Podcast Episode 32: Q&A | Get to know Tash ft Phil

In this podcast, Phil interviews Tash in a highly requested Q&A episode. Find out what horses are at the Riding Success Institute, what a typical day looks like, talking achievements, future plans and much more!

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 

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Natasha (00:01):

In today's podcast, we thought we would do something different. I've have a guest. Say hello.

Phil (00:05):

Hello? Maybe I'm guest mystery. Um, I'm Phil.

Natasha (00:13):

And who is the Phil?

Phil (00:14):

Okay. Behind the scenes. They've been playing a little bit of a role in the YouTube videos.

Natasha (00:20):

Yeah. But those of you that don't know, Phil is my beautiful, amazing stunning husband. And, uh, we've had some questions come in and Phil thought it would be funny if he could ask me some questions.

Phil (00:31):

Maybe put you in the hot seat. If we can call that.

Natasha (00:34):

I like a hot seat. I like a heated seat.

Phil (00:37):

Well, you do. You got the heater on probably now, but you don't. Um, but we thought we would ask you the questions and you can sit back. So these are some questions that were sent through from some listeners. Yes. So we thought we'd ask you and just kind of get to get to know a bit more about Tash that's it. So let's get into it. Okay. So they would like to know, firstly, what horses do you currently own? What do you have,

Natasha (01:02):

Did we want to, do I answer that in the presence of my husband? Well, we actually have still four Friesian mares that, um, we love, we love going to go see the black ones go. It's nothing better than going into a paddock and seeing four beautiful black horses. And we have, uh, two Friesian stallions still. Yes. Well three actually. we have, um, one who's 20, uh, so he doesn't breed anymore. And, um, ABA.

Phil (01:34):

Who took you to, well, you guys went to grand Prix.

Natasha (01:37):

Aba was the first Friesian in Australasia to go to Grand Prix. He, um, I trained him all the way from prelim to Grand Prix and had so much fun with him. And then he works here at the Institute, helping beginners. yeah me. Yeah, that's it. So then we also have Ollie. Ollie is I think he's about seven. Would he be about seven or eight? Um, and he's nearly about to go Prix St George and he's a purebred Friesian stallion, very different to Aba, um, uh, has the same kind of attitude, but uh, definitely has a bit better talent than Aba, but Aba made up for it with his beautiful heart. And then I have a younger Friesian. Who's very, very exciting called Q. We called him Q uh, so that's the Friesian side of it. And then what do we have on the warmblood side of it?

Natasha (02:28):

Well, we still have Gretchen gorgeous Gretchen, who I bought a couple of years, like a lot of years ago now. And she is confirmed Small Tour. She's working on all the Grand Prix work and she's in England. She was meant to be my international horse to compete. And there was a bit of wandering around with, okay, where am I going over to Europe to do that? And then COVID hit. And now I definitely am not going over to Europe to do that. So Gretchen actually is for sale. We need to, because it looks like we won't be able to get over there until 2022. And that's a bit too long. So that's Gretchen's plan. Uh, and what other horses do we have here? The next horse I'm riding is not a horse I own, but a horse that, um, does lessons at the Institute. I've kind of fallen in love. His name's Benito and he is knocking on the door, of small tour. He can definitely get through a Prix St George test We could get through it. Um, so I'm working with him and absolutely loving that. And, um, Jive is my new Grand Prix horse. So he arrives at the end of October. And, um, we're really thrilled to start working with him because he's what scares me though is hes is Chestnut. I have a Chestnut horse.

Phil (03:47):

I'm a bit like I'm Gretchen.

Natasha (03:50):

Yeah, no, she's a Bay. So, and Benito is a Bay, so I don't own a black warmblood.

Phil (03:58):

And what's your goal like? So you've got Benito. Um, are you planning to compete him at a competition at the aim?

Natasha (04:05):

Yes, if the virus like Australia is trying to do some, some feeding of the virus kind of stuff. So there's the, the word on the street is mid-November, there's a competition. And I would like to take Bonito in the Prix St George and I would like to take a Jive into the Grand Prix. That would be the plan. So my goals for them is just to get them both to Grand Prix . Well, job's already there. And just to that, that's my new foray into a 70% world in Grand Prix.

Phil (04:34):

I was going to say, is that, is that your big goal to crack a 70% in the grand Prix?

