In her newest book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, renowned horse trainer and animal behaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones explains that although in reality there is much crossover and shared responsibility when it comes to the two brain hemispheres, each of us naturally operates in a manner that can probably be classified as either “left-brained” or “right-brained.”
For example, does math come easily to you? You are probably “left-brained.”
More comfortable with a paintbrush than a calculator? You qualify as a “right-brainer.”
Knowing which way you lean can help you spend some time balancing your overly logical or overly creative tendencies. When it comes to riding and working with your horse, your goal is to actively use both sides of your brain! The learning and thinking process is enhanced when both sides participate in a balanced manner.
Take this quick “hemispheric dominance” quiz to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses.
QUIZ: DO I RIDE WITH MY LEFT BRAIN OR MY RIGHT BRAIN?
1 Is your grooming box/tack trunk:
a) neat and organized, with everything labeled and in its place, or
b) overflowing with all the stuff you might need.
2 When you are learning a new movement, is it easier for you to:
a) memorize the sequence of aids and talk your way through it, or
b) watch your trainer ride and imitate her actions?
3 When your trainer is speaking to you, do you respond more to:
a) her words (what is said), or
b) the word’s pitch and feeling (how it is said)?
4 When you audit a clinic, do you:
a) take copious and well-organized notes on your laptop, or
b) never take your eyes off the riders and trainers so you don’t miss a single
action or movement?
5 Is it easier to remember people’s:
a) names, or
If you answered with all or mostly “a’s,” you are likely left-brain dominant, and you need to really focus on trying to bring more imagination, empathy, vision, and “heart” to your riding.
If you answered with all or mostly “b’s,” you have a tendency to be emotive, perhaps so much so that the immense amount of feeling you ride with clouds your ability to perform, as well as that of your horse. You need to weave a little more clarity into your riding and training.
Remember, riding with hemispheric balance is your aim!
You can find out more about how your left brain, right brain, and hemispheric balance affects your work with your horse in DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL by Linda Tellington-Jones.
This unique and highly illustrated book, called “wonderful” by Horse Nation, is out now and available from the TSB online bookstore.
“Frankly, our riding improved after absorbing DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL. We rode with greater mindfulness and clearer intent…a keeper.” —Horse Journal
ASK JUDGE JANET CONTEST!
Do you have a question about riding, training, or competing in the dressage ring? Perhaps it’s one that you’ve asked a million times but still haven’t gotten a good answer? Or maybe it’s one you’ve always been afraid to ask? Here’s your chance to ask USEF/FEI dressage judge Janet Foy your most burning dressage question and be part of her new book! Plus, everyone who submits a question is automatically entered to win an autographed copy of the book upon publication.