Practice Bravery

"A bold rider is a good rider. Beezie Madden. Whatever problem confronts her, she doesn’t have temper, she doesn’t have excitement, but she practices boldness. Leslie Burr Howard, at the Lake Placid show before the Atlanta Olympics–it was raining, and she was in the preliminary jumper division. It was a few months before the Olympics and I said “Leslie, what are you doing riding that horse? It’s raining, it’s muddy, it’s up and down that Lake Placid hill.” She said, “George, I’m practicing my guts.” Yes, Leslie was practicing her guts. I admire her practicing her guts because we have to practice guts. I always had to practice guts. I used to go with him (Frank Chapot) in the back of the bleachers in Wiesbaden, Germany, and I said, “Frank, I can’t do this. I can’t jump those jumps.” He said, “George, you got good horses, we’re over here. You’ve got to do it.” I always had to practice guts." ~ George Morris

We had a very good week of getting to practice our bravery. Thanks to the Daniel Stewart clinic Webb hosted a couple weeks ago, we had some extra skills to go into our new adventures over the weekend.

One of Daniel's mental skills tasks was to come up with a song that inspires bravery and confidence. Lauren, being the sarcastic teenager she is, came up with the dark, yet hilarious, song "Stayin' Alive" with a mantra of PSAT (Please Stay Alive Today). While incredibly dark, it helped everyone through the weekend conquer their nerves and ride well. Lauren and Kathryn who showed were giggling at some point on their courses which warranted comments from other trainers that they looked like they were having so much fun. Both rode incredibly well for their first show of the season and we have some good homework for the coming month.

 Kathryn and Landon in their first 1.0m class together.

Kathryn and Landon in their first 1.0m class together.

 Lauren practicing Daniel's "power pose".

Lauren practicing Daniel's "power pose".

After a long weekend of showing, we took Fiora and Kiva back out on the cross country course to prepare for the event at the end of the month. My working student, Molly, is new to riding Fiora and is brand new to cross country but the two of them got along great out there! Nothing brings a trainer more joy than watching the horses they've trained be good for others. Both confidently tacked the BN course with some Novice options.

 Fiora and Molly. Photo (c) Nicole Fava

Fiora and Molly. Photo (c) Nicole Fava

 Fiora and Molly preparing for BN in May. Photo (c) Nicole Fava

Fiora and Molly preparing for BN in May. Photo (c) Nicole Fava

Kiva and I are also new to this whole cross country life. WIth only a handful of schools out in the field, we are learning to tackle the terrain and questions asked at Training Level. I hate down banks and on this Training course, the downbank goes into the water. Needless to say, I really had to dig deep to jump off the bank into the water. I haven't had to do things out of my comfort zone before starting to event so I was incredibly proud for mustering the guts to jump off the bank!

 Our first down bank. EEK! Photo (c) Nicole Fava

Our first down bank. EEK! Photo (c) Nicole Fava

 Learning to find the middle of the narrow jumps. Photo (c) Nicole Fava

Learning to find the middle of the narrow jumps. Photo (c) Nicole Fava

 Don't think, just do. Photo (c) Nicole Fava

Don't think, just do. Photo (c) Nicole Fava