Natasha (04:41):

Yeah. So my personal best Grand Prix score is wait for it. 62 and a half percent. It's huge. Let me give you 64 and a half. I think I did get that in the Kur. Does that count? It's gotta, can't, it's a problem. So, um, and that was the same in small tour. So I had only ever really scored a 61 62 and small tour, and then Wessel came along and I cracked a 70 with Wessel. So, um, these warmbloods help you crack that 70 barrier. So now we want to do the same thing in Grand Prix. So that's the goal. Bring it on.

Phil (05:14):

That is exciting. Okay. And that would ever, I would love to know what, what does a day in your life look like as an equestrian? How does it,

Natasha (05:22):

Well, I wouldn't say I'm an, an equestrian. Um, I despise labels as you know, and I am never not, I am never just one thing, am I?

Phil (05:33):

Yeah. You have many things, Tash.

Natasha (05:35):

Beautifully multifaceted. So my day looks like I wake up, I see my gorgeous kids and get them ready for school and then come down and ride some horses and then come down, um, and normally go live or do something to serve our amazing community or I'll record a podcast, or I record a YouTube video or something. I record a program.

Phil (05:58):

You brushed very quickly. I ride some horses in the morning, but is that, is that you generally like to ride like three, four horses? So let's say that you like to ride to your Friesian, Oli, Bonito and soon to be Jive. So probably say three rides is generally like what you'd like to do in the morning. And then sometimes, um, throughout that week, um, working with your new, um, our project kind of thing, we'll do one more.

Natasha (06:23):

My favorite horses, we didn't, I didn't mention that. I currently own them, I guess I do own them.

Phil (06:27):

Yes, but that's, and it's over kind of re-training those. So you kind of have three, sometimes four rides.

Natasha (06:34):

Yeah, potentially five. Um, yes, but, uh, I have changed when I was 20 all I wanted to do was ride 10 horses a day. Um, I got up to riding seven a day and I think I even competed, um, for the most I've ever competed is four horses in eight dressage tests in a day. That was fun. Um, but I'm not, I'm actually, that's not my goals anymore. I've changed and that's okay. Um, and, um, I'd prefer to ride less horses and spend more time doing other things, stuff in the office. And, um, I do gym, don't laugh. I do do gym, not at the intensity that you do, but I do do gym. And it's really important that we spend time with our kids. So we try to be there. Um, you know, there's no work, there's no nothing going on once school's finished so we can spend time with them. Yeah. That's my day, roughly. Otherwise go on YouTube. Didn't you do a whole day in the life of Tash.

Phil (07:28):

I did. Yes. Yes. There is. There is quite a bit of time spent in the office and, and you're trying to get the message out and help as many equestrian riders in the world as you can. What was it like your aim with this like fear? And for example, you want to help, I think, is it 1 million riders who have been impacted by fear in some way, overcome their fear and get back that love of riding?

Natasha (07:50):

Absolutely. It is not okay if someone's scared to do something they love. It is my mission on the planet to help anyone that has that cause it's not a nice feeling.

Phil (07:59):

Yeah. I think we've touched on this a little bit in the, in the previous questions, when you were talking about England and stuff at a COVID-19, how's it impacted your everyday life, I guess it's, I guess one could say it certainly impacted what you had planned for 20. You had to, you had a lot of plans for 2020 overseas, and I think he's hitting the international, adding to it or circuit. I don't want you to call it for the first time. Do you want to share a little bit?

Natasha (08:25):

Well, yes. So I don't think it's really impacted my everyday life, like my day to day life, but it's certainly impacted, um, the overall year and the goals and the plans. So yes, I was meant to be, um, you and I were going to with the kids move to England for four months. And in those four months we were going to travel to, there was international competitions in England where I wasn't going to go to France and Germany, um, with Jive, the grand Prix horse, and with Gretchen the present Grand Prix horse, that was the plan didn't happen like that. Uh, so what a great gift, what a great thing to learn, um, to, to, you know, make other goals and make other plans and change the goalposts. Cause you only control what you can control. Uh, so yeah. How has it impacted our everyday life, uh, to day to day life? I'm just sad that we don't get to go to our favorite burger shop once a week. Cause we can't leave our home. We, um, I run a five kilometer. It's not mine, but yes, no day to day. It's not too bad because we're very, very lucky that we live on a hundred acres. And so when we're confined to our house, it's okay, our horses are here, everything's here, our pet’s are here. Um, but yeah, we don't see anyone. We don't see family and we don't see friends, which is sad.

