Podcast Episode 29: Kelly Layne | Learning From Experiences

Today Natasha shares with you one of her favourite topics - goal setting! Even in 2020, when all of our goals from the start of the year don't look like they will happen, it's still important to keep moving forwards, set those goals and taking action!

If you have any suggestions for future podcast content, people you would like Natasha to interview or if you are an equestrian that loves our message and would be interested in being interviewed, contact the team at support@yourridingsuccess.com 

Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on goal setting by CLICKING HERE.

Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Natasha (00:00:00):

Welcome to this Your Riding Success episode with the amazing Kelly Lake. Kelly is a professional Dressage Rider and Trainer competing internationally for Australia. She was exposed to dressage at a young age with the influence of her mother and a former grand Prix rider and FEI judge Kelly has acted as a consultant finding horses for her clients in Japan since 2001. One of which went to represent Japan at the Olympics. Kelly has had many nautical achievements and has had the pleasure of training with some of the world's best. We are super excited to bring you this guest with such a successful and died. First,

Natasha (00:00:33):

Welcome to the Your Riding Success podcast. My name is Natasha and I'm a grand prix dressage rider from Australia. Author of three books and a leading online trainer of riders all around the world, wanting to take their riding to the next level. I'm also a chocoholic mother of two amazing children and obsessed with helping writers to be all they can be each week. I'm going to bring in new stories of inspiration, ideas, and strategies of how to make real progress in your writing and give you actionable advice on overcoming riding fear and anxiety. So you can take your riding to the next level and be the rider you dream to be. So let's get into today's episode.

Natasha (00:01:09):

Yeah. For those of everyone who might not know you, what is your story? What is your, I mean, I, I remember you have no idea how old I was. So let's just say we were both really young and, um, always we continue to be always young. Um, but I remember, I think you had a horse, a moose shy. Is that how you say it? Oh, share. Yes. Yeah. And I just go, Oh my God, that was an amazing horse. And I just, I just have you linked in my head that must've been when you were in Australia and now you've gone on to do so many exciting things. So, um, he was definitely the holist that like, um, inspired me to really want to do this sport. Like when you come across a horse like that, and I wish I had another one like him to this day, you know, I think I am spoild for getting a horse that good when I was so young, you know, and you think to yourself Oh, if I had it to do all over again and, uh, but he really put me on a whole new path.

Kelly  (00:02:15):

That me more, yeah. It wasn't like having huge, huge ambitions. Um, but when you are gifted with an animal like that, it's like, here is your opportunity. This is what you've actually been working towards. And now it's landed in your lap. What are you gonna do with it? So, yeah, I packed him up and I took him to Germany and I trained with all the cells Gaber over there. And in less than one year, she turned him into a ground free horse. It was unbelievable experience for me and has absolutely set me also on path for the rest of my life. I'm learning how to train a horse all the way through to Brian free and boarding back to Australia and showed and competed in there, up and down the East coast, Sydney, Melbourne, all the CDI for a good couple of years. And then we were selected to go to the wedding and, uh, back to Europe again.

Kelly  (00:03:24):

And after that I spent another year and let's talk about what happened at the wag, because that was a disaster. Um, and we just became very overwhelmed. He was already a highly strong horse and yeah, you know, it had to do it all over again. Again, you have so many regrets and just to do it all again, how differently I would have done it. Um, and then after that, I stayed in Germany for about another year and that's when my husband and I decided to have a major change and moved to the United States. So that's really what led me here. So that's yeah. And twice back and forward from Europe and this for me was too hard. This was good. I know other people do it. And I tried to do the same and I realized that this was a, it seemed like a huge waste of time, effort and money. You're just like, no, I'm not doing that again. So, yeah. And he was incredible. He was highly strong. He had so much talent and yeah. So yes, he's the one that led me here.

Natasha (00:04:47):

Okay. So let's just back up for a sec. When you, um, you obviously started riding at a young age. Um, did you always know you, when you grew up, you were going to be a dressage rider or were you going to be a secretary? How did, what was the thinking at the start?

Kelly  (00:05:05):

All I really knew was that I wanted to ride horses and my mom, gosh, I was a showy. Like my mom had encouraged that I always had nice ponies. Um, when I was 17, I finished school and went to wide forbids Colby because that's all I wanted to do. Um, and it broke for him for like two years. And, but going back a little bit when I was 15, my mom took me to the wagon Stockholm and for real dressage for the first time. And it really did change me from being a diehard showy to thinking maybe I might want to dumb down, but really having no idea what I was getting through. Right. Like, it all seems very glamorous, like

Natasha (00:05:54):

Skipping, tread on the spot. I remember going, Oh, I could do that

Kelly  (00:05:58):

In two years. I'll be at the Olympics. That's it? Yeah. So, um, yeah, to see that at such a young age to be like, wow, you know, whereas now I would love to have something that would help me relieve that because you become so immune to it actually now, you know, with the internet and, you know, we can just be like foam bonded and what she's videos over and over and over and yeah, the will changed a lot. Absolutely. Okay. So that's ignited this, this curiosity and this interest for you. Um, and, and you said it really changed when you got, um, I'm going to discuss, I work. I'm a shy. It's not a shy. Yes. Good. Okay. Um, so that, that meant you said it, um, it made me think, okay, I've got this great horse now I'm going to make it happen. So were you scared?

Natasha (00:06:58):

Were you, what was your living situation at the time? Were you like, Oh, should I shouldn't I, was there a decision or was it like Sinjar I'm off? Yeah, it was kind of crazy though, because I just got married and also in Australia, yes. When husband is 10, but he had been living in Australia for like 14 years and he was just super supportive. It was like, I don't think an opportunity comes by like this. And I know I'm still like really young in terms of dressage riding and, and uh, I think I want to go train with this person and I just did, but that's, that's, that's, it's not more complicated than that. I want, I do. It's when we put all the labels and society's expectations and all this other crap over for it, it's like, no, it is that simple. Or like, I can't even imagine that I did that. Like, that's what being naive is like a godsend in some way.

