Red Hills!

Yes, the car is great! I’m really excited about that, but what I’m most excited about is how I felt throughout the competition. It was very interesting to read through the USOC sports psychologist’s article on Achieving Execution Mode (which I read after Red Hills) and know that what he describes was exactly how I felt throughout the competition. It is so wonderful to have the partnership that I have with Arthur, to know our strengths and weaknesses, to truly know what I need to do to prepare for our best performance and then go out and do it. I think where I fell short and continually seem to fall short in my performance, I think this might be surprising to most people, is in the dressage. I have the ability with Arthur to blow everyone out of the water in the dressage phase and this is something that I have not done yet. Yes, I do very well in Dressage on this horse, but I haven’t been entering the ring with the same confidence and clarity of thought that I have been in the show jumping on him. He is still probably not as good a show jumper as he is a dressage horse, but I have complete confidence in my system and preparation with him to achieve my best performance in the show jump ring. This is something Katie Prudent has helped me to achieve and I cannot thank her enough for that. I do remember a time when I felt totally lost in the show jump warm up and relied on someone else to guide me through this important stage, I also remember praying on hopefully getting lucky in the ring. Now I know what I need to to to get my best possible performance, and that is all I need to do. I felt no pressure when Boyd jumped clean ahead of me, not because I was certain I was going to jump clean but I was certain that I knew what I needed to do to achieve my best performance. I have only achieved this same feeling in dressage a few times…. these times were EVERYTIME that I have worked with Bettina Hoy at a competition. She is amazing at competitions in recognizing what you have and then getting you to Execution Mode. What I haven’t found with Capt. Mark and I definitely need to work on is that key stage of recognizing “the point where an athlete may have to admit their limits,… but still find a way to get the best possible result.” I have a nervous horse, yes I must continue to make him listen to my half halt better and use my half halt more often, but I need to feel totally ready to nail the test and look my very best when I enter the ring. I feel very confident about what I need to do with Arthur in the jumping phases and now have to accomplish this in the dressage phase as well. I also have to get there in all the phases on Burger and the rest of my horses; it sort of happened through my years of hard work with Arthur, I now need to put more effort into thinking about the system I need for my other horses and getting to that execution mode every time.