Sarah Johnstone of Apt Cavalier is a fresh face on the equestrian blogging scene launching mid July this year. Through the Facebook group Equestrian Bloggers the idea arose for us to review another writers blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed become acquainted with Sarah and her blog. […]
Month: September 2017
I recently purchased a small, rather unassuming notebook for just $5 and I can honestly say, its been a fantastic investment in my riding. I’ve been using it on a regular basis to reflect upon my riding sessions and it has changed the way I approach my training with Nonie.
I can’t claim coming up with this wonderful concept on my own. After discovering Tonya Johnston Mental Skills Coach via the Plaidcast (you can read more about the Plaidcast here), I purchased myself a copy of her book ‘Inside your Ride’ for a mere $9.00 (that’s Australian dollars by the way) on Amazon Kindle. Without completely finishing this book, I’ve already discovered a number of brilliant strategies. Among these was an exercise for evaluating your ride, which I now use most days.
As someone who trains alone for the vast majority of time, this has had significant benefits.
What does it involve?
After your ride reflect upon the following factors:
- What preparation did you do prior to the ride?
- What goals did you achieve during your ride?
- What were the highlights of that ride?
- What area’s of your riding or exercises do you need work more on?
For me the act of writing down my thoughts under each of these topics enables me to more fully evaluate them.
Seems simple enough right?
Why reflect upon your riding?
- Increased focus within my training. Because I now need to write down what my preparation was for each ride, I have developed a new habit. Prior to each ride I take a few moments to consider what exercises I would like to focus on for that day. We’ve all heard the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. In contrast by having a plan for each ride, I have a clear focus and a plan. Does this mean that I follow this plan to the letter each ride, no matter what? No! There are of course times where for instance I am struggling to get into the swing of things, or Nonie and I have trouble with a basic exercise. In these times we do of course go right back to basics.
- Goal focused riding. I’ve always been big on setting goals. However, in the past I’ve typed them up, saved the document and then forgotten about them. Thinking about what I have achieved on a daily basis has assisted me in having a greater connection to my goals within my everyday riding. In her book Tonya also discusses how to create focused goals and develop strategies to help you to achieve them.
- Finding something positive in each and every ride. The format of this particular ride evaluation or reflection asks you to pin point the highlights of your ride. For me this has meant that I now look for something positive in each ride. As riders we are often our own worst critics. It is easy to identify problems or aspects which need to be improved upon, but there is an understated power in needing to find a positive.
Although I have not finished ‘Inside your ride’, I have learnt volumes from it already. I would highly recommend this book to all riders.
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I used to joke that top boots are the dressage riders equivalent of ballet pointe slippers, so I was delighted when I discovered Celeris Bespoke boots. In my opinion, these boots are the ultimate when it comes to style, elegance and comfort.
I swore off top boots after an initial bad experience with another brand, where I paid almost $2000 for a pair of boots which did not fit and were very uncomfortable. At the end of 2015, I saw an introductory deal through Riders XOXO to buy a pair of Celeris top boots and get a free pair of short boots and gaiters. I figured that this was a good time to try them. At least if I hated the top boots I’d have a back up pair of gaiters and short boots.
My first pair of Celeris boots were the simple but stylish ‘Diogo’ boots in polished black leather. I loved them instantly. The short boots and gaiters (pictured below) have been brilliant. At the start of 2017 I decided I would treat myself a pair of Celeris boots to wear every day. I’ve noticed that I get a very different feel from wearing top boots to wearing shorts boots and gaiters, so in reality this was basically a necessity.
What’s so great about Celeris Bespoke Boots?
- These boots are handcrafted in Portugal, using 24 measurements to ensure that every boot is a perfect fit
- Because these boots fit so well and also due to the high quality materials used to produce them, they are exceptionally comfortable. My Bia boots took less than one week to break in despite having traditional reinforced outer panels.
- You get to design your own boots! There are 11 models of boots which can be endlessly customised. Through the use of a variety of leathers in different colours and textures and the addition brogue detailing or diamantes you can design a totally unique pair of boots.
- Despite all of these options, the Celeris boots are still very affordable. Depending on the model you choose you can expect to pay between $690 and $1090. Best of all you don’t pay extra for the customisation – WIN!
- Even the spur straps and spur gaurds are beautiful!
I have to acknowledge the two negative aspects of these boots. Firstly, the boots do take 2-3 months to be made. However, in my opinion they are totally worth the wait. The second minor issue is that once you buy one pair it’s a bit hard to stop!
I rate the Celeris bespoke boots as 4.5/5 stars!
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Fluids, not the sexiest of topics, but you know what is definitely not sexy? Dehydration. This week, as part of my series on nutrition and ‘The other equestrian athlete’ I want to talk about an often underrated topic – Hydration. Due to the format of equestrian sports […]
I have been wearing Wilson Equestrian riding gear for the last year and a half. From the moment I put on my first pair of their breeches, I was hooked. Early in 2016 I applied to become and brand ambassador for Wilson Equestrian and was […]