Kelly  (00:08:06):

I hope we always hang on to that. Absolutely. I lot bang. Okay. So you're doing this and your understanding what an amazing horse you have. Um, and yeah. Why don't you then fast forward as to where? Cause I think a lot of writers that are listening to this, understand what it's like to ride. He was a hot horse, wasn't he? Yes, yes. And I remember watching you going, Oh, how is she even doing that? And it seems like it wasn't like, so for me, I'm like, I just hope I get 15 ones. You were so far beyond that. It was like, if I can keep him calm, the test is fine. But it was, that was what you were working on. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. The horse, like the dressage pot was easy. Yeah. It was, you know, I still don't think I've ever sat on a horse that can do the cactus zigzag like this.

Kelly  (00:09:00):

And yeah, he had beautiful cat, a beautiful changes in this be off and massage that just wasn't normal. And from God he had, for sure, he was very tense, very electric, very reactive, you know? So you could imagine how this has sculpted and changed me where all my, like do ground work, they're all desensitized on the show grounds with perfect manner. Like it changed me forever. That was of, you know, like I will never allow what happened to happen again, you know, like there was so many other ways to handle that, but I just didn't have the knowledge or experience at the time.

Natasha (00:09:44):

At the time. I can't imagine how stressed you must've been in, like, you knew what you had, but there was no one that could help or no one that could give you that guidance.

Kelly  (00:09:54):

No, it's true. And uh, but you know, I think in some ways, like for somebody like me, I had to find my own way on it. No, it wasn't like a specific person that I think, you know, maybe if this was my trainer at the time, or maybe if I had this person helping me, no, I think you have to gather more knowledge and more experience. And that's an, I hopefully that's what I bring to the horses I have now that can go into a big stadium and I know they're going to perform for me in front of a couple of thousands of people and you know, and I can go in with total confidence on that. Yeah. That's a big thing for me in my journey.

Natasha (00:10:38):

Yeah. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. And we don't know where your journey is going and I can just see somewhere in that future, that's going to be that moment where you're just going to like, Oh, I totally get all those little things that led us to this point. Cause I had everything I needed. Yeah

Kelly  (00:10:53):

They do. They do. Absolutely. And along the way, I, my next, really the horse that put me back on the international show scene again, was UDL. And uh, he was, uh, well, he, I still haven't, he is a gigantic 18 hand Dutch like hot harness horse, something, this pole has had like a heart that just like, I never felt almost like him in the ring. Like he, he was with you. So, um, Oh how can I say it? He just read you, you don't, you didn't even have less AIDS when you got into the ring. It was like, you know, and that was like pretty cool experience for me because he was almost, it was actually difficult in the warming off and really like other, you don't like if trainers are standing beside the ring or have a whip or somebody smack the horse with a whip, but when he and I got alone in the ring together, it's like, there wasn't another person there. So yeah. So that would be brain Bullis. And that was the one that we took to, to Europe. Um, in 2016, after having, you know, he hit the 70 Mark in the ground free a couple of times here and in Wellington and we thought, yeah, okay, we'll take him there and, and see how he goes in Europe and we can make her a spot on the team and yeah. And that's kind of where it all fell apart again.

Natasha (00:12:34):

Do you mind sharing with us, but I think we will get to the fricking awesome bits, but for everyone listening, they go through the shitty times and the bad times too. And I think we see everyone on the top stage going, I just wish I could be them. They haven't always the good and always the fun it's like everyone has the bad. Yeah.

Kelly  (00:12:56):

Yeah. Well, I would say it was a very tricky host to shoot and you know, he was one, he's a highlighter, so he's got one hot foot higher than the other. And in the writing, this never affected him because he could always elevate his forehand. And this was, you know, he could use his body in such a way that it was never a problem, but he was kind of towards the end of the shooting in the job. He could go like this walk side to side. Right. And so they spinned me in the jog and I'm like, Oh, my first one. And of course everybody's, Oh my God. Oh my God. And I'm like, man, and I jumped, this was a million times now and now I can take him through my policy and they like compete the next day and I get a good score.

Kelly  (00:13:45):

I think he was 67 something. And, and then the next day arrived in this special and he got a 69 and I was third place behind like Andrea 70 Severo. And then of course, then all the eyes are on us saying, okay, what's going on with that horse? Like, why does it do that? What about a place between you in the jog and radio? So I was like, okay, I know what's wrong with my horse, but right. It's not a lameness issue. And I will prove that I work and spent probably more than 10,000 euros. I did an MRI body, bone scans. I didn't work on the horse. Right.

Kelly  (00:14:29):

There's the loss neck. They must be as Nick. Oh, it must be his left timed. It must be his right Flon. I'm like, nobody could tell me anything. Right. I'm like, I know what's going on here. The interesting thing that happened when they have to pull the shoes for the MRI. Um, after that we, uh, the next day we chopped him barefoot and he looked like, perfect. I'm like, wow, isn't that really, really interesting. Like I never have jogged a horse barefoot in the whole five years that I'd had him. And I was like, okay, okay. So then we get farrier that doesn't know my horse. Cause I'm in Europe, she was my loss. And now I have a Pasadena that's fucking like a Daisy cutter.

Kelly  (00:15:24):

And I like, Oh my God, what have I just done? Yeah. Yeah. Ran out of time. I'm like, no, I, I, you know, he needed at least one more showing and I think he would be back to himself, but they just got the feet, you know, they tried to change the feet and like, don't change face. Like that's how he is done perfectly like this, his whole life, you know, he's old. And now I have like 20, like a little riding pony and I'm like, Oh, and in the end I just went up one more showing on there. You know, maybe, you know, one more week later, I think he would have been fine. And when I got back to Wilson, which was two weeks later, he was away. We went again, you know, and he never missed another competition or a job the next whole season.

