Podcast with Sandy Collier

Last week I share Part-1 of a 2-part short podcast series with Sandy Collier about some of her favorite high performance strategies.

This is Part 2 and the topic is about what to do right before you go into the ring to show.

Enjoy! It’s great info and even has a tip from the judge’s point of view, too.

This has been a busy travel time for me… and it’s been so wonderful to be out seeing you all in beautiful places with gorgeous weather.

PS: You can download this podcast episode if you like by clicking on the three dots on the right side of the audio player.

. .


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

SANDY: Hi, Barb! Hi everybody.

BARB: Sandy, I so admire you in so many ways. We’ve gotten to know each other over the past four-plus years of doing clinics and retreats together… and generally having a great time.

What I love is how much knowledge you have from all kinds of perspectives… competitor, trainer, life coach, and world-class judge.

Today, would you please put your competitor’s hat on and share a couple of things you did that made a huge difference for you in your showing.

SANDY: Wow Barb. That’s a lot to think about there.

Lets just assume that you’ve already taken care of your physical presentation. Your equipment is clean; your horse is clean; you’ve checked all of your tack. All of that’s done and that you already know what your pattern is or which cattle you are going to cut. All that’s out of the way.

So now you’re down to just the last few minutes and you’re trying to prepare yourself and your horse the best you can.

I would say that the last few minutes before I ever showed, I would try to clear my mind because I’ve already taken care of all the things that I can control and worry about and focus on what I need to do to support my horse.

And that is a moving target because anything can happen. Your horse can change. You never really know exactly what you’re going to need to do to support your horse. If say, he’s a bad lead changer and you know you’re going to have to support him with your off leg as you come through the middle. And be sure you look straight ahead before you use your other leg… you know all those kind of things.

You have to run through that in your head beforehand. You make it to that part of the pattern and put your leg against him. And he may over-react to it in which case that plan goes to heck.

That will call for something else. It’s a fluid and moving target and it requires that you be very focused and connected to your horse.

And so those last few minutes before I show, I would always try to clear my mind, connect to my core, tune into my horse, and really get focused, and feel the horse underneath me… and feel what he needs… and what I need to do.

Then I would bring my shoulders back and my chin up so that I’m in the most positive frame that I can be in and then you just have to go be amazing.

BARB: Well, you certainly did that all the time. No problem for you.

SANDY: No problem there. And if you are not, well no problem, right? At least you gave it your best shot.

BARBRA: Exactly. well I love that. I love that. How did you manage it when you were in the arena and let’s say you had that plan about your legs for the lead change and your horse overreacted? How would you get past that error?

SANDY: Well, the biggest thing of course, is not to panic and then overreact to their overreaction. Such as take it in stride and put your other leg there a little softer at first. The problem is that we have all these plans and sometimes we go by our plans and not by how the horse actually feels and the horse that might move away too much from your leg like that.

Maybe he was sort of hyper adrenalized by being in the show pen and you didn’t feel that so you use maybe the same amount of leg you normally use but it was too much for that instance.

It’s really all a question of being focused into the horse that you are riding in that second so then if he did do that and he overreacted you would obviously want to use your other leg much softer. And gradually increase the pressure on it until you get him lined out across the arena and then change after.

So, it’s probably our fault to start with because we weren’t riding the horse that we were riding. If you over cue but then you have to correct it in much smaller increments going forward.

BARB: That takes a lot of being present in the moment.

SANDY: That’s it, I think.

Probably my one word of advice as you get closer to showtime is to dial into yourself more and more into the present moment by connecting with your horse so that you feel him better and you’re more in the present in terms of what you need to do and how you need to do it.

BARB: Awesome. Perfect, thank you. We just wanted to do a couple little quick tips here this morning.

SANDY: Well these are fun. I love it. I hope you all enjoy it. And always be ready at the back gate when your number is called. That’s from the judge’s perspective. Let me tell you how tired we can get of sitting there waiting for people who just all the sudden decided their cinch was loose or their number wasn’t on.