Phil (09:44):

No, no, it'll be gone. Maybe say maybe a year or so. We'll say, um, what has been your biggest achievement in your riding career so far?

Natasha (09:56):

Huh? Um, so I guess you'd probably say the biggest achievement would have to be your highest score in grand Prix. But personally, when I think of my favorite memory, I think of the first rug that Arbor won me in like novice, we won like novice champion and I was like, woo, I'm a champion. And I have a rug to prove it. It made me feel very good. Um, and as disastrous as our first Grand Prix was, I think it scored like a 52 or 55% percent. It was over 50. That's a win in my book. Like at uni you only had to get over 50. That was like my standards when you're first doing my first Grand Prix, it was like, I've done this. I had a goal I'd said for seven years, I will be the first Australian person to bring a Friesian to Grand Prix. I will be the first, um, I will own the first Friesian in Australia at Grand Prix. I'm going to do this. And every coach and every person told me that wasn't going to happen. It couldn't happen. And, um, I couldn't do it. And it was like, yeah, I did it.

Phil (10:58):

I thought you were going to share, I've got one memory of your riding or many memories, but one particular was your, um, um, your birthday one year. And I think you'd been, you might've been doing that.

Natasha (11:10):

I've been doing Grand Prix, I think. Yeah.

Phil (11:13):

And you're still having some slight problems in the one, one time tempi’s, and you're actually competing on your birthday. You said best, best, best birthday present today. If I can get my 15 ones and you got it. And he was like, I remember you, you're like, I don't know how the rest of the test went, but you're like,

Natasha (11:36):

Yeah, I don't think it went that well, but I was like, let's just retire now. Like, it’s done.

Phil (11:40):

It took only like half of the long, like the diagonal that was. I remembered that one stands out as one thing it's just like really wish, wish, wish. And it happened on the day that you said decided today is going to happen. So intention, big thing there. Um, and probably carrying on, because we've obviously been talking a bit about Aba, but what horses taught you the most and why?

Natasha (12:04):

I think that question’s, it's not every horse teaches you. There's not one horse that teaches you. Like Jorrit, it bucked me off all the time. He taught me so much, um, about staying on a bucking horse and how to feel when a horse is about to buck and to stop it before it bucks. And that's a skill I used on the Thoroughbreds It's a skill, not that I've tried to buck, but you know, it's a skill you use all the time on young horses or whatever. It's going to happen. Every horse. And I've been lucky. I've been, I've ridden a lot of horses, not, not an insane amount of horses, but I've written a few and trained a lot. I'm probably trying 20 up to medium level. So, um, they all teach me something and they all make me giggle. Because even when you think, Oh, now I know how to do something. The next horse you get on. You're like, Whoa, this is new what am I learning here? As you would know, in your last experience of riding Aba and Oli they're different. Oh, and Tambo, look at you.

Phil (13:03):

Um, all different tests, different lesson every time.

Natasha (13:07):

And, and I didn't, we didn't even mention Tambo. Tambo was the first horse. Again, he couldn't even canter a circle and we took him to Grand Prix. He didn't compete a Grand Prix, but he definitely trained it all and competed in into two. And, um, he probably taught me the most cause he was the first.

Phil (13:24):

Yes. Taught you to feed the system.

Natasha (13:27):

Yeah. They all told me that.

Phil (13:29):

Okay. Now what is something that you find difficult when riding, it could still be currently now? And how do you overcome this? So what's difficult. What's something in your riding is still fun. Challenging.

Natasha (13:41):

Well, let me talk about, so I remember when I was learning to ride, I could not tell if I was on the correct diagonal.

Phil (13:48):

I understand that.

Natasha (13:51):

And I felt so, I was really ashamed that I didn't know, cause everyone around me did. And it was almost, um, like they were going to laugh at me if I admitted that I didn't know. So I don't know if that still goes on today and riding schools and stuff. And I just think that's a real, like, that's not good because it's hard to learn something when you don't admit that you need help to learn something. So when the coach would say, are you on the right diagonal? Or tell us if your, what diagonal you're on. I'd always guess because thank God there's only two to choose from. So you do have a good percentage chance of getting it right some of the time. Um, so I think so if I found everything difficult with riding, I couldn't tell my correct diagonal. Then I couldn't tell us the horse was on the correct canter lead then I couldn't tell if my horse, um, you know, like the, the, the coach I'd say is the horse forward enough?

