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Popular riding clinician and motivational speaker Jane Savoie (www.janesavoie.com) was the Reserve Rider for the US Dressage Team at the 1992 Olympic Games, coached at the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000, and 2004, and is the author of a number of bestselling books and DVDs. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the publication of CENTERED RIDING, she shared her memories of how the book impacted her career:

“When I heard 2015 marked 30 years since Trafalgar Square Books published Sally Swift’s CENTERED RIDING, I was momentarily stunned. At one time, 1985 didn’t seem so long ago! For me, that was a year of really hard work—learning, training, showing, teaching. I was riding with Robert Dover (our current US dressage technical advisor/chef d’equipe) then, and discovering Grand Prix on my schoolmaster Sacramento while bringing up a young prospect named Evidence. Oh, and I was teaching a ton—on the road two to three weekends every month, doing clinics.

“The ideas brought to life so brilliantly in Sally’s book opened my eyes to the true power of visualization. Those who know me or who have seen me speak or used my online training programs will understand what a HUGE deal this is! I went on to harness a number of visualization techniques that helped not only with my own riding and training, but with my ability to teach others, as well as improve my life in a broader sense (that is, outside of horses). Sally also made me aware of the need to teach riders to examine their own attitudes and positions first—as opposed to immediately blaming the horse—when things go wrong.

“It was a full seven years after CENTERED RIDING came out that Trafalgar published my first book THAT WINNING FEELING!, which presented my approach to training your mind and shaping your attitude in order to achieve what you might not think possible. It was this formula that helped me overcome pretty significant challenges and eventually be named reserve rider on the 1992 Olympic dressage team. When I look back now, I can see how Sally’s teachings and CENTERED RIDING played a part in making these significant life events possible.”

 

Share your own CENTERED RIDING  memories and “aha” moments online and tag them #CenteredRiding30! And remember, all CENTERED RIDING books and DVDs are 30% off, the entire month of November.

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of horse books and DVDs, is a small, privately owned company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Vanessa Bee's new book OVER, UNDER, THROUGH will help you and your horse enjoy many safe autumn rides together.

Vanessa Bee’s new book OVER, UNDER, THROUGH will help you and your horse enjoy many safe autumn rides together.

Vanessa Bee, founder of the International Horse Agility Club and author of the bestselling books THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK and 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP, now has a brand new way to bring us more of her down-to-earth, easy-to-use horse training skills: OVER, UNDER, THROUGH: OBSTACLE TRAINING FOR HORSES provides Vanessa’s 6 Blueprint Exercises and 50 step-by-step scenarios for teaching horses to accept what they usually think is terrifying.

So what’s all this have to do with Disney’s Dumbo and his “magic feather”? Well, in her new book, Vanessa contends that although we can try and see the world from a horse’s viewpoint, as humans who can think abstractly, it can be very confusing for us as we experience our horses behaving in what often seems to be the most illogical fashion. (Yes, she means when he shies at the same fallen log on the same trail for the umpteenth-millionth time.) If we learn to put our ability to visualize an outcome without actually doing it physically to work, and if we do it in a positive way, there’s no end to what we can accomplish with our horses.

“I am well known in the horse world as having an aversion to whips,” writes Vanessa in OVER, UNDER, THROUGH. “I can see no place for them around any animal. What I do see is when people pick up a whip, their energy and their attitude change. They are no longer quiet communicators setting up scenarios in which the horse has time to seek an answer. There is a feeling of hardness, of demanding, of threat.

“I call whips ‘Dumbo’s Magic Feather.’ Dumbo, you may recall, was a really cute baby elephant who did not believe that he could fly. One day he was given a magic feather that he was told held the special magic he needed to fly. Once he was holding the magic feather he was able to take flight by flapping his fabulous ears. But, just when he needed it most, Dumbo lost the feather and, in a terrifying scene, he found himself plummeting to earth at disastrous speed.

“But his guide implored him, ‘Fly, Dumbo!’ for he knew the magic was not in the feather. The magic was within the little elephant himself! And Dumbo flew!

“The whip has become like a magic feather to riders. It is time to believe that the magic is not in the whip. Be empowered; the magic is within yourself. That human ability to visualize can help you achieve anything you truly want to do.”

 

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

For Vanessa Bee’s “keep it simple” training exercises, check out OVER, UNDER, THROUGH, available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to download a free sample chapter.

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of horse books and DVDs, is a small, privately owned company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

In his fun-and-idea-filled book PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING, Daniel Stewart discusses dozens of specific tools and tricks that can be used to manage the stress, nerves, distraction, anxiety, and panic that so often hinder performance. And while there’s nothing new about using imagery and visualization to improve your riding, we can all use fresh concepts for how to incorporate them in our daily practice in order to reach our goals and achieve all we can with our horses.

 

Here are a few suggestions from PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING to help you create “vivid visualizations”:

 

1  Make Your Visualizations “Touchable”

Create images that you can actually touch. When you do this, the image becomes more real and understandable because it creates a connection between your mind and body. This is called the mind-body bridge. For instance, a trainer notices her student’s rein contact is too loose so she picks up two small stones from the arena and instructs her to hold the stones—one in each hand—for the remainder of the lesson. The next day the trainer tells his student, “You don’t have to hold the stones today, only imagine what they felt like yesterday.” Since she’ll still have the physical and mental memory of what the stones felt like, this mental image will make perfect sense to her today.

