Podcast Episode 37: Interview With Tash
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In today's podcast, we have the amazing Tash with the...
Phil is gonna come and ask me some more questions so you can get to know me better and get to know some more cool things. Are we going to do some cool things Phil?
I reckon we'll discover a few things about you, that the people out there may not have known.
Welcome to the Your Riding Success podcast. My name is Natasha Althoff and I'm 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 riders 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 riding and give you actionable advice on overcoming riding fear and anxiety. So you can take a riding to the next level and be the rider you dream to be. So let's get into today's episode.
Well, I think we should also just point out there's people that don't know. Um, we have known each other a really long time.
Yes. We met each other at school in, uh, many years ago,
1998, February of 1998. Um, I remember a friend of mine rang, rang me up. She was working in the, uh, uniform shop and she was like, Oh my God, this really hot guy came in to get a school uniform. And I went, Oh really? And she's like, Oh, I don't know how hot he is. Cause he had long hair and he's obviously going to have to cut it because our school was quite strict and I went Oh, long hair. He doesn't sound good. Looking at all. I was very anti long hair, which we're in right now. Yeah.
What you do is cut my hair. We saw it happen with Tyler outside.
Anyway, just cause I can't cut. Hair does not mean anyway. Um, so these are, I remember sitting there. I was so excited. It was my first day of year 12. Um, I was 16 years old and I remember we were so excited and it was assembly and everyone was coming in for assembly. And this man, well, you weren't a man and you weren't a boy. You were adolescent. This guy let's just call him, walks in with a beautiful haircut. May I may I add? And I went, Oh wow. Who is that? I, him, I'm going to go out with him. I like him. So what are you doing year 12. When you like someone you tell all your friends. Yeah, that's what you do. And Phil's at this new school and everyone is going out that girl likes you. You, that girl likes you.
And he didn't quite know. Every time he looked around, I was with other girls. Cause of course you're around other girls. It was like which one? Um, and cut along. And then they told me his name is Reginald. And I was like, Oh, I don't know if I can like a guy because I was very deep back then obviously. I've judged you on your hair and I judged you on your name. Um, but then I found out his name is Phil and he plays piano. Amazing. I had a fact file in my diary of Phil. I was like, I know he plays piano really well. I think I hope he has a pack. I'm like he can swim. And then we had swimming carnival and I could confirm he did have a six pack and he could swim really fast and he could play piano amazingly. I was like, this guy is amazing. So had to, had to make him my boyfriend, which we did two weeks later. He didn't have a choice in the matter.
Did, but I think we can move on to maybe more horse related things.
Sorry. But yes. Well we'll cut a long story story. I do remember two months into us being boyfriend and girlfriend. I remember putting the, the, the closing the gate to my horse paddock. And as I closed my gate, I just a thought came into my head and I said, I'm going to marry Phil. And I think I told you, I said we're getting married. Um, cause we used to write each other love letters. Thousands of pages of love letters.
Yeah. And the thing back then. Okay. We wrote people would write letters like I'd write letters to my girlfriends. I'd write letters to my boyfriend who was new back then. Wasn't it. When we did not have a phone, it was Hotmail. But do we sound, we did not have an SMS.
This came the following year 99, but now, so how old are we now? You're 39. I'm 38. So how long have you,
But anyway, I did have a birthday 39
And I met you when I was 16. How long
Have you met in 1998 to 20. Now it's 22 years.
This is why I a married him. Cause he's much better at math than me 22 years. And guess what?
I love you more. You'd hope so. Wouldn't you? He got better. That's why I can love him more. Just the hair again, scrub right into the interview.
Well, cause we want to know about you, I guess that was knowing a little bit about you and your personal story. Um, but let's talk horses, horses. How did you start getting involved in horses? Like did you just, it's just like one day I'm like four or five. I like horses or just, how did it come about?
So when you're, when you're a baby and when you're a toddler, you learn what animals are. And I remember like, this is a cat, this is a dog. This is a horse. I'm like horse, horse, horse, horse. And ever since I could remember, my parents always asked me to write down what I wanted, my birthday and Christmas. And I got really angry and frustrated because I would just write one thing, horse. It was nothing else on the list I just wanted to host. And my parents were like, you can't have one, you can't have one, can't have one, you can't have one. And I just heard you can't have one yet. Um, and yeah, eventually, uh, one day, um, I was going a little off the rails. I was around. Yeah. I don't know how old I was, but I was getting a little out of control and maybe hanging out with the wrong kind of people.
