The secret weapon at your fingertips

Years ago, a friend loved to take videos with a camera with cube-like cartridges. She would film everything from generally messing around to practice rides to show runs.

The problem for this non-techie, non-mechanical girl was I had to learn to run the machine to play them back, and then I had to hook up the TV to the device, and then I had to hook up the camera to wherever it hooked into.

That was a lot for me! But I did love studying my videos when she filmed them.

But now, as you know, filming is so easy.

For riding, of course, we don’t need anything but the convenience of our phone, ideally held in a horizontal position – and then we need to study it.

The study part is what this video is all about.


When we watch our videos, we often see things that make us cringe, like the errors we made or our facial expressions. It’s easy to dread watching them because all we think about is what went wrong or what we think looks terrible.

But what if you studied your video from these perspectives with the desire to learn and to keep polishing your ride?

  1. Do you know how a nice ride would go before you begin? Or were you preoccupied with things that might go wrong?
  2. How did you prepare yourself? Did you get you and your horse in an engaged state before “serious” work began?
  3. Acknowledge what you and your horse did well. See those things as your strengths, and look forward to building on them.
  4. Was your horse “with” you at the ride’s beginning, middle, and end?
  5. Notice critical elements of your horsemanship, like seat, upper body, and hand positions. Did you maintain these in a flow throughout your ride, or did you inadvertently lean forward, back, to the side, or look down when you were unsure of what was happening? Changes in your body reflect changes in your focus and emotions.
  6. Where did things go well, and what did you do before that time?
  7. Where did things go off the rails, and when did they just begin to happen?
  8. After an error, could you return to the present moment and leave the faux pas behind?

These are just a few questions you can ask yourself as you watch your video. Because you crave learning (instead of criticizing yourself), pick just one or two places to adjust next time, with an ever-mindful eye on owning and developing your strengths.

Leave a comment for me. Let me know what you think.

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3 Comments on The secret weapon at your fingertips

  1. Donna Padula on Sun, 5th Mar 2023 2:31 pm
  2. Thank you so so much ! Every little bit helps ❤️

  3. Angie Schindler on Mon, 6th Mar 2023 2:24 pm
  4. Hi Barbra. This is great. Enjoyed the call the other night with Robyn as well. I’ve had my husband video me every chance I can get him to but I could do better in looking at some of the details you mention that I didn’t think of. Thank you for that! Also, have you tried any of the self video tools and like any? I was looking at those. Best, Angie

  5. Dawn Champion on Tue, 7th Mar 2023 11:00 am
  6. Wow Barb, I loved this. The idea of loving to learn when riding for some reason never occurred to me. It always seems like learning is frustrating because wanted to just be “good” at it. Thanks so much for the redirection. Going to try my best to have that mind set.

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