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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

A New Year A Better Daily Practice!


Carousel Coaching

                    Daily Practice

                                               Nov. 2, 2023

                     Updated and Reissued    Jan. 24, 2024

January encourages us to make new goals and celebrate past wins. As we move into February keep these important ideas close.


Why is it that we seem to lose track of our positive daily practices just when we need them the most?

What daily practices are we implementing to keep us healthy and successful?

 Eating right, staying hydrated, meditation and breath work, exercise, personal time for scheduling, self-care and relaxation, massage, talking to friends, speaking with a coach :)

We all have things that get us down. We make mistakes, get sick or something can happen in life beyond our control. These things can take us temporarily off our path. The good practices and positive habits that were benefitting us can drop by the wayside, if we are not diligent to focus on them. When with difficulties how do successful people persevere? They put their best foot forward and use positive self-care to help them through difficult times.  When we stop taking care of ourselves, energy goes down, productivity diminishes, and this can feed self-doubt and fear. When we are doubting ourselves, we do not make the choices that will bring us the most success. When we are fearful, we will not step out and be our best selves.

It is important to know that even successful people can have setbacks, it's the bounce back time that makes the difference between a setback and a competition or career block.

How can we hold on to our best habits even when we get derailed, depressed or lack energy?

For me jumping back in as soon as possible makes a difference. However! I also think it's a good idea to take a bit of time to mourn the setback, recover from being sick or process the event that has caused us pain. After this, we must jump back in as soon as possible to our best practices. Even if it is only for 5 minutes a day, set that time aside for yourself, then next week add 5 minutes and so on. Put the time for yourself in your calendar, set an alarm, do whatever it takes to notice yourself and take care of yourself.

We all know that exercise builds confidence and energy. So, I encourage you to make time for it. We know that eating well and actually taking time to eat helps us feel healthy and mentally alert. So, take time for this. Hydration is imperative for optimum performance, no matter what your activity level is make sure to drink water.

There is a kind of stigma around taking care of ourselves first. We are taught that self-care is selfish. Know that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t be there for the important people and horses in our lives. Put your own oxygen mask on first!

A few of my favorite quick tips for building bounce back:

  • Talk to your good friends.
  • Write something you are grateful for, everyday, in your journal.
  • Start recording your wins.
  • Do 5 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning before you get lost in the day. If you ride, then stretch! Add time when possible because it feels good!
  • Spend one healthy meal with yourself (and others) daily
  • Drink water, add lemon, mint, cucumber whatever makes you happy, drink water
  • Change all self-talk to positive self-talk; I can’t do this becomes I can’t do this yet, or who can help me with this, or how can I figure out how to do this. It might be shocking to notice the negative self-talk. The only way to create change is to first be aware of the habit you want to change. When you notice the negative voice acknowledge and thank it, then tell it you do not need it anymore. 
  • Set some boundaries for yourself, start by journaling about where you feel any resentment or lack of appreciation. Then journal about this, is it my self-worth where I need to create a boundary with myself? Or do I need to start to set better boundaries with some of the people around me? Take time with this, when you have a boundary you want to put in place, be clear and relaxed in how you deliver the information. Change can make other people uncomfortable; this does not mean you're wrong. Stay grounded and as unemotional as possible.

I hope this benefits you! And please share with anyone you know who might need a boost.

Please feel free to share your good ideas about getting out of a rut with me at  


Thursday, January 11, 2024

A Reissue! I think it is a good time to revisit this!


We need more corners in life!

Percolating in my brain is a book about life lessons that dressage has taught me. It will be an awesome book about the parallels of a life with horses and lessons necessary to navigate a happy life in the "real" world.
             One of the chapters "We need more corners" Can be found, in its infancy, below.
              I hope you enjoy it, and please share with other people that may need a corner sometime.

                  When I ride, I am very particular about my corners. depending on the age and experience of the horse every corner has a purpose. If it is a young horse, it still needs to be "my" corner. Not too deep, not too shallow, balanced and being sure not to lose the rhythm. With an older horse it could be that we school transitions, leg yield, smaller and then bigger steps, and then the half halt. Axel Steiner said a couple of weeks ago "the horse should be a bit taller when he comes out of the corner". I love this! So, what if we applied this to life.