And my aunt, auntie Mary, who I will forever be grateful for, said to my dad, um, she's been asking for whole life for something that will occupy all her days and all her time and all her weekends and all her evenings. Um, and you've never given it to her, maybe, maybe you should give that to her. And my dad went, Oh God, that's a really smart idea. So he said yes to the horse and I stopped going in the wrong direction and stopped hanging out with anyone except my horsey friends and spent all my time with them.
Well, there you go. So it's just, there's just, as soon as you knew horse existed, you loved the horses.
Yes. I just, I just, I, and I don't think I had ever gone and ridden one.
Do you remember your first experience of seeing or, uh, or actually like, um, patting a horse or meeting a horse? Yes.
So I don't remember it there's a photo of me. Um, and I was probably around 12 months and I was obviously getting a pony ride and my dad's holding, holding me and the horse. Um, I've got a massive smile on my face, but I don't actually remember it. The first memory I have is my aunt and uncle had an Arabian horse farm. And so I loved my first horse. I loved was not Friesians. It was an Arabian. And, um, they I, I couldn't ride the horses, but I could help. I remember just being so excited. So being about seven, seven or eight and going my aunt and uncle lived in Queensland, so I would visit them once a year. And I remember going there and, um, their sons had to feed the horses. Like it was a chore for them. And I remember just saying to them, I can't believe this is like what you get to do every day. And they were like moaning and groaning going. Yeah, we have to do our chores. And I just was like, what can I do? Can I put the lucerine in or can I make up the mallaces? And I just, I looked forward to that Queensland trip for no other reason, except it meant I got to spend a week feeding horses, patting horses. I would just smell them. They smell so good. I don't know if it's so good, but like, to me, that smell, I just adored them. Yeah. So that's my first memory.
Pretty cool. Yeah. Alrighty. Next question for you. So people probably wouldn't know that, um, you haven't always ridden just purely dressage. What was some of, what were some of the other areas that you kind of felt had a play in or dabbled or yeah?
So my, my criteria when it came to buying a horse was I rode with a friend of mine and, um, uh, I really wanted a horse that came when you called it because we kept our horses at group agistment, like this massive acreage paddocks of like, I don't know, maybe 30, 50 acres. And, um, it was a real drag if your horse was down like 50 acres away and you had to walk and walk and walk and walk. Um, so two, if your horse was 50 acres away and you called it and it came like you were the most special person at the agistment. So that was my criteria. It came when it caught when, uh, when it was called. Um, as a side note, I did have a horse at first and it didn't come when it was called and that's okay too, because then you tie the lead rope around its halter and you get on and you ride it bareback back up to the, up to the adjustment, which was also fun. Um, yeah, so my criteria was coming call and be the fastest. So would do races. Like I never rode dressage ever at the start. We just, um, would like race each other. And I wanted the fastest horse. I still wanted to win. I still being every memory around horses was killing competition. I wanted to win, but yet I wanted to look around
Sweet, pleasure, pleasure riding at the start.
I would just ride in our bathers all day and take the horses in and out of the dam. And, um, uh, what else would we do with them? Race. And I guess we did some jumping. Yeah. I remember I liked jumping. I did. I liked the feeling of going in the air. Um, yeah.
And what horse were you riding at this stage? I think I kind of remember one of your young horses. Hmm.
No. Well, this was, I leased a horse called JB originally, and then yes, we bought Tyson, but then the jumping, so I, JB, I really loved jumping and I always thought I was going to go to the Olympics for three days eventing. And then I bought, um, a Chestnut Arabian. That was beautiful. That came when I called and was fast, but he did not jump. And that really caused me a lot of grief. So I had to become a little bit of a better dressage rider because that's all we could do. And we did win a lot of dressage things with him. And then I bought my off the track thoroughbred, my black off the track thoroughbred because I was going to go to the Olympics on him. And then I started going, these jumps are getting really high and they were not getting really high, bless/
I'm actually remember some of those jumps. I came to some of those early competitions. I can't honestly not remember them at the moment, but I do remember my favorite part was always back then. It was like running around the course, jumping giant trees and then like landing in the water and stuff. So I used to position myself at the water jump and watch everyone attempt the water jumps and stuff like that. But I do remember you. Yes cross-country. And I don't remember much of the show jumping that you do and stuff. So the yes,yes, and then you moved into more of the dressage.
