Today I was lucky enough to join some really good friends out on the golf course; hard to believe but as much as it appears that I eat, sleep and breath horses I do enjoy a few other activities! In all honesty I really think that I come up with some of the best training tactics for riding while doing completely non horse related things. Today is a prime example. My first attempt at tee-ing off this afternoon was a total success; this was much to my surprise as I haven’t hit golf balls for at least two years and at that time I certainly wasn’t a child superstar. Then as the holes went by I was fitting the saying “third times a charm” quite well. My first two tries to hit that silly white ball were always incredibly embarrassing, I would usually just miss altogether. Then low and behold on the third try I would hit it, and for the most part do a pretty decent job (ok for my level of golfing 🙂 ) In a joking response, after all I had to try to defend this somehow, I admitted to knowing that if you don’t get it done on the third try your day is over and you don’t get any more play time. I said this in reference to cross country day; Everyone of us has been there, your horse stops at the ditch, you come around the second time and you just don’t have all the pieces together and then low and behold on that third try you get that horse over the ditch witout any hesitations. So then we all gallop off wondering how come we couldn’t do that the first time.
So today I pondered this question and presented it to myself for my actual golfing issues…the first attempt at hitting the ball I would almost always unbend my knees to early as I went to look up to see where the ball was going (after all whats the point in hitting it if you don’t get to see the results!) This never worked well, it would always just top the ball of the tee and I’d look silly. Then the second attempt would involve about the same exept I think it was caused by my embarrassment over the first mess up. Always before the third try I’d review the few things I knew that I needed to be able to accomplish to actually make contact with the ball and get it up in the air. Low and behold that third shot worked!
SO for those of you that have contiued reading this far, you’re probably wondering why I bother sharing about my sketchy golfing abilities; well as you would could probably have guessed I cut the golfing short to head back to the barn and get in some horsey time and during a lesson that afternoon I discovered a REAL correlation for this theory.
I’ve noticed the third times a charm rule in my students and hope to break this cycle. Think about some of your schools, how often do you get that great feel on your very first jump? How about your first canter transition? I personally challenge each one of you to do your mental homework BEFORE starting any pattern, transition or course…let’s all try to be prepared the FIRST time and see if we can break the “third times a charm” curse that plagues us way too often….. We all need to dig down deep and give our horses the preparation they need in order for them to be able to perform for us. Let’s remember this riding thing is a partnership and the horse’s need us to prepare them properly so they can perform like the rockstars that they are. We’ve got a great talented group of horses and riders, let’s show Area VI what’s up!!!!
Good luck to our first set of competitors at the first show of 2006…hope to see everyone at Ram Tap cheering on!