Natasha (00:16:21):

So these are the things that happen. And you live in LA. Yeah. Sorry. I was gonna say, do you go that far? Like sometimes I, I hear these stories and they stressed out drugs like a little bit and you're like, surely it'll be fine. But the more I'm talking to all these riders and hearing, Oh, the dentist or the farrier. And it's always this person while I was in Europe or I was somewhere else and I didn't have my person. And you're like, this is getting worse by the day, the flying out the arm. Yeah. But you know what, again, I say, live in lung because, uh, I do not have another high level horse in my bond and we'll never buy one ever again, but it's like just, it's not worth it. It's too tricky, you know, to shoot those horses and keep them really, really perfect for top level competition. Yeah, yeah.

Kelly  (00:17:19):

Yeah. Like on the saddle, the horse could compensate for this. No problem. But yeah. So interesting problem to have. So how did you, did you bounce back quite quickly? Like now we're talking about it. We're in 2020 now. So it's like, Oh, well it was just one of those things we live and learn. We're very philosophical about it right now, but where you devastated thinking of giving up, thinking of quitting, what, what was your, what was running through your mind? No, I I'm an optimist and it will never change about me. And I always believe things happen for a reason. And actually, while I was that time that I was in Germany, I met some amazing people and I've already made a decision in my life that I needed better quality horses. And I didn't realize how I was going to go about getting better quality horses, but this was, you know, what I realized was getting 67 to 70 was not going to cut it for and having basically other than one or two riders, the rest of us going for a team spot all and the exact same score being according to the percent between that one and that one.

Kelly  (00:18:41):

And I was like, yeah, you know what? The thing is, I need to be sitting on one of those forces and not just a beautifully trained horse, but also one of these super moving losses as well. I actually met, uh, all sorts of people that actually started sending me since I love it. Cause I was kind of going around riding horses on board, you know, you're there with one horse willing to do. So I started going and riding horses for the, to off of the cat Valor and I stopped. And he introduces me to another lady who threw the breeder in the area and I stopped riding some of her young horses. They liked the job I did. Oh, we're going to send them to you in Wellington for you to try it. Awesome. Yeah. So here I am today. And also I took the difficult ones, right. That had the town,

Natasha (00:19:38):

I love it. And this wouldn't have happened if it was because of that time in Germany, because you were doing those, making those decisions. That's still paying off today.

Kelly  (00:19:48):

Yeah. Yeah. And here I am today, you know, where I started with five or six young Roy Gish horses coming nine, 10, 11 year old grand Prix horses. And you're like, wow. Now I have like an arsenal of top horses coming along. Yeah, yeah. But it was my goal. Yeah. And it still is actually like, I, I'm still looking always on how to, and I want to start with the young ones, for sure. I think it's easier in the long term relationship then buying horses that already have been trained by somebody else, you know, have I've learned to defend themselves against the rider. And then, you know, one of the big things that I'm all about is working out a way to have the horse let you in, you know, they trust you and you know, there's so many pieces of learn to defend themselves.

Kelly  (00:21:02):

And this is difficult, especially in competition, you know, because most is they they've been spoiled on like the pirouettes and the PR and they back the rider off at those moments like, Oh, you know, and they kind of get their own back in the ring and in the test and, and, uh, trying to get a horse to really trust you and be with you in the test. This is I think a big challenge. Um, and somebody that I think I'm quite good at, but I do show a lot. And, uh, that is partly because of my location to the showgrounds in Wellington Disneyland for horse riders. I live eight minutes from the warmup arena on the big dressage show grounds here in Wellington. But that's again by design, you weren't born there.

Kelly  (00:21:58):

And last season we, and it was cut short our season, you know, because in time, but we, my team, we wrote 115 tests on the showgrounds. Yep. I worked 47 tests myself. And when I actually look at my records, since I've lived in the United States, I'm 30 rides on 30 tests off of 500. I, Oh, I love it. So everyone is listening. Is that Kelly lied. She's just so successful. I don't know how she does it. 500 tests later. And you know, we didn't really keep a good record, but I lived in Australia. Like we didn't really keep records and you didn't really have like the internet. And yeah. So round from my husband started keeping score from the time I was about 25. And I think I was already up around 300 and something tests by the time I left the, uh, Australia in 2006.

Natasha (00:23:04):

Sorry. Yeah. Okay. Let's unpack it. Cause I love your idea of this concept. Cause like I do, I think every writer may hopefully have felt this, this concept of letting the horse in and opening up to you. There's no, there's no logic. It's just a feeling, isn't it? It's not like you can go, Oh yes, that has happened. Or that hasn't happened. It is a feeling. And you've said, I'm with you. Yes. Horses can sometimes do better in the ring or do worse in the ring. As you said, they get their own back going, what are you going to do now? You can't carry a whip into it and international dressage tests. So is there any actual strategies or physical

Natasha (00:23:46):

Or logical things that you do to get that happen or is it all just, it's a fee, like you've said doing a lot of tests and the feeling, would you ever like abandon a test and go, I have to tell this horse not to back off or just unpack that a bit more.

Kelly  (00:24:01):

Yeah, no, I definitely don't have that theater. Like I don't have that idea at all. And I think that, yeah,

Natasha (00:24:08):


Kelly  (00:24:09):

Opposite idea that when I want to ride with stronger aides, I just tell myself no, do not end game here. And what I found is if you just try to give the horse a good experience, competition, my competition, they starts to let you in more because they don't bad happen. And um, I'm also just a believer in light aides. Now that doesn't mean that the correction is not, uh, you know, just stronger, but I will never put two stronger AIDS to get something done. And I think this pays off, especially like in flying changes. Like you must find her aide at the big, the first change to the last change of the sequence and what I see all day, every day. Um, strange thoughts with a nice one. And by the last gender, right, his AIDS get stronger and stronger. The horse picks up more and more speed and then the mistakes come, you know? And

Natasha (00:25:12):

Have you seen me ride, like, that's my story.

Kelly  (00:25:16):

And, and definitely when you're riding, um, you know, at the highest level, like I'm literally thinking thrush my leg, rush my like take the chance it doesn't work. Like, do I want it to work from a strong rate or do I want it to work, follow that aid? And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Right. But in my experience, I just say to myself and I say to my students, believe it.

