy out, that is a stimulus for growth. We have to do that.

But recovery is when we grow. So if we don’t recover then there’s no growth. That truth has always been so powerful for me. It’s made a massive impact on me in my life and in riding.

Sandy: It’s like a weight lifter. You stretch your muscles and you kind of do these little micro-tears in them and that’s not what makes you stronger. What makes you stronger is when you take the next day off and you let everything repair and then it’s strengthened and grows.

It’s applicable in life and everything we do and that’s why it excites me so much. That’s why it’s the tool that most resonates with me, Barb.

Barb: What about in your personal life? Do you find that you use it in your personal life?

Sandy: I do. I use it all the time. That’s what I use to bring me back to the present moment because I find I always want to be racing ahead to the future.

Sometimes I beat myself up for something I did or didn’t do… but when I take that deep breath and get re-centered… I call that recovery.

A personal life recovery versus a horse training life recovery. But it’s a recovering none the same. Then I’m able to focus on what I want to do next, and my execution is usually better because of it.

Barb: Great Sandy! Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Sandy: You’re very welcomed, Barb!

Barb: I’m so appreciative.

And as always, I want to know what you think. Leave a comment for us. And when you leave a comment, be sure and thank Sandy for her wisdom and being here with us. Bye-Bye.

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13 Comments on Podcast with Sandy Collier

  1. Pat Van Buskirk on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 12:01 pm
  2. Thank you, Barb & Sandy! Great information and tool to use!

  3. Claire on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 12:48 pm
  4. Absolutely great advice all the way around. The “stillness” wherever you can grab it! 🙂
    Thanks so much!

  5. Marty Benoy on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 1:37 pm
  6. Thank you so much Barb and Sandy! This is something I need to focus on much more often in riding and every day life!

  7. Missy on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 2:17 pm
  8. Thank you sooo much much Barb and Sandy!! All your information is so valuable and helpful!!

  9. Catherine Parke on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 4:13 pm
  10. Thank you Barb and Sandy. This is teaching me to reflect and breathe during patterns, not rush. Will try slowing down my heart rate as I enter show pen next week. Catherine

  11. Nancy Burroughs on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 7:51 pm
  12. It’s amazing. Love it !!Thank you ladies.

  13. DeAnna Ball on Sun, 27th Sep 2020 9:09 pm
  14. Thanks Barb and Sandy. Of course, Barb has been teaching us about the stop and take a breath, and wait for your horse to take a breath. I think I just figured out during this broadcast another layer of importance, that calling it “recovery” is a lot like sleep at night, especially when we consider children and learning, we know that they need a good night’s sleep to organize their brain, and find places for the new things they learned. Then they can go on the next day to build on what they learned. So now I am going to be thinking of how the horse can recover and grow with what we just did. It is more than just relaxing, it is processing what we just did! This is a game changer for me. Thank you!

  15. TANYA POOLE on Mon, 28th Sep 2020 3:27 am
  16. Thank you to both of you for sharing this podcast. It add a new way of thing about being ground. That waiting for your horse to take a breath is going to be very helpful when I’m training my horse for western dressage.

  17. Mary Kay on Mon, 28th Sep 2020 10:50 am
  18. Slowing down is something I always have to concentrate on – excellent advice.

  19. Marilyn on Tue, 29th Sep 2020 2:34 pm
  20. I love this advice! The one thing I wish though is that trainers would say “exhale” rather than breathe.

    Thru the years I have watched riders take a deep breathe (and often hold it!) when told to “breathe.” Heck, they’re already holding their breath! They need to EXHALE.


  21. Caroline Mackinnon on Sat, 3rd Oct 2020 4:55 am
  22. Thanks Barb and Sandy for sharing your experience and wisdom.

  23. Robbie Parks on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 5:41 am
  24. Love this , a great tool

  25. Karen Randa on Tue, 1st Dec 2020 9:17 am
  26. I like the podcast and videos. I listen to them at work. Can you do some for steps if you are just getting back into riding? I have been working on starting vertical flexion with my 2 very different horses. One does vertical very good at a walk, trot, and cantering, but side pathing over a post no. Other does not do vertical only at a walk but I can get her to side path over a post.

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