"Pressure Proof Your Riding" by Daniel Steward
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, February 16, 2015 08:39 PM
I got this book for Christmas. It was my request :) I wanted to read this book. On one hand I wasn't sure if I find a lot of a new information from it. On the other hand I do have problems at shows and while training horses that I need to address. I was hoping the book will give me more tools to work with and it did :)
Even tough this book is tailored to equestrians a lot of lessons it is teaching is about life in general including personal relationships. It will teach you to be happier and more productive in whatever you are doing. It will teach you to take the responsibility for your actions, do not worry about what others are thinking about you and develop focus and ability to stay on task no matter what is thrown at you. You will also realize that you already have many qualities that help you to succeed. However, there is always room for improvement.
As a coach I found this book invaluable in showing me more ways to help my students to become more "pressure proof" :) I also found tools to help me prepare for my next coaching level exams when I get there.
If you decide to read this book read it as a school book not as a coffee table book :) You will need to study it, think about the information, do the exercises and develop a clear and honest understanding of yourself. Not everything will apply to you and not every helpful tip will struck a note in your heart. Take what really matters to you then you will have a better chance to make it stick, to believe in it and make it a part of your life. Be critical about what is said, do not simply take it as an absolute truth and the only way to deal with the problem. However, be ruthless and honest. You will know he is talking about you - the way your heart reacts to the words :) For example, I am a perfectionist. This creates difficulties in training horses, particularly mine :). I end up worrying about the results on a daily basis rather than seeing a big picture and realizing that training horses is like growing a garden, nothing major will happen during one day but with proper care in a few months a wonderful crop will appear. That is probably why I am not good at gardening, LOL. Another of my problems is fear of failure. This really takes toll on me at the shows. I try to fake it and people around me, except my husband :), do not realize how nervous I am. One of the positive qualities that I have which I didn't realize until I read about it in the book :) - I focus on a solution rather than a problem. Many obstacles that other people see as something that will stop them from achieving their goals I do not even see as obstacles. For example, on the morning I had to take Santo to Sharon's barn for 3 months boarding (125 km drive) and to have a lesson it was -25C. My truck didn't want to start, my trailer's hitch was frozen. Even Sharon texted me and asked if I want to postpone. For me the cold wasn't a problem. I already had a plan in my head foreseeing all these issues and working with them and getting to my lesson on time and having a great ride! :) Actually, I wouldn't be able to ride Santo at home on that day due to extreme cold. Coming to Sharon's place gave me a chance to have an extra ride! That is how I saw the situation :)
I am already working with the information from the book. Now I have a better picture of my strengths and weaknesses and I created a plan to catch myself when I start spiraling down during training sessions. I had several bulb moments of understanding how my perfectionism creates a problem during my rides. And one of those bulb moments happened during visualization session at home. I was "working" on collected canter. I am a visual person. Visualization tools are really helpful to me. I am now practicing every day. I am also working on creating a plan for the shows. And I am visualizing using the plan :) The other tool that I really liked from the book is "C" words. Daniel Steward pointed out that many words that describe positive and helpful qualities in equestrians/humans start with letter "C". For example - composed, calm, creative, capable, competitive, courageous, etc. He said pick a few that describe you well and repeat them often. Put them where you can see them like your tackbox in the barn, etc. This way you will be reminded about these qualities right before you ride your horse.
This book has tons of humor. People who work with horses cannot live without it. One of the reasons we love horses because they make as laugh. They see us for who we are. And they do not care about placings, trophies or opinions of others. We can learn a great deal from them about mental training, LOL. Have a great time reading this book!
Happy riding...
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