Natasha (00:25:42):

Yeah. Yeah. And the less is more things like

Kelly  (00:25:48):

Then when you stop pushing hot or making more pressure, they don't understand this. And this is more about the person and not yeah. Like don't right.

Natasha (00:26:03):

Yeah. No, absolutely. So was this something cultivated? Um, because it's obviously a lot of patients and a lot of discipline, um, to things that are not genetically programmed into me. I have to learn them where you gifted with like your, your dislike this naturally, or I love it so it can retract learned. Yes,

Kelly  (00:26:25):

No, I have everything. I think that I had a natural ability. I'm naturally very good balance. I'm going to say that. Yeah. For my health, I have very good balance. Get out of my horses way. I don't really need be super connected to horse. Like can be pretty much myself. He can be himself and I can apply my eyes quite independently. And I think it's definitely a skill that I've developed over time, but the psychology is all learned. Yes. Yep. It was your biggest mentor on that discipline and patience, pace. Um, lots of people. Um, yeah, definitely. I mean, I can't even name them all, but most recently, Stephanie Peters, somebody who was a true believer in the light eights and in that, and yes, the correction can be more Swift and quick and, and uh, really more of an attention together, like pay attention to my boy. And you know, he really is somebody that makes you a believer, but I have to say the horses make you into a believer. And I definitely won't work.

Kelly  (00:27:45):

Like, like when I put riders on him, like my S the girls that worked for me and I put them on him and it's like, they're, that force will turn you into a believer that you just literally moved your leg foot of ones. You do not need to push or press, or there's no tricks to it. It's just sit beautifully, your leg and put a pure wet. It's just sit up, turn your head. And the horse is going to pure wit no, you do not need to be pushing with your outside leg and pushing on, you know, like all the common mistakes combination of AIDS, just that I don't even have my outside leg on. And if you're wet and to me, it's a lot to do about trust. As you said, be a believer trust that you, that you've got this. Yeah. So, and is that what the competitions are about as well, building that trust bank, building that experience?

Kelly  (00:28:48):

Yeah, absolutely. And learning from them every single time, whether they be young ones or like I'm showing it every level, like last, last weekend I rode from media level through to run free. And I did get a couple of horses in India too, you know, like, so I'm, you know, riding all sorts of horses, but yeah, you definitely, um, yeah, for instance, one of my clients let me ride his horse in the Institute and yeah. So then I could understand what was going on in the test, right? Because he's like, you're riding with the handbrake. Huh? Why are you writing him with the handbrake on? I rode the horse in the test. This is not the horse that we ride in every day. And in the Walmart, the horse gets in the test and turns into a freight train. And I was unaware of that until I wrote it myself in the test.

Kelly  (00:29:43):

And I was like, cool, this is really, really now I know why you're writing him in second year. You know, that'd be good. He's different in the test. So that was really interesting for me. And, and I think, uh, you know, and it helped gave, gave me very good feedback that I could then help the training positions and what a gift that you as a trainer is not just do this. So don't do this and good luck with it. You get on and, and not even at home, you're like, yeah, well, I'll just take it to a cop. You're amazing. That's great. Yes. That's what we, what we do. And we have like a competition stable, so we're very focused on it and, and all of us love it. So, uh, we have, and I have like adult amateurs, young writers and young professionals in our bond.

Kelly  (00:30:39):

And the nice thing is everybody does support each other. It's not all out there on hard rides. And I, I'm also a true believer that the hard rides is when you learn the most. Absolutely. You've got to enjoy the process. You've got to enjoy peeling it back and you've got to enjoy like, yeah, that was a hard ride. I hope we got to the bottom of this. I don't know if we have, and it's so difficult when they plateau or several weeks or longer you think, Nope, just going to stick, stick to our guns here. And when they got the other side, I think there's nothing more rewarding.

Natasha (00:31:27):

And it's actually gift that people focus on the training or on the competition. And you focus that you're melding both. It's so cool. Yes. Yes. But, you know, I think that's what makes the sport so rewarding is because it is so difficult and it's not that it's physically difficult. Like, that's the other thing. It's more, you know, keeping it straight in your head. What is your goal? What are you trying to achieve here? Setting your goals up for success, not setting it up for failure. I see this all the time. You know, that people are just reacting to them and never being proactive. And I'm all about proactive training time. You have to react to the fact that it's all got too low. This is too late and resort to stronger AIDS at this point. Because before that, it's like every call and I don't miss an opportunity to rebalance your loss.

Kelly  (00:32:31):

You know, whatever that might mean for that for us, like I've got what's this that are strong. I have to take them deep in the corners to try to make them rule a bit, knowing that you need to engage them in the corner. So it's what your horse needs. There's not like one rule of thumb of what cookie cutter, like yeah. It's way more dynamic than that. And yeah, that's a lot of our training is focused on trying to be civil strikes to handle the loss. And so many of these horses, they're so predictable, what they do that it's, shouldn't be difficult.

Natasha (00:33:13):

Like you plot that spot seven times, it's done the same thing, seven times away. We're smart. We can figure this out.

Kelly  (00:33:21):

And they do, you know, the tricky ones is the ones that invent new things every time. Here's the new bit. The only one that I have a couple of cars that challenged me, like really challenged me because just when you think you figured it out, they invent a new thing and you're like, Oh, where did that come from? Oh, and then now there's something dish friends. Okay. Yeah. Wow.

Natasha (00:33:51):

Every time you whack one down, something else pops up.

Kelly  (00:33:54):

Yeah. Yeah. I think just, you know, think that, breaking it down, explaining it to the horse again, like this is never the time. And I have forces, like if it gets really hot here in the summer and would spend a lot of time walking, but we're not one step is wasted like 40 minutes to one hour just in walk. And I would be as much use out of that time as you can. I've rehabbed horses. I do it myself, you know, like, and I will spend 40 minutes walking that horse on a contact. And I tell you to fix the contact in the walk. And after two, on some walking, when that thing shots on it's you have a waste that time, all the horses in layup, we don't get off them for one day, you know, they're tactical, no matter what. And they're allowed to work at a walk.

