Recently I received a question from a rider about being frustrated in her riding when speed and distance simultaneously increased.
While the example is about working a ‘wilder beast’ cow (ha), I know this is a challenge for riders in any discipline. When speed and distance expand, the degree of riding difficulty goes up exponentially.
But there are some things we can do. That’s what this video is all about.
Hi, it’s Barb.
I recently received this question from Star:
“I clamp with my herd leg in a time of crazy cow turning into a wilder beast. I’m causing my horse to charge. Heck, I may need two shocking collars for my legs and be zapped to quit.
My mind went blank, and I didn’t know I was even doing it.
It happens about three times a year.
I need to be confident I won’t do that. Thank you.”
I know Star is not alone!
I have a couple of thoughts for you, Star.
First, the degree of difficulty of any maneuver becomes more when speed and distance increase simultaneously. In this case, the faster the cow runs across the arena, the more challenging it is to keep all the elements of riding intact.
- Thinking becomes a challenge. The faster you go, the more ‘automatic’ your responses are. There is no time to think analytically.
- If your mind ‘goes blank’ – that’s a reflection of tension or a random thought of something like ‘Oh shoot (or more expressive) – here we go! The tension is reflected in brain wave patterns that don’t allow you to ‘think clearly’ or perhaps, remember things.
- Our bodies tend to get tighter – naturally – with higher energy output, like speed.
To remedy this:
- Do a lot of visualizing riding your horse on fast cattle but stop the ‘video in your mind’ or slow it down often. Check-in with your body. Readjust all of your body. Stay low in the saddle and engaged with your horse. This is a powerful practice.
- Be aware of your body and limbs, from the warmup to a pre-ride ritual to working cattle at all speeds. Start with your breath and seat, and then take the awareness down to your legs. Adjust as often as you need to do so.
- Be kind to yourself! Remember, speed with distance is the highest degree of difficulty when riding.
- Keep visualizing and practicing on your horse, and I promise this challenge will improve.
Let me know how it goes.