Natasha (14:44):

I'd be like, well, it's moving forward. So surely. Yes. Um, but pretty much everything I learn I, I find difficult. I'm the first to say I'm really not very talented at the riding thing, but how do I overcome that. Persistence baby? Like, I am the most persistent human being on the planet. Um, and the more I've grown and grown up and matured, the more I've gone. It's just better when I say I don't understand that. Can you please help me? Can you please explain that you're asking questions. Yeah. And you have to make sure you've got the right coach, because that can be confronting. Sometimes coaches get really upset with me because I think I'm questioning them and I'm not questioning them. I'm questioning like how. I'm not questioning the idea that the horse should be more forward. I'm just saying, how would I know that the horse is, or isn't more forward and how would I go about generating more forward?

Natasha (15:35):

And how would I know that I have successfully accomplished that? I am very giving me this. Look, I'm very audit to digital. Like I, how I process my world is very much, I need to know every step before I can take action, which is a huge problem. Like I am so genetically flawed to not succeed in dressage because everything about how I'm wired goes against me. So everything I do naturally, which is I'm not going to do anything until I have all the answers well, that I'll never, I'll never ride a step because I don't have, I'll never have all the answers you speak to 70 year old grand Prix dressage rider that have been doing it for a hundred years, even though there are only 70 and they say I'm still learning. So that is a huge floor. So I know I have to take imperfect action without knowing all the steps, which is hard for me.

Natasha (16:22):

And then, um, I I'm very nitty gritty, like, okay, but, but why would we do that when that happens? And if that happens and we know that riding isn't linear like that, it's not a math equation. Well, when two plus one equals three, do this. Um, so there's a lot and I'm not very patient and I'm not very, um, uh, disciplined and I'm not very focused so well, as you know, so all these things really impact my dressage career. So I find things difficult. And how do I overcome this by knowing myself really well and surrounding myself with humans that are okay with me asking questions and trying to get the answers. That was a long answer to that question.

Phil (17:01):

It is, I think it may also provide some help and stuff in the next question, because we'd like to know what is some advice you would give to younger riders or probably doesn't even have to be necessarily younger. It could be people that have also any riders aspiring to compete. I guess this is at the top level, but I think even at any level, really, but, um, but yes, I guess to get towards the Grand Prix levels and stuff like that, and like.

Natasha (17:26):

I think really get clear on what it is that you want. Like, some people think I am an incredible failure in my career because I've only scored 62% at Grand Prix. And that I took my Friesian out to Grand Prix when he didn't have 15 ones and when I could only score 52% and think that's something to be horribly ashamed about. And it was a real failure because it wasn't a 60 or a 65 or a 70. And I giggled because I go.

Phil (17:58):

With that level of thinking, they would never have gone out to compete ever.

Natasha (18:02):

I would have been really happy with that. So for them, the goal to see, to score, let's say for them, I don't know what they decide in their brain, but let's say they go, 65% is a, is a satisfactory score. And anything below that isn't and therefore I'm only going to go out when I can guarantee I'm going to get a 65. And if that means they only ever compete Prix St George, and that's their goal, then that's awesome. They've accomplished it. So, so the first thing is get super clear on your goal. My goal was to get to Grand Priz. I didn't care how it looked. I come from a circus family. It doesn't matter. It just do the trick. Um, but now that's not my goal. I will never do a Grand Prix again for a 62. Cause I've done that.

Natasha (18:42):

So now I want to play in a different world, which means I have to learn a whole different lot of stuff and I have different goals. So the advice is what is top level to you? Cause it's different to everybody and then just do it like it. No, it sounds that's a nice slogan, but there wasn't anything special about me to get my Friesian to Grand Prix. Everyone told me I couldn't, everyone told me I can't. Everyone said it can't be done. The horse can't do it. You can't do it. That's a stupid goal. Don't do it. But it's my life. And I decided that that's what I wanted. And so I just went ahead and did it anyway. So my advice is just go and do what you want to do anyway. And you can't listen to anyone that isn't on board. And that's a huge thing. Like some, like I don't care what age you are to, to go and do what you want to do while everyone's saying that's not a good idea. That's a big thing.