Natasha (00:35:02):

Yeah. Yeah. So tell me about your day with your team, with how many horses are going on. What's a normal day.

Kelly  (00:35:10):

Yeah. We probably start a seven 30, something like this. Uh, I'm very lucky. I have full grooms and I have this sense that helps me. Um, I tend to write a couple of my own horses in the morning, and then I start teaching around like nine and I teach through to lunch time, which is normally about a 20 minute break. It's not a two hour lunch. And then in the afternoons is where it's a little bit more relaxed in the afternoons where I will do a few more lessons and then write a few more of my own horses. And at the moment we have 14 horses in fighting. And then I do do a couple of outside lessons every now and then, but it's a big day. Um, I don't train my horses more than about four days a week. And I staggered what makes sense.

Kelly  (00:36:08):

And, you know, they probably only do two days in a row, a day off, um, three days in a row, a day off, depending on the horse. And so I never am riding like five days. And when I say a day off, we're on the horse, walking out around the track or putting in cantering around, we've got a big racetrack, three quarters of a mile. And especially the young ones that you're trotting and cantering out. There we go, we'll go in groups. You should look on my YouTube until they fund. We will take people losses and we will catch them and show them together. And it's really a way to get, like, especially what's maybe a bit nervous with all the horses we like to do that in groups, get them really used to it. Um, we also will do like in a group and then one will peel off and go off on your own where you can imagine the hell that this can cause, and you want me to go this way? Yeah. Well, if you don't trust me and it does.

Kelly  (00:37:17):

Yeah. And so I think a lot of that work is done, not arena so much. It's more creative outside. My husband likes to fly a drone and plus the drawing around our heads while we're trotting and cantering out on the track. And we have some cool video of that. And it's kind of scary, you know, like it's making a buzzing sound and he'll come quick and quite fast. And you know, you gotta be able to keep them with you, keep them on the line, keep them connected to you. We might just go on the showgrounds now. They're pretty, they're pretty broken in.

Natasha (00:37:55):

I love it. And are you doing all of that? Like, would you ride six days a week or do you have like a certain amount of days you're there and then days where you will not feel

Kelly  (00:38:06):

Sorry? No, it's pretty much seven days a week and Sundays, I try to take an easy day for not showing up and in the show season where we have 12 weeks of showing, whoever is through March and which day of the week it is. And I don't take a single day off between pretty much December and, uh, April. I don't take a single day off and have, I might take a day off here and there. And then I just do what I love, which is making videos and I love, um, so I've always need somebody filming me. So I have videos to edit a lot. I've had, cause I love doing this. I probably have all that. They're all uploaded. And I probably have like 600 uploaded on YouTube. They're not all public. This is something I really enjoy doing as a product. Like it relaxes me actually I'll do it the week before competition too though.

Kelly  (00:39:16):

Like we'll film a fight a lot. And I was sit there and I'll edit the video down to my best fits and highlights video for myself to watch over and over that focusing on the difficult things makes no sense leading up to a competition. It's all about building that confidence. Yeah. Like focus on your good things, focus on the things you do. Well, never neglect those points, you know? And that's something that I've done that in my past where I got to become so focused on, Oh, I have to get this pyramid. I think that this changes to work or something like neglected the entry or neglected plus has a super extended trot or, you know, maybe you should do some of the things if you do well and make sure you do them well on the day. Yeah. I prefer focusing on the thing that you were the host flying hard at that moment in time. And I think that that's my psychology anyway, about like how I prepare myself and I do, I love watching my videos. Like I'm obsessed.

Kelly  (00:40:29):

You said, you know, you used the word believe and part of this trust process, have you found by doing that, that the bad stuff takes care of itself because the focus is off it. Have you ever had that?

Kelly  (00:40:42):

Yes. I think sometimes it has happened for sure. Like I'm able to like let that go. Like, okay. A lot of tests writing is about mathematics, right? Like I pretty much know what score I can get at that point and that horse and like one of the weaknesses. Yeah. I'm pretty close. Most of the time I'm on what the judge give me and yeah, I think, yeah, definitely. You have to leave a little bit that it will work out and it made it work out. Hey, you know, I find that the day after the competition, suddenly now we can do 15 ones, but why could Devon and miss two and do seven more? And now I have 15. Okay. Don't stress about it. Yeah, that's fine.

Kelly  (00:41:48):

So now I have, um, a really nice horse. So I have 2021 goals, fingers crossed. It happens to be that person ever that we have extra time because I think I have a horse that is a combination of the talent of amateur share, but also with a super good brain. And, and he just started his career. He just turned 11. And by the last CDI in, uh, in launch, we did a 69 in the ground free, special. Um, the host can get nines, it can get mini eight, five is pretty fancy, uh, called San heaters. And it's a cert Donna Hall. So they're tricky and

Natasha (00:42:44):

That's all right.

Kelly  (00:42:46):

But I clicked with him. Um, wow. Because he is sensitive, you know, he's, he's one of those horses that acts a little bit behind the leg, you know, and you think, Ooh, it's a big doll, but then if you, uh, wake it up too much, it's really exciting. You know, like there's kind of knowing between, it's like, now it's on fire. You better know what to do with it. Yeah. And here's a really, really cool horse actually. So I'm very happy to have the ride on him and I've loved him. I've known about him for years. I've tried to buy him over and over and try to, every time people come to Wellington's white horses, I'm like that one and keep up with me and I want this one and it never really happened. And then two years later, the horse is still for sale and I do have somebody to buy him and it's like, it worked out. I don't even know how the stars aligned on that situation. You can keep him and finish him off to the ground free and, uh, and, and safe where you can take him again with this one German one, six years ago with the 2016. No, it's actually not this one.

