Not having much to update today, I thought I would share this article from Dressage Today. If you are, or have ever been, frustrated by a skill that seems out of reach, this is the article for you.
Full disclosure, it was written by my dressage trainer, Eliza Sydnor, and so it’s probably no surprise that the words speak to me. I think they also translate very well into any discipline, as it describes the psychological phenomenom of learning to ride a horse, and that you could probably use Hunter-Jumper, or Western Pleasure, or whatever, and the article would still hold true.
Eliza discusses the responsibilities of the trainer-student connection, and how communication is vital to the learning process. Her discussion of that most frustrating stage, conscious incompetence, where you know what to do but just can’t seem to do it, reminds me of so many lessons where I have struggled to make my body do as I knew it should. Renvers, I’m looking at you. But knowing that we are moving from Conscious Incompetence to Conscious Competence, and that the cycle of learning is renewed with every new skill, is part of the process. Personally, I find this challenge of dressage part of the draw, and I imagine any rider who has learned along with their horse can relate.
As part of my continuing dressage education, I will be attending the Debbie McDonald and Janet Foy clinic this weekend. A couple local trainers, including Eliza, will be riding as demo riders, which should make an already interesting day that much better. Plan to see a clinic rehash next week!
I WANT TO COME. I am absolutely in love with Debbie. Man I wish I was there already!
Saw that article :). Definitely goes hand in hand with Parelli principles.
I’m not going to lie, I am *so* excited about the clinic. I only hope that I, with my limited knowledge (as compared to someone riding the upper levels) can keep up with the conversation.
I am totally sure you will!! Can’t wait to hear about it 🙂
That was a wonderful article! The sports psychologist I work with teaches the same thing, and it really helps to get oneself out of the mental rut. And I’ve met both Debbie and Janet (though not ridden with them!) and they are LOVELY women. You are going to have a blast at that clinic! Can’t wait for the write-up!
Oh wow- that makes me so much more exciting to meet them, I had no idea what to expect!
Ahh, I am so jealous that you’re going to see Debbie! Thanks for sharing the article as well.
Will do my best to take good notes and share with everyone next week! 🙂
great article!! i feel like i pretty much live in ‘conscious incompetence’ lol. but i think the article does a good job pinpointing WHY dressage can be so difficult mentally: when i started taking lessons, that process of going back a few steps (temporary regression) was REALLY hard for me to swallow. and then even when i finally DO ‘get’ something, it’s only ever for brief moments, rather than ‘ok i know how to do this now so we will *always* do this now’…
anyway thanks for sharing and hope you have sooooo much fun at the clinic! take lots of pictures 🙂
If my camera behaves there will DEFINITELY be lots of pictures 😀 😀
Excellent article and excellent post =) To me, identifying things you don’t know and then learning all about them is the fun of equestrian sport. Otherwise we’d just be bopping around the trail or arena.