So I went to a sports psychology seminar this weekend (put on for free by my local hunter/jumper association!) with Tonya Johnston and it was FANTASTIC! I’ve done a little research into the sports psych genre (read Heads Up! by Janet Edgette, some basic internet reading) and found it really helpful, but once I got past the worst of my fear I just stopped using the techniques. I’ve been backsliding a little bit after a weird fall (wasn’t hurt but it caught me by surprise), culminating in a crying jag during my last lesson because trainer wanted me to let my horse canter forward and I just. Couldn’t. Do. It.
So when I heard about the seminar, I got very excited! She was so nice and helpful and explained her techniques very well – not mumbo-jumbo, new-agey at all, just solid ways to change your thought process and some physical techniques to head off those adrenalin shakes at the pass. I really liked how she encouraged everyone to come up with their own routine to get in the zone (whether at a show, on a trail ride, or in a lesson at home), not just follow some dogmatic plan. I’m going to try to keep a riding diary for the next month to track what riding prep works and what doesn’t so I can get a plan together for the summer.
If any of you are looking for some help in the mental skills area, I definitely recommend her book (which I bought at the seminar but is also available on Amazon), Inside Your Ride. And if you can get to one of her seminars, I found it endlessly fascinating.