Monday, May 24, 2010

Video Review: Riding in Your Minds Eye dvd1

How often have we heard that practice makes perfect. It doesn't. If you practice something wrong, you will just learn to do it wrong. No magic there.

Perfect practice makes perfect.

That is the premise of this video. If you practice something perfectly, you will make improvements in your riding. Of course it is easier to do things correctly in our minds. Studies have actually shown that visualizing doing something correctly does actually improve your ability to do something better.

The steps Jane suggests you follow are:
1) Know the mechanics before visualization. Know how the aids should be used to get the horse do the movement.
2) Visualize before you ride, this dvd suggest you watch this dvd. In her books Jane suggest that you just watch good riders. Then as your ride keep those image in your "minds eye."
3) After you are able to watch the horse and rider on the screen, try to imagine it is you and your horse.

Covered in this dvd:
*Alternating between rising and sitting trot
*Upper transitions
*Downward trasitions
*Circles (its a dressage tape, it has to have circles!)
*Shallow loop
*Change of direction
*Medium walk to free walk

The dvd is laid out so that you learn the mechanics and then have a silent period to put the correct image into your mind's eye.

Of course I love this dvd. This is one that I think I will get. As a dressage rider I love to just analyze the process of riding. The video is perfect for actually analyzing how to ride these seemingly simple movements. Study dressage for long and you will learn two things: nothing is simple and if the horse does it wrong it is all your fault. You can use a good video of the disciple of your choice to get that perfect image for minds eye, but this video has really good footage of each movement.

Another pro is it provides a way to "ride" when you just can not get out to the barn. I really wish I had ordered this one when I was in a cast this winter. Now that I am only riding twice a month, I still think that this is going to be a very beneficial video. I think I will be keeping this video for at least a few weeks.

Now if you are not that into dressage, this video maybe a bit much and too simple at the same time. It tells exactly what aides to use and how to use them to make each of the movements. It is based on classic dressage and although I can not image a rider that would not improve after watching and trying the techniques it is very much an English rider's video.

Another potential con of the video is that is meant to be watched over and over again. If you rent it, such I am, then the benefits are not going to be as long reaching. On that note, if anyone has this video and would like to part with it please let me know.


  1. Beth, this looks sooo good...I do love Jane S and watch what ever I may find, on You tube.
    So happy to hear of your riding days now!
    Are you having enjoying the rides?
    Jane makes sense to me and is very kind to her mounts.
    I am laughing at what you said..."If the horse does it wrong-It is your fault!"
    Sadly, too true!
    It is that dance of asking correctly, and then rewarding the correct answers...yet knowing how the correct answers FEEL...that is the trick!
    I do like riding school masters for lesson elsewhere- for this reason.

    Thanks so much for the review. Maybe I will invest for me, and for my little riding disciple!
    I am already talking of handing her off the one that is able to school her in an I have none and the very uneven ground of the tiled area I have for making it difficult for concentration..I can't even lunge my mare there for the uneven footing disturbs her very much!
    I'm cheap though N/C for anything I offer...cause it is fun and I am so loving it.

  2. I can't ever see me riding dressage, though I do enjoy watching it and appreciate the subtle communication that is always going on. The reason I choose to ride is to get closer to nature while enjoying horses at the same time. I'm a hiking camping sort of person, so eventually I want to take my horse out on camping/trail adventures.

    But I think all horse books/videos have something to teach us and I'm sure I would carry something away with me that was useful if I read/watched this one.

    Thanks for sharing,


Thank you so much for your positive comments. I love you hear from you!