                    When I ride a corner, I ask my horse to wait, rebalance, build energy and then come out of the corner "a bit taller".

               If we build corners into our life, it might be to stop and reflect, remember our purpose, or even who we are or who we want to grow into. We might pause, stop running from task to task or lesson to lesson, we might take a minute to prepare a healthy meal for our self or sign up for a necessary yoga class or massage appointment we have not had time for. We might even schedule some family time, vacation time or even alone time. What if we were able to build some corners into our life and then come out of the corner a bit taller? With renewed energy and enthusiasm, with clarity and direction? Perhaps even with a bit more understanding of who we are and where we are going?

                 I just love this concept! Then we could take it even further to the next step. Because when I show I really use my corners to set up the next movement, to make sure my horse is with me, balanced, through and ready for the next step. I believe we could build corners into our lives purposefully, perhaps once a day, once a week, once a month? Whatever timing suits you to give yourself the clarity you need to motor forward in the right direction. Imagine how tall you could be!

                        Have fun considering this!

                    All the best!

       Be Youthful in your approach
       Connection is the Key
       Remember anything is possible

Monday, January 8, 2024

Horses First

 Happy New Year! It is such an amazing time of the year, filled with expectation, dreams and a fresh calendar.

           As I am working to build my coaching business, the New Year is bringing up the questions of why this is so important to me? What is the passion behind my Mindset and Performance Coaching? 

I don't have to look too far..... Horses! Horses First. I have been in love with horse's my entire life. I was riding (thank you Mom and Dad!) before I was walking. The only time I cried, I am told, is when they took me off my pony, Chief. From an early age I was intrigued how to create healthy and happy horses. Even with our own horses, and eventually our own facility, my interests in the horse's needs were not always well received. Nothing bad to say here, only the idea that I was putting the horses needs above other perceived needs in my family. Like the time the new horse would not come in and I made everyone late for an important dinner, because of course, she could not stay out until we got back...  There are many more like this, for my whole life.

            The reason I am saying this is that sometimes we are surrounded by people who do not share our views. In the horse business this is rampant and widespread. Why? People come to horses from many different backgrounds, upbringing, experience and needs. Horses are expensive and attract people with a slew of different values and work ethic. 

             My purpose in Coaching is to build belief in my client's own abilities, values and inner drive that is rock solid. With this inner belief one is able to make difficult decisions based on their own values and life path. With this inner belief one is able to be resilient in the face of failure and disappointment. With this inner belief we are able to create success out of experience and bounce back from adversity.

             What does this mean to our horses? This means we can take time when it is necessary. Horses are not living on a timeline to the Championships or Olympics. Horses need time to allow themselves to be ridden, trust in the training process and give in to the pressures of the human world of horse shows and transportation. They need time to learn to be relaxed and in doing so, excel in their talent. Relaxation creates superstars, not stress.  

              What does Coaching do for riders? Coaching helps you understand your emotions, connect with them and then use them in a positive way for your personal success. Coaching helps you prevent your competition outcomes from eating away at your business. Coaching helps you create and manage goals that are important to you, and only you. It prevents you from getting swept up in other people's dramas, it helps you keep your eye on the ball of your life.

               And most of all! Coaching helps you to find joy in the journey. The support and unbiased perception of a coach will help you celebrate your personal wins, independent of the public's opinion. Successful partnerships are made by bringing out the unique and special gifts of the team members. Yes, we are all unique! Not just in the way we were born, but in the experiences, upbringing and circumstances we are in. A coach will help you maximize your relationships and keep your belief in yourself at the core of your actions. In doing this your horses will also benefit. Your horse will not be an extension of your ego. Your horse will be a partner and team member. You will recognize your horses needs before they become a problem. You will maximize your horses' strengths as well as your own. You will also recognize your unique contribution to the horse world. You will build your business based on your beliefs and your experience. You will find success in the trust you have of yourself and your gifts.

              It will not always be easy. But I am passionate about Coaching You to your best life while creating happy and healthy partnerships with your horses!

              Happy New Year! 

                       Love to Ride!