Natasha (00:44:11):

Got it. Great. Full circle. And that's all right. We'll pretend that how to beautiful, but this is another one. Um, yeah. Okay.

Kelly  (00:44:19):

Yeah. Yeah. So,

Natasha (00:44:21):

So have you read it him as a young horse or is he

Kelly  (00:44:24):

Like small tools and then you got, I've known him since he was six. So I've known his a little bit and uh, and his trainer was a friend of mine, so we're, you know, and I loved this horse always if he went to the world championship, the United States in the young horses. And, but then he never really did anything after that. You know, they try and get him off a bed and, you know, and he was kind of for sale for sale, for sale and really high price on him. And then eventually I was able to get him. So, yeah.

Natasha (00:45:00):

Congratulations. I'm super excited, boy. And you see, you mentioned this arsenal, so if something happens, um, what else have we got? Have we got backup and a second backup and a third backup?

Kelly  (00:45:12):

I don't know if I'm quite there yet, but yeah. Yes. And I definitely have one that I want or two that I think will be the Paris loss, you know? Yeah. You know, I have an eight year old doing, uh, an eight year old and a nine year old doing Institute. And I think really, really special. And, um, one is huge. Well, they both huge. I don't even know why I love these huge horses. Love it. And I'm a little, like, I'm not, I'm five seven. And I weigh like 115 pounds, which I think is 53 kilos, you know, like much. And, and I do eat a lot of food. Believe it or not, like I need, I need lots of protein, people interested to hear things like that, but I don't need a lot of protein. Um, I do try to be super healthy, lots of vegetables you do

Natasha (00:46:21):

Running, or just riding all those horses and being yeah, exactly. Seven days doing that would definitely be enough, I think.

Kelly  (00:46:28):

And like, I'm not the trainer that like sits down. I'm not, I'm not one of these people. I find it so difficult. I'm standing, I'm walking, I'm standing. I want to be in it when I have to sit still, I find it hard. I've learned to sit still, but, um, yeah, I'm, I'm out there. I want to be a part of it. And so I'm walking in top boots all day long, you know, from seven 30 in the morning til five 30 in the afternoon, that's a leg workout right there.

Natasha (00:47:04):

No, yeah, yeah.

Kelly  (00:47:06):

Work as well. I do live in handwork Brown walk. Um, so it's not just riding that keeps fit. And you know, I, I'm big believer in the groundwater, big believer in teaching almost as P off in hand, and I'll do the long running and, you know, helping the horses, get a better mouth, get a better top line, get more self, we'll, get all through. Um, you know, if you can achieve as much as you can off their backs, I think it does make the job easier when you get on, you know,

Natasha (00:47:43):

And you're such a good horse woman. Like these are skills that, you know, you're not a good dresser driver. You're a great horse woman, which I think as you said, that that pays off in an Olympic atmosphere when the chips are down and, and, and the, you know, something's gone wrong and you just need that extra bit of the horse going. I've got you and I'm going to fight for you. And that's done in years before.

Kelly  (00:48:10):

So when I was younger, I was like a believer in Versace. And that's the correct way, you know, dressage will prevail in the end. You can solve all the problems through dressage, actually, you can't.

Natasha (00:48:23):


Kelly  (00:48:27):

Yeah, yeah, you do. And you know, all my horses get lead in rope. Halters they all know the right Poulter they all have very good ground manners. If I walk forward though, of Florida, if I stop those toppings stepped back, they're going to step back. Like, I want this relationship with my horses as well, you know, on the ground. I'm not going to get on a horse that has no respect for me on the ground to the horse, that boys stand at the mounting block.

Natasha (00:48:59):

Yeah. Huge. And for everyone that's like, Oh, well, you know, I, I'm not a grand Prairie dressage rider. And, and it's like, well, you can start, you can start doing some groundwork, like wherever you're at in your writing journey, these are the bits you can notice. So start with, isn't it.

Kelly  (00:49:14):

I absolutely, it's a, it's a big part of it. Seven year old, six year old math, um, that she was three and she knocked her hip down. So she didn't get finished work in it. So I get her and you can't get on and you cannot get off safely, like getting off with scarier than getting on for training like this. And you're like, Hm. You know, he had to get sacked out with the flag, you know, every day and get on and off and on and off. And I mean, stop trying to get into any type of massage. And so she understood all of the groundwork and then it was like I got on. And it was like, she was already trying to year and I'd spend like maybe four to six weeks, a little of that. And then it's like, you can go over Paul on the ground and jumped six foot in the air.

Natasha (00:50:16):

No, I love it. Awesome. All right. What's your fight. We talked a little bit about Rio and all this, um, stuff. Tell

Kelly  (00:50:28):

Me some good stuff. What is your favorite competition memory that you have? Oh, wow. That's a good one. Um, I think, you know, I do, I'm a little bit of a performer, so I love doing the freestyles and yeah, I definitely, um, this is something that I do put a lot of time and effort into. And I think that there's something about lighting a freestyle that you've designed yourself with your hos and performing that in front of a lot of people. And like, I think that is something, and maybe you've heard of dressage or Devin, but this is unfortunately going ahead this year, but this was a stadium to go into and write your freestyle there in front of everybody. That was just wonderful. And I did that for a few years. We would go up to Devin and, and ride the competition up there to get that bigger atmosphere feel. And, uh, like, cause even when we went to Europe, unless you go to the really big shows, most of the shows are really small.

Kelly  (00:51:36):

And um, you know, like even when we showed in Odessa, there was like nothing there. It was like, you know, talk and blockchain. Okay. And if I wanted to look back even further than that, um, was sure winning the Sydney CVI with, uh, AMA share and kind of being like really an underdog, like somebody that nobody would have expected would mean that actually. But I mean, mumbles was really good that day. And it was so funny because when I was coming back into the bond and somebody said to me, Oh, who won the grand Prix? And I went, Oh, I did. I know seriously he's fun. Or was, it was so funny. But yeah, that was a great memory because, um, you know, uh, that horse had had a lot of ups and downs and that was really a big moment. So like really high school is that day in three, five star judges.