Phil (19:39):

Listening to yourself.

Natasha (19:43):

The life, like when I hear about people that are like, Oh, you know, my parents wanted me to go to University. So I went and I did that and I go, Oh my gosh, Tash, what were you thinking? And that's the thing we tell our kids. Like we almost, you don't like it. I encouraged Danika to not listen to us. I go, just because we said it doesn't mean that you should do it.

Phil (20:04):

I'd like it if you did. If you went to bed, but

Natasha (20:09):

Choose and decide that it's not right for you. Um, I, I, I, I'm not you, I can't force you Danika. You are your own human now she's six. Um, but yeah, as a here as a, as a parent, I'm sure I'll get it wrong. And I'm sure heaps of people are listening to this going what a bad parent. That's cool. Awesome. You have your thought and you have your idea, but I think that the quicker you can learn that it is only your life and only you decide what makes you happy. And then just go do that. I think we've done

Phil (20:44):

To apply that back to the whole. And I think one of the things you're saying, the horses, it's almost just get, start, like start you, you can be at home planning and trying to get it like perfect. Right. But until you actually go out there and start competing, like, then you can start making adjustments. It's kind of like, you know, that the people who go plan forever, but never execute, waiting for it to be perfect. So you kind of like, just, get started.

Natasha (21:10):

And that is my nemesis because I don't care about perfection. It's just not even a thought in my brain that allows me to take action quickly and get out there. But that also means to score a hundred percent and to win a gold medal, I need to seek perfection. So that's where I'm not wired in a way that probably will lead to that outcome, which I've reconciled and totally cool with because I'm having fun.

Phil (21:36):

I guess that's something unique also about you is that you have ridden the Friesians. And then now I started with the Warmbloods. It's going to say now, but we've been doing the Warmbloods for a while, but that's, that's a really, that's quite a unique experience. There's a lot of riders out there, either I'm riding Friesians or I'm riding a particular breed or I'm writing the Warmbloods and now you've been able to do the two. Um, how, how are they, how how's the differences for you in training and competing these horses?

Natasha (22:03):

For me, uh, warmbloods are stronger. They're more talented, they're more athletic. They are bred to perform in the dressage arena. That's what they're bred to do. Um, and you, you know that when you ride them and everything's easy with them, like nothing is, if you ha if you have a good one, um, I've had like, everything's easy. Um, their bodies are made to do it. So, um, that's the good thing. Uh, but my heart is with Friesians because, uh, they were bred to pull a cart. I don't know if they were bred back in the day to go into war. Um, but I know for me, it feels like they could carry me into war that they they're, they're a hundred percent. What do you want, mom? I'm here to give it to you. Like, I just feel they try so much and they have beautiful hearts.

Natasha (23:01):

And, um, I've always said with Friesians, I’m lazy, I like to eat a lot of food. They like to eat a lot of food. They're pretty lazy. Um, so I just gel with them and, and connect to them so much more like they're my heart horse. Um, but it's hard when you've got a horse that's not built to do it. And you're saying, can I please get you to do this job? And they're like, sure, like Oli had tries harder than any other horse I've ever sat on in my life. Just struggling. But he can't do it.

Phil (23:29):

I mean, you always liked it too. You got like the formula one racing with the, the race cars, uh, the Warmbloods they're built for this race, for the speed for execution of it. And then you bring a Friesian along to this race course and a completely different vehicle. That is just, it's a truckk. Yeah. And you're trying, and you,

Natasha (23:48):

The truck to go faster and the truck is going, I'll try, I'll try my hardest. Um, and I love that feeling and I love that about them. And they've got really big egos cause I brought the stallions and they, they teach me, you know, sometimes I'm like, Oh, maybe, maybe I don't belong here. Or maybe I'm not okay and then you were at a you're at a Friesian and they're screaming going, Hey, I'm here. I'm awesome. And I just, they teach me how to show up in the world and they teach me how to have confidence and they teach me, um, what really matters. That got with deep. But that's how I feel.

Phil (24:22):

Excellent. Well, that is all of our questions for you today.

Natasha (24:30):

I love it. Thanks for hanging out with me. Thanks for hanging out, hanging out with us guys. Hope you enjoyed that conversation. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review and we'll see you guys next time.

Phil (24:43):

Yep. See you later.

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