Yeah. Again, based on the horse, the horse was getting unsound and had degeneration from the racing we think. Um, and so jumping was gonna wear him out so much quicker, so we just turned to dressage and I think I got another year out of him before.
Yeah. That's very cool. Yeah. Well, I want you to take us now through some of your coaching experience. No, not you coaching other people, but you've been coached. And some of the people that, uh, or coaches that may have had a big impact on your riding and maybe even your direction as you went through the years, is there any particular coaches that stand out or lessons learned that had a bit of an impact on you?
Yes. So, um, I think,
I, I do remember my first coach, her name was Helen and, um, God bless her because she had to like wrangle all us people that just wanted to go fast and jump. And she was the first one, like, no we're going to do flat. And she told me like what a diagonal was and what, uh, what, uh, what, um, the correct lead for the Canter was.
Group coaching at the time. And how are we guys? We're a group of people and the group of like 10, 10 year olds or something like that.
Oh, I was never that young. I was like 15. Yes. Yes. I wasn't riding when I was 10. Yeah. Um, so yes, I remember that. And I remember just thinking boring hate this, um, I was not into it. Um, and then I, I remember, I can't remember the coaches lady, but I remember the moment when she said you don't turn with an inside rain, you turn with an outside rain. And I remember thinking she was really old and really dumb, and that does not sound right. Um, and I remember, yeah. And that was me trying to become a dressage rider and just going, nah, that doesn't sound right. Total rejection. So I don't know if I was amazing to coach when I was young. I think I did have a lot of rejection of ideas. Um, knowing what I know now, my personality is I need to know why if she had explained the, cause she didn't explain the biomechanics of why an outside rain could turn a shoulder.
She just said, T turn with the outside shoulder. And I'd like to turn by pulling your outside rein. And that is koo koo. Um, so knowing what I know now, if a coach says that I, I need to know more for me to action that. Um, but I didn't know that back then. So I think I would have been quite rejective of a lot of the concepts that were taught to me if it didn't fit into my paradigm, which is annoying for them. So, sorry. Um, uh, and I think it's hard, like, especially when you're young, um, your coach, if you're not just there to learn riding, you're going through so much other stuff and self-belief, and self-confidence, and, um, I had big goals. Like, it didn't matter that I didn't know that I thought you turned with your inside rein. I still thought I was going to go to the Olympics next year. So I think I had these grandiose ideas. I had projection if it didn't fit into what I knew. Um, so I can't imagine I was very coachable.
Yeah, no. And I was thinking to myself then as, as one of your almost biggest coaching moments, not even being with horse coaches at all, it's actually kind of in your, um, your own training. Um, if you want to tell us a little bit about that and how that just enabled you to understand. Yeah.
I think my whole life, I remember being very frustrated, very confused. And, um, and I'm not, I don't think it was the coaches. It was me cause I didn't know how I worked and I didn't ask for what I needed. And I probably had a coach that she was definitely a different personality, um, a learning style to me. So she taught in her learning style, which wasn't compatible with mine. Um, so I then just made that mean I was useless and I couldn't learn and I was really bad at riding. Um, but none of that stopped me. I'm still to the Olympics. Um, but yes, I think the turning point when the, the moment when I see in my riding career and in my coat, when I was getting lessons, when I stopped feeling frustrated, lost, confused, alone, stupid, and started really learning was, um, when I learned about how I worked.
So I went and understood. Um, I went and did and I'll pay training and communication training and coaching training, and learnt how, um, communication actually works, how humans are wired, how some humans, um, were learn in one way, how some humans learn in a different way. How, um, when we communicate how ineffective communication is, it's impossible to communicate clearly. I am successively try to communicate clearly. And I know I'm only 10% of communicating what I'm actually trying to say, which is the, the fault of the English language and the like not even the English language, the fault of language and the fault of, you know, it's not fault. It's just what it is. Um, so yes, that was definitely a defining moment in me, understanding how I worked, how then I could get the knowledge because when you want to learn something, it's just, you got to get the knowledge. Um, but how we get the knowledge and how we can actually use what said to us in a, in a functional way, like I said, people could have been telling me these concepts for years, but if I couldn't hear or understand the concept, why waste your breath? It never would have gone.