Kelly  (00:52:55):

And they all had me with the highest scores they thought, yeah, this is okay. This was, yeah. Yeah. I love it. Awesome. So, um, do you have any advice for writers that are starting out in their dressage journey? Um, what, what should they be focusing on thinking about working on? Yeah, I think this takes a lot longer than anybody. Thanks. That's going to take that. And that doesn't mean that you're going slow, that you might have to take two steps back to go one step forward again, and that, and you have to be okay with that and reach a, um, a road block, understanding why breaking it apart. And that you're never going to bulldoze through that point. You can try, you might cause other problems. I hate trading one problem for another that's, you know, I don't want to have, uh, you know, like I'm going to bulldoze all stirred this problem, but then ended up that it is, you know, now has a problem with something else.

Kelly  (00:54:14):

You know, it's definitely going to take peel the onion back again and I'll rebuild it from the ground up again. That will start with my book transitions and my positions. And it's not how big a reaction it's, wasn't an appropriate reaction for an appropriate aid. You know, if I gave all I do that, I'm happy with a small reaction from the horse. Um, I'm I, I want like this, the quickness of the reaction, like not how big a reaction, but the speed at which the horse responded to age. Like that's the more important piece that I try to stay focused on. I don't need it exploding in the air. I need a quick reaction from it. Um, 99%, the time you don't get a quick reaction. Cause water is in the horse's way. I always like, are you saying yes or no at the same time?

Kelly  (00:55:13):

And I know you talk about not a lot and it's a really common problem, but you have to go back, you have to pull it apart and make sure like leg yield draws do turn on the forehand. Does your horse rang back? Can you turn it left and right. You know, ringing back. Can you walk straight forward again? Can you walk straight at the mirror and Holton walk straight on again? Nice things don't seem important, but I think they're really, really important. No wrong. No, not within your Olsen's around four Oh circle in that corner until it feels right. Don't turn on the diagonal until your horse is square with the long side and then turn it to the diagonal. You see so many people just whipping the corner. It's like coming through your corner. When you watch this parallel with the long side, now you can take him onto the diagonal and you will have a straight horse instead of people that was around the corner. And then they're on the diagonal when they straighten them up. Yeah, no, that's not necessary.

Natasha (00:56:21):

I just want to repeat it. Cause it was so good, but yeah, it's not the bigness of the reaction and it's the speed of the reaction that is gold right there. Sorry. Yes, no, absolutely. And I learned a lot of back from the, you know, like not what you do, but how you do it from Udo. Elena also was a major influence on me and I have to mention him and he is a genius on a loss, like 73 years old. We'd get on my horses and ride them. And I would just say, wow, I still have a really long way.

Kelly  (00:56:58):

Oh, I can get those. You know, I mean, you could just ride a flying change that just covered so much ground. And it was so accurate and so straight and not like any shorter than mine in the stirrups and a, I mean that guy's trained 2000 horses to grow free and he was so such a stickler, all these little details, like how you took the color, um, you know, the reaction to the ice. Yeah. It was like he, and being quicker, just myself, I lie reaction time quicker to get the horse quicker and hopping strong and not ever resorting to strongly. He was right.

Kelly  (00:57:47):

You know, like not necessary, never necessary, you know, their hands down, they never back. You know what I mean? It's like you right onto the bed. When you put your hand down the horse, you come up again, the horses you're riding onto the hand again, you know, it was just very, very simple. I would say most people is riding with the handbrakes on, I I'm guilty of, you know, like, especially when you have a hot one, that's going back instead of riding going forward all and the relaxation creates in your horse by going with it and not against it.

Kelly  (00:58:35):

It's so much, he did that every day. Like I teach this all day every day and I actually started recording myself because each of her culture lessons and, and always inventing new ways to explain the same thing. Yeah. Yeah. Because you'd never know what's going to click with that person for me. That's really important. And, and I, I think I I'm, it becomes clearer to me as well. Like having to verbalize, having to as well as not just doing it myself, having some little thing that's peculiar to my, my own writing. That's really solid that you can teach to another person. And I know I love it when I put like my assistant on and I can tell her exactly how much blood loss. Yeah. And we do to make sure it really is that good. I didn't like the a levels and it works beautifully. And you know, you just see the smile from me, like, yes. Then I know it's good. Not making it too complicated.

Natasha (01:00:02):

Yeah. Oh, that is the pace. Isn't it? It is simple. Yeah.

Kelly  (01:00:08):

I did not know what I, what I did. Like I knew what I, I, I had a sense of what I was doing, but could I actually explain what I was doing? No way. Yeah. I did this and that, but very, very clear, clear and deliberate. And it works.

Natasha (01:00:32):

Absolutely. So do you have any sponsors that help you, that you would love to shout out and mention right now?

Kelly  (01:00:38):

Oh, yes. Um, uh, my big, big sponsor is into saddles, which maybe you guys have never heard all over there. Um, and they've, I've been with that company now, like five years. And I would say, I would say about five years ago, I felt myself starting to break a little bit. Wow. Right. I think my hip started getting sold. Um, and I realized I needed, you know, when you ride that many horses a day and I was riding all different styles, I was one of those people when I was younger. It's like, I'm here with the size loads itself. It's the loss. Yeah. Yeah. Now I've been older. It's like, no. Now I, these saddles, since I've been riding in them, no hip pain, my back, well back or shoulders, everything is better. Um, my horses feel fantastic. And, um, so yes, put into saddlery, look them up. I sent a couple over to Australia and if you like the custom saddles you'll love.

Natasha (01:01:51):

So I will definitely check that out and reach it out. If I need it,

Kelly  (01:01:55):

The styles, they have a few different styles. There's three different styles that, and cause your loss has changed a lot and changing the saddles on the horses. And, uh, yeah, they might, my main sponsor is a fantastic, um, I was one of the first people that was with the company where they still were just like demoing saddles and 16 five, and no other cell company would make me a 16, five and a 17 afterwards broken indicates 17 five. I basically became an 18 and I'm living my five was a little snug, but once it broke in, it was perfect. So yeah, when you see my youngest is 16 five out there, but it looks perfect. I think for me and my horse, um, yeah. And I said, what if you can make me a 16 five, and you can change the needles to be a little bit more like this or that.