BARB: I’m sure that after sitting there all day… or even in the morning… because you know you have the day in front of you.

SANDY: It’s a long day when it gets longer for things like that.

BARB: You don’t want the judges to start out a little grumpy.

Well, again Sandy, 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.


Sandy: Bye.

Print This Post Print This Post    Email This Post Email This Post   


14 Comments on Podcast with Sandy Collier

  1. Vanessa Oberg on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 1:14 pm
  2. I love this advice even though I am not showing my horse! Just connecting with my horse and being in the moment and not over reacting is so helpful! Thank you very much!

  3. Elaine Bohlin on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 1:34 pm
  4. Thank you for the real world example and especially for how to recover from a missed connection with your horse.

  5. Pat Van Buskirk on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 1:45 pm
  6. Thank you both, Barb & Sandy. I don’t show, but this is a great reminder to think about my horse and his disposition for that day.

  7. Linda Vandenbosch on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 3:15 pm
  8. WOW! You both were describing my last horsemanship run. Yes I see I was focused on my goal and not on the horse and yes I over cues to ensure my goal! Got a lead change that wasn’t required😅thank you for this insight 😍

  9. marion Wheaton on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 6:57 pm
  10. Your willingness to share your wisdom is inspiring. Love the remider to stay focused on the connection with my horse. So important to not get caught up on my end goal.

  11. Tonya Holmes on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 7:37 pm
  12. Thanks Sandy. That is perfect.
    I’m running several horses. I have a plan that I’m working on each time but always need to focus on the horse I’m riding. Today in the warm up pin I seam to have brought two different animals from home lol. Made some adjustments but things weren’t as I wanted. The cool fall air this morning., I think. They definitely need more support from me. Luckily there will be more cool mornings to practice with.

  13. Suzanne Ward on Sun, 4th Oct 2020 9:14 pm
  14. Thank you! Thank you!
    Both of you ladies are an inspiration and share the best of tips and wisdom.

  15. Renee Berrey on Mon, 5th Oct 2020 4:45 am
  16. Thank you! Sandy, I appreciate your no nonsense approach and very accurate advice.
    I am just learning cow horse at 62 and it is so challenging. You wisdom and knowledge is so valuable to me. Thank you again!
    Barb, I admire your calm, always positive feed back and encouragement. Thank you!
    You girls rock!

  17. Becky Heckaman on Mon, 5th Oct 2020 5:17 am
  18. This is wonderful and so close to home that I didn’t know you were at the last show I was At watching me! Lol
    You’ve really opened my eyes to riding the horse in the moment not just my goal.
    Thanks so much!!

  19. Keeley S Vanek on Mon, 5th Oct 2020 5:52 am
  20. Thank you Sandy. It always good to hear from you. I love your advice about riding the horse you have at that moment and what happens if they over react to your leg…. keep riding.
    Have a great day!

  21. Carol Mills on Mon, 5th Oct 2020 9:37 am
  22. Thank both of you ladies for taking time to share your knowledge with us. Sandy sometimes I have to remind myself to see what horse I have today. Circumstances and environments do effect our horses from day to day. Great advice as usual. Thanks again ladies!!

  23. Kim Darnall on Tue, 6th Oct 2020 11:27 am
  24. Thanks Barb….
    Thanks Sandy!!!

    It’s sooooooo pivotal to a BETTER ride
    when we adjust our energy level to the
    horse we are riding in the moment.

  25. Diana Vold on Tue, 6th Oct 2020 2:45 pm
  26. Thank you so much Barbara & Sandy for your wisdom . Feel of your horse is so important, my mare gets hyped up at the shows so my cues, seat & energy has to be so different than just practicing at home.
    Excited to be doing the 3 day clinic with you ladies in Temecula this month!

  27. Marty Benoy on Sat, 10th Oct 2020 6:46 am
  28. Thank you Barb and Sandy!!
    Sometimes it’s hard to ride the horse I came in with. Hard to forget old baggage, believe they can do it, believe I can do it. But it can be done!! Thank you for reminding us!!

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.