Saturday, March 6, 2010


I just wrote out a whole visualization for my ride next Thursday. The key to having a good visualization is to include lots of detail and emotion. I was going to share it but I thought it was a bit long and boring for a blog. I got a lot out of actually typing it out.

This technique has really worked well for me in the past, until I get to those parts that I didn't visualize really well. Normally I start out strong, but forget about the last part of the ride. That was where my down fall was with a few rides I had on Abby.

When I visualize I usually start out really strong and then get lost in the middle as a dog licks my face or the phone rings. So the process of actually writing my visualization helped me to take the ride from the moment I park under the big pine tree to getting in my car after the ride. See really long.

I can tell when the difficult parts of the ride are going to be for me. I get a little herd of butterflies in my stomach when I think about getting on or getting off. I know from experience that as I keep visualizing those awkward moment, they become less awkward.

So I'll just share one part with you for an example:

With a positive attitude, I lead Bill to the arena and under the black hanging tarp that keep dust from going into the barn. Behind me R closes the wooden arena door. Bill follows me obediently, and I take a deep relaxing breath. Letting it out slowly as R asks Bill to stand next to the gate, I am confident in my skills. Bill moves over until his side is touching the gate. I climb up the old dusty gate, I feel the grim under my hands. I move freely but deliberately. I feel confident because I have worked with Bill before and he has always been well behaved. I take a deep breath and let it out, just like I have done a hundred times before. I grab the soft leather reins and swing my leg over the saddle. The saddle is cold, but warms quickly from my body heat. I slip my feet in to the stirrups. Next I shift my weight around the get my position correct, check my reins again. I take another deep breath, Bill has not moved an inch and is just waiting for me to tell him what to do.

See I have a lot of detail in their, and even more that I will see in the picture in my head. Before I got out of bed this morning, I ran this scene through my head, I'll do it again as I am in the shower, and driving to work. Finally I will do it as I fall asleep tonight. By the time I ride Bill for real I will have done it probably at least 25 times in my head.

* * * * * *
Mean while back at the ranch. . . .

Abby and Kinsey are the best of buds. Every time I look out there are with each other. My batteries died yesterday, but charged our night. I will have to take some pictures of them together. They are instant friends!

For the first time Kinsey came running up to me yesterday. I think she is feeding off the other horses that all flock to me when I came into the field. So she just joined in. My heart melted as I saw her trotting towards me with her ears pricked and a happy look on her face. I easily caught her and took her out to be groomed and then did a little in hand work . We did target training, and some other in hand work. Then we took a short walk. She did wonderful.


  1. That is really interesting how you write out your vision for your next ride.

    Isn't that one of the best things in the world when they come trotting or cantering up to you?

  2. Abbe and Kinsey sound adorable and very sweet.

    I think your visualization exercises will help you to have some great rides.

  3. I have never tried visualization exercises. I've been told they work really well, but I think I have avoidance problems. When something scares me I just avoid it. If I'm forced to face it or think about it too hard I get panicky. Maybe trying it with something easy and slowly moving toward something hard (spiders eek!!) might work. Hmm.

    I can't wait to see pictures of Kinsey and Abby together. :)

  4. Zeppelin isn't quite comfortable enough with me for me to touch his side yet. I'm taking my time gaining his trust because I don't want to scare him. I'll see if my hubby can help me to put a halter on him, but only if Zep doesn't act to scared.

    The visualization makes sense. I might try it sometime. That's interesting about the video game. I've heard of people using computer simulation programs for conquering their phobia of spiders! Maybe there is something behind that.

  5. Kinsey sounds wonderful! I love when horses are happy to see you and come up to you...and not just for treats :)

    I've never tried the visualizations. They sound interesting, though.
    I wish I was more like kids that ride horses. They don't visualize, they don't over think, and they don't carry baggage. They don't have any expectations except to just get up there to ride and have fun.
    If they have any issues while riding, they just deal with them. I wish I could be more like a kid when riding :)



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