Kelly  (01:02:53):

And they did it and great a great company. Look them up a line out salary over here. And Greg was from Rams from England and being self filling his entire life. Um, and they used to live in California and now I'm so happy that he moved to Wellington. So now I have the saddle fits all the time. And my other key that I have to give is the big company for a long day, which is really famous in the jumping world. And um, how they got me out of critics. I will never know because I wrote in that my entire life, I tried, never liked them. My show groups were the really expensive Cancun's and they gave me a pair of these prolonged days, met custom made. They made me a pair. I'm like, I want like these, they've got this like jumping grip on me and side, like it's on the inside, but it's this grippy thing that all the jumpers love.

Kelly  (01:04:00):

And, and they made me these boots and I'm like, after like one ride, I was going, Oh my God. Wow. And they're light. They're not heavy. You're walking around all day around. Like, they're like really lie to my legs. And, and so I, I absolutely love my prolonged tapers and you can look them up, but I don't think you can get them in Australia. I do. They have colors. Oh my God. Everything. Yes. I'm a crazy color person. Yes. I black blue, Brown, red, like red is like, like in thing right now is I love red boots. So everything, I even wear it with pain because everyone thinks it looks great.

Kelly  (01:04:54):

I think that's why the company liked me as well, because I'm not boring on it. They're like, yeah. Yeah, you need fancy. Like, that's the only way people are going to stop you and say what fits to those Kelly? You know? So yes. I'm not afraid of wearing. I am pretty nice, lower like positions so I can get, um, and then I am sponsored by an Australian company called dr. Shaw and maybe you have to show and they send their wonderful products over here. Um, they starting up a United States company right now, um, with COVID it kind of slow down. We've been working on it for a couple of years trying to get them up and running over here, but great company, great products, um, no chemicals, um, all the essential oils from Australia native thing. Yes. And people like ask me, like, how can we almost is tales is so good. How come you're so good? Okay. We do brush them a lot and there's a lot of grudging that goes on everybody.

Kelly  (01:06:04):

Um, and it definitely helps. It definitely helps, you know, we use the Apple protect and shine on their coats and you know, a lot of promise, fungus and humidity, you know, we don't get such a purchase. The above, we get humid like Singapore image. Oh yeah. Um, I will say that they act as a great barrier for the fungus. You know, we put it on the legs before we put the horses out on the products and, and yeah. I mean, we Sandy soil here. So one of things live in that, not that nice in Australia, I think they call it like, they get really bad greasy heel here. So which I dealt with my whole life living in Queensland.

Natasha (01:06:59):

Not that much. That's how you can handle Florida ever. You would blatantly. Yeah.

Kelly  (01:07:03):

Yeah. Cause people say, Oh, how do you live there year round? And I've lived here 10 years, year round. And I, it does get harder as you get all of them. Uh, I'm lacking. We have this amazing facility that really is set up for a summer. And like we have 300 souls where I am like 50 acre property. We have, I rent, uh, 18 stalls there and covered a big covered arena for dressage rings, jumping rings, pony Hunter, Jennifer rings. Um, like we, it's really a great setup. Um, I love the space. I need space.

Kelly  (01:07:49):

Um, you know, we've got a really big lunging area where you can lunge like four horses with a big high fence. And we do all that in hand work and some wild ones where we need a high fence. So readiness here, it's all covered arenas and you better know how to stay up like your horses. And when horses come over from Germany, I'm shocked that they don't up in a, you know, four walls in an indoor arena. And then you get here and it's like, Whoa, they don't steer later turn without a rail. They don't know what an outside rain is. Wow. Yeah. Um, so yes, we that's. Yeah. This fabulous facility where I am that we can walk to the showgrounds safely across the street. That's like a challenge in itself.

Natasha (01:08:53):

Well, it's, it's the biggest challenge that compared to 15 ones

Kelly  (01:09:00):

Across the street. And not that, I mean, my grooms will lead us across, you know, I don't want to end up in something, you know, like a few times I'm sure.

Natasha (01:09:13):

Oh, wow. Okay. Any other sponsors we need to meet?

Kelly  (01:09:16):

Well, I think that's all there. My main three. Yeah. I kind of keep it small so that I can do a good job to, you know, like, yeah. Yes, of course. There's a lot of products that I love and endorse and I could go on for hours about what bridles I love, but yes.

Natasha (01:09:37):

Okay. And you mentioned you've got all these videos on YouTube. So if you want to mention new social media channels, we'll also put it in the show notes, but just for the people that are listening.

Kelly  (01:09:46):

Yes. Just Kelly Lang, I think it's just Kelly Lane, Instagram, and I'm trying to do Instagram. I'm kind of slow on Facebook right now and go through phases on Facebook. But I love Instagram. I'm trying to do a good job at least posting once or twice a week. I don't do your story. Right. So I don't do anything like that.

Natasha (01:10:17):

Yeah, no, I'm with you. You're not on tick tock.

Kelly  (01:10:23):

Bring it to be like an influencer or something like this. It's just, if people want to know who I am and they want to follow me twice, you know? Yeah. I love it. Awesome.

Natasha (01:10:33):

Oh, thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you'd like to say is your parting words?

Kelly  (01:10:39):

Hmm. I can't think of anything. I think we covered everything.

Natasha (01:10:45):

I think, so much inspiration is going to come from your story and from your lows and your amazing highs and um, for your ultimate, like, I love your discipline. I love your philosophy. And I love, um,

Natasha (01:10:57):

Excited for 21 and 24. Thank you. We should do this again.

Natasha (01:11:03):

Absolutely. Sounds good. Alright.

Kelly  (01:11:05):

Thank you. Bye.

Natasha (01:11:06):

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