And then at night I think they would use them to ask the right questions, to get the information that you wanted, then
I took responsibility for my learning and, um, definitely went to a lot of different coaches. And at one point I didn't have a coach because that's the other thing. So you go to a coach and that's the wrong word. You go to riding instructors to learn, how do I turn with the outside rein? What is the diagonal? How do I ride piaffe? That's teach me the skill. But a coach to me, the definition of a coach is there's so much more to that. So I didn't have anyone that believed in me. I said, I'm going to get, get this Friesian to grand Prix. And I had all these humans that I was paying to help me get that goal that was saying, well, we'll, we'll teach you the skill, but we don't think you can do it. And we don't think that'll happen. Um, again, thank god I had my training to go well, that's okay. I don't need you to believe in that because I just need to get the skill from you. But there w there did become a time where I just went. I don't think they're even really trying to teach me the skill because their map around, why would I teach her this? Because there's no way that that would happen with kind of blocking the thing. So, yeah, there's a lot. That's Oh, I could talk for hours around coaching
That's for another, I think that's another one. I think we'll delve into that. Another time I go into that very deep, but as certainly that, when I was thinking in that question and knowing you for that long, and then just you with the different riding coaches. No, I think thinking it's actually your coaching away from, um, the horses that got you, the biggest influence on your riding. Right.
Well said, and I should point out now. I'm very lucky, um, that I, I, yeah, I've got, um,
Great coaching access. Yes, yes. Yes. I'm very, very grateful. Yeah.
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Well, they were up to, um, a bit of a fun part of the episode. Now it's some, some quick fire questions. Well, I'll quickly find it.
I'm getting too stressed. I'm like, is it a one word answer? I can't what, what, what? Okay, good
Speak without thinking questions. No, it's not.
I always speak without thinking.
Alrighty. Are you ready? Tash, for question one question one, if you could be any animal I want about that, what would it be and why? Oh, that's complete. After talking in this whole thing where there's nothing.
No. What came into my head was tiger? No lion. No, I am. Okay. I feel like why would I want to be a horse someone rides me, let me go around in circles. No, not a horse. Cat. No, not a lion cause then I don't have my food. I cat I change my answer to cat. I sleep all day. I get fed. I have to do nothing except sleep and eat
Sounds about right. So, uh, okay. What is one thing that is on your bucket list or one thing you wanna put on your bucket list that you want to do? Just one quick, quick question.
No they deserve pondering. If I could only do one more thing. Oh, what really? It sounds I want to come to mind is I really desperately want to get my kids to Lapland and, um, see the Northern lights go on a reindeer sleigh, go on a Husky sleigh and, um, experience like 23 hours of darkness or however many hours.
For those of you who don't know what Laplan is.
Oh, I don't even know if that's what you call it. Yeah,
I think that's yeah, I think it's yeah. So it's up in the, they consider it the central North pole and yeah,
And there's a little Santa's house and, and I want to go there in the month of December and, and, Oh, I just want to drink hot chocolate and a little sleigh with a reindeer.
It's some gentle snow coming down. No wind. So it's just quite nice, but it's probably going to be absolutely.
Oh, see, in my mind, it's not even going to be cold cause in my mind, I know there's snow, but I didn't even realize that it would also be cold.
Okay. Moving on. This is an interesting one. I don't know if you have an answer, but who is your favorite superhero and why?
I'm not very good with the superheroes. Um, so my brain goes one to wonderwoman, cause I know she's a woman, who's a super hero and she's pretty cool. She's like, yeah, I like it.
You saw it recently.
So yes. Gorgeous actress.
Who do you admire the most?
The most tough question. What came to mind is I was really lucky and honored very recently to have an interview with Charlotte Jorst. Um, and I admire her out of everyone. Like, so my, my brain went Isabel Werth because I really admire her results, but it's only, I only admire her for that little area. But in terms of whose life do I admire the most, we always used to say like maybe Richard Branson, because he seemed to have a good balance of everything. Um, and I think Charlotte's got a really cool balance. So go Charlotte, thank you for our time together. You really,
And keeping on the movie theme from earlier, if a movie was made of your life, the life of Tash, what would the genre be and who would play Tash?
