Dressage (a French term meaning "training") is a path and destination of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, it can smoothly respond to a skilled rider's minimal aids by performing the requested movement while remaining relaxed and appearing effortless. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet." Although the discipline has its roots in classical Greek horsemanship, mainly through the influence of Xenophon, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit during the Renaissance in Western Europe. The great European riding masters of that period developed a sequential training system that has changed little since then and classical dressage is still considered the basis of trained modern dressage.

Early European aristocrats displayed their horses' training in equestrian pageants, but in modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests," or prescribed series of movements within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to ten - zero being "not executed" and ten being "excellent." A score of nine (or "very good") is considered a particularly high mark, while a competitor achieving all sixes (or 60% overall) should be considering moving on to the next level.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Comfort Food is not "comfort" food, let's stay confident and energetic!

           I have been super interested lately in food and how it affects our energy and performance. Sometimes the only way to really know what foods are right for us is to make a change and track  progress with a journal or at the very least a calendar where you can track good and bad days.

           Different diets are going to suit different people, and it is up to you to find out what foods help you feel healthy, confident and strong and which ones contribute to low energy and anxiety. There are some basics that I think apply to most of us, however, playing around with eating times, quantities and types of food are going to help you maximize your potential.

                           Some basics:

                                       Eat early in the evening

                                       Prepare snacks ahead of time so you don't get famished during the day and reach for the closest bag of chips.

                                       Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables

                                       Try not to eat processed food and fast food

                                       Stay hydrated. Drink water with some sugar free electrolytes or celtic sea salt and lime throughout the day. Sometimes when we think we are hungry we are dehydrated. 

                                       Plan ahead, shop, prepare, take time to care for yourself

                                       Balance proteins, carbs and fats to be suit your energy needs, carbs are not bad! Processed carbs are BAD! 

           When we have a bad day we often reach for food, or drinks, that are going to help us to feel more "comfortable". We have a bad day so we "deserve" a little splurge. The thing is that comfort food, things like chips, ice cream, mac and cheese are the worst things to bring up our mood. These foods are going to burden your system and cause your energy to plumet, making you feel even more down, which causes you to eat more bad food which makes you feel even worse. Believe it or not it is not the guilt over eating the crap that gets you depressed it is the crap food itself.

           Part of success is the ability to bounce back from adversity. We all are finding out that making mistakes is part of learning, there is no failure, only experience. How do we bounce back from a bad day quickly if we burden our bodies with toxic fuel?

                  I encourage you to change this habit!  The next time you have a bad day instead of feeling like you "deserve" some donuts, reach for some mixed nuts, prepare yourself a colorful salad and some healthy wild rice or sweet potatoes. Feed your brain and your stomach. The act of cooking for yourself, or going to a healthy restaurant and being surrounded by healthy people with boost your mood and help you to feel more empowered to take care of yourself. This energy will spill over into your work, relationship, riding, everything.

               Remember, bounce back is everything. We all have bad days, we make mistakes and life can get us down. Get to know your body, what foods help you feel great and what causes you to feel down or less competent? When we don't have energy we make bad decisions, when we make bad decisions things go wrong, when things go wrong we lose confidence. Keep your energy up! Hydrate and eat to fuel your body and success will follow.


            Stay youthful in your approach, Connection is the key, and Anything is Possible!

                     Have fun,