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  


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