Well, I was going to say romantic comedy. Um, probably just comedy, so comedy, um, who would play me? Um, can I say the girl that was in wonder woman? She's pretty cool. You can, uh, Gal Ghotu.
Yeah. We'll get it or something. You get it? Yeah. Who knows? We don't know our names.
And like, no, she like the, she doesn't really signify, like who, who would play me? Like maybe Catherine Zeta Jones. I don't know. Very hard questions.
Um, are you a morning person? A night person and I'm going to add something into this as well or neither?
You know, I'm a morning person. Oh, Okay.
I did not know that because um, I get up before you every morning, but I don't think I know. That's why I said neither.
Where do I go? Where do I have the most? Yet Phil gets up before me and goes to sleep after me. Cause you have this crazy energy. That just, you're weird. No, you're not weak. You're just very special. I'm also very special. So I need between eight and nine hours of sleep you do between seven and eight or six and seven Oh seven. You're like a seven. Yeah. And I like, it's gotta be over the eight. Yes. Yeah. So I still think I'm a morning person. I definitely have lots of energy in the morning. I could not, I can stay in bed till 10, but I can't sleep till 10. Yeah. I'm always awake. So my rule is, and it's not something that I set an alarm for or. My body will wake up every single day when the sun is up. So I like to not sleep with the blinds closed and when the sun's up, I'm awake. And the only time I have to set the blinds closed is when we're in Europe and it's it's light at like 2:00 AM. And then my brain's like,
Where as here now we start getting a light about, Well at six o'clock.
So I'm normally in bed, but, but my energy is definitely the best in the morning. Everything I try and fit all my life into lunchtime and then I eat and then I pretty much have to snooze the rest of the day. Take on that cat. So yeah, I'm a morning person. I'm just not an early morning.
Yes. Okay. Now what is one of your weird quirks, Tash?
You know what I'm going to say.
What would you say? One of my, my biggest quirks is?
Oh, obsession of sitting in front of a blowing heater.
Yeah. That's what I was good at that. So I think my biggest quirk is if you, yeah, I always have a heater on my feet. Um, and so in the office I have a heater on my feet, but even in my office, sometimes they just, um, well you guys can't see cause you're listening, but I get down. I have to sit in front of the heater, making a like, and like, so I was just as she goes around with a bum in the air. Cause I just, I just, yeah. I like, I, yeah, I don't know that just got weird quick. Um, yeah,
We're coming into summer now and I know in the office here. We're all kind of like, um, short t-shirt or even single it and it's, it's warm and you're still.
Yes. And you would extrapolate that to honor. Tasha does really well in 40 degree heat. I don't do well in heat either. No, I just run cold. So I need like 20 degrees means jumper and jacket and heater on. But then when it gets to about 25, well, 25 is okay, but 30 is now too hot and I can't do anything either. I just, I think I have a problem with temperature regulation.
Just that it's just, um, like it's, it's quite assess. Um, do you have any superstitions?
Conditions? Well, clearly not because nothing's coming to mind. Like I don't, I love black cats. I'm cool with ladders. I'm cool with cracks, paddling. That's the thing, you know, you want me to step on a crack?
Okay. Then you don't have any superstitions. No. Um, and lastly, could you describe yourself in three words, three words, fun, loving, uh, obsessed. I'll say fun. Loving is one word. Okay. Sorry.
Oh, it's fun. Loving, obsessed. And, and make it happen. Oh, that's not one word. Well, it looks that it's make it happen. So we need one more word. What you described me in three words would describe me as,
Oh, um, I'll put you like energetic slash bubbly. Like you're quite a bubbly personality. Um, planning, goal planning, goal setting kind of thing. Definitely there. And, um, shortcut, as you said, that that's a great thing. Finding the best way to get the quickest results.
That is definitely my wiring. Yes. Cool.
That's my answer.
I love that. I love that. It's like, this is my wife. I, I describe her as bubbly. I'm like my dream to be. This is my bubbly shortcut. Thank you very much. I totally agree. Yeah. So my words would be fun. Loving, um, obsessed and shortcut. I like that.
Yeah. There you go. Done. That is, that brings us to the end of get to know you a little bit more about Tash.
Awesome. We need to know at one time, I think people would like to get to know you.
We'll see as we go on.
Awesome. Have an amazing week guys. And we'll see you next time.
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