 

Help yourself visualize the wind by first sticking your hand out the car window to see what it feels like.

Help yourself visualize the wind by first sticking your hand out the car window to see what it feels like.

 

2  Make Them Creative

When it comes to creating vivid mental images you’re only limited by your imagination so make them as creative as you can. For instance, a trainer might tell a student to open her shoulders by imagining the wind blowing them open but how can she touch this much wind? A windy day or a fan wouldn’t be enough but if she were to stick her hand out of the window of a speeding car, she’ll feel plenty of wind. The next time she rides she can simply remind herself how it felt to touch “plenty of wind” and how it pushed her hand back.

 

A gallon of hair gel in your horse's mane can help keep you from leaning too far forward!

A gallon of hair gel can help keep you from falling onto your horse’s neck!

 

3  Use All Your Senses

Engaging as many of your senses while imagining your mental images makes them feel very lifelike. For instance, a young rider was told to imagine spikes sticking out of her horse’s neck to avoid leaning too far forward, but instead of just thinking it, she took a gallon of hair gel and actually spiked her horse’s mane! She could now touch the pointy parts and feel the stickiness of the gel; she could actually see the spikes and smell them too. All these senses worked together to create a very effective and understandable image.

 

Use funny imagery to make your visualizations memorable.

Use funny imagery to make your visualizations memorable.

 

4  Make Them Funny

Create images that are funny, ridiculous, or just plain weird. When you do this, the images become very memorable. For instance, while holding sponges will certainly create good rein tension, holding a hamster in each hand and not squeezing them too hard (or their eyes will pop out!) is a funny example from one young rider. Here are few other examples of funny images:

• Potty Squat—A young rider learned her two-point position by imagining she was going to the bathroom in a “porta-potty.” The weight’s in her heels, knees open, hips back and hovering over the seat (not touching it!), hands slightly forward reaching for the paper, and never looking down!

• Beach Ball—A rider struggling with her sitting trot knew that her tight hips were causing her to bounce (much like the tight outer “skin” of a beach ball causes it to bounce), so she learned to relax her hips by imagining them as two big beach balls with some of the air let out. Since the outer walls of the balls were no longer so tight, there was no bounce left.

• Wonderbra—A rider learned to open her shoulders by remembering the well-known slogan of the Wonderbra. Instead of forcing her shoulders open she simply reminds herself to “lift and separate!”

 

Get more great tips from Daniel’s fab new book PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING, available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

 

International trainer, instructor, and sport psychologist Daniel Stewart is getting ready to kick off his popular Summer Clinic Tour! This year he’ll teach 48 clinics in 31 cities in 54 days!

“Last year I taught 40 clinics in 50 days, and I’m getting ready to do it all over again,” says Daniel. “I also donated $4,200 of my clinic earnings to the US Pony Club and look forward to donating even more this year!”

 

TSB author Daniel Stewart kicks off his 2014 Summer Clinic Tour in June.

TSB author Daniel Stewart kicks off his 2014 Summer Clinic Tour in June.

 

If you’d like to audit or ride in one of Daniel’s summer clinics, check the tour stop list below and contact the organizer using the information following each date:

 

June 14/15 – Agoura Hills CA

danacphd@gmail.com

 

June 16/17 – Palos Verdes CA

jannabahny@gmail.com

 

June 18 – Woodland CA

sunfireequestrian@yahoo.com

 

June 19 – Gardenville NV

dberonio@guildmortgage.net

 

June 20/21 – Davis CA

amdennie@sbcglobal.net

 

June 22 – Gilroy CA

brucette123@aol.com

 

June 23/24 – Saratoga CA

dcohencc@earthlink.net

 

June 25 – Woodside CA

MMaroney@carbylan.com

 

June 26/27 – Bolinas CA

bolinas.hunters@sbcglobal.net

 

June 28/29 – Whidbey Isle WA

jcgmurphy@comcast.net

 

July 3/4 – Bend OR

spurranchllc@gmail.com

 

July 5/6 – Beaverton OR

tracimwheeler@mac.com

 

July 7 – Springfield OR

clays4@hughes.net

 

July 9/10 – Snohomish WA

atshideler@hotmail.com

 

July 12/13 – Hillsboro OR

equinerehab@gmail.com

 

July 15/17 – Spokane WA

laura_wrght@yahoo.com

 

July 19/21 – Lexington KY

USPC Festival

 

July 24/26 – Carbondale CO

staceysevers@gmail.com

 

July 27/28 – Steamboat CO

athenadesigns@msn.com

 

July 29/30 – Sedalia CO

manager@tollandfalls.com

 

Aug 2/3 – Tiverton RI

rachelharris14@hotmail.com

 

Aug 4/5 – Westchester NY

diavolio@optonline.net

 

Aug 6/7 – Long Island NY

farmsteadec@optonline.net

 

Aug 8/9 – Bristol CT

mrkost@sbcglobal.net

 

Aug 9/10 – Simsbury CT

horseluve@cox.net

 

Aug 11/12 – Warner NH

cathf28@aol.com

 

July 24/26 – Lyman ME

athertoneventing@gmail.com

 

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