Podcast Episode 10: Equine Dentistry with Guest Mark Burnell
In this episode Natasha speaks to one of the most interesting people you will ever meet - Mark Burnell, the superstar horse dentist! He talks about how he became a dentist, how often you need to have your horses teeth done and his journey with horses. If you'd like to know more about Mark, watch the video below which was created by 10Sport... and if you are in Australia and need a good dental technician, find out more by going to http://www.equinedental.com.au/
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 email@example.com
Hello Riding Superstars!! We are here with the amazing... ooh... listen to me, I'm getting so excited! The amazing Mark Burnell. Thank you so much for your time.
You're welcome Natasha.
I am so pumped and excited to be sharing this conversation with you. I've known you forever. Yes. And you need to tell me later how you have not aged. I definitely have, and you look amazing.
Alright, so you are a horse dentist and you've been a horse dentist since I was 15 years old, but even way before then. Please tell me, how did you get into horse dentistry? How does that story look?
I was a pony club kid like yourself and was doing my K certificate. And as part of that, I would, was interested in looking into horse dentistry. And at the time in Melbourne, there were only three people that were horse dentists. So I annoyed the guy that used to do my pony club horse. And my dad had a couple of race horses and he lived near Caulfield at Malvern. And we used to have to float our horses from where we lived down to Caulfield stables to a friend's racing stables and he'd do their teeth. And he was, um, he'd been doing it his whole life. He took over from his father in 1937.
Wow. And this is not a university taught course in 1937. This is just passed down.
No, well, in 1937 they were just possibly beginning the first veterinary school in Australia.
And his father had been a horse dentist for 49 years before him. So, uh, the guy who taught me Ted McLean is regarded as the best of the top 10 trainers that were training in Melbourne. He did nine of them.
He did Garryowen, which is a famous horse for Voilet Murrel, and was friends with all the Murrels. Uh, they were great horsemen. And a couple of years annoying him for my K certificate project, I was at uni. I was doing...
What were you studying?
Science apparently. So, uh, I was a lot of hard work, a lot of harder playing, unfortunately. And, um, I persisted with asking Ted, you know, was there any chance he would ever train someone, and then he came to me and said, look, time to retire. He wanted to finish up at 65. He'd never taught anyone. He had all these clients who relied on him and would I be interested? And I just ran it. And I was so lucky.
And from there it was a long apprenticeship. And, um, it was interesting as time went on, uh, in America, in the late eighties, they started the first dentistry course in the world.
In America. And I contacted them and went over and signed,
You finally became accredited all those years later?
Well, it was a day and a half. And, uh, they had a convention after that, the first international association convention. And that was interesting. I went back the following year and I could see how things were changing in America, where they were churning out a lot of people with a piece of paper and not a great deal of competency. So the difference between a certificate of attainment versus a certificate of attendance became incredibly relevant. Around the same time back in Australia here, and in particular, the Victorian department of agriculture were reviewing the prevention of cruelty act and the Veterinary Act as they do after so many years. And in particular, they were looking at equine dentistry as part of the Veterinary Act. But there were several people earning a living, doing teeth. Some of them also gelded horses and drenched horses and did a lot of para veterinary things that weren't good.
So we formed an association of people who were interested in being a professional horse dentist or equine dental technician. And it all went from there. We developed a course. I helped write the course, I got the course accredited, um, and then got the course reviewed and re accredited. And we set up the hardest dentistry course in the world.
That is so cool. That is such an amazing story. What you've contributed so much to that space. I just think it's amazing. So if I am 15 years old and I think I like horses, and I think I want to work with horses and maybe horse dentistry would be something, how would I do that now?
That's a good question. Um, the thing that we look for in, um, assessing people for their potential in that, which is a difficult thing, potential's a hard thing to read.
There are three criteria that we look at. One is their life experience, which includes their horse industry experience. And also their ability to do the course is the second thing. Can they afford the money and the time because it's a full time course.
And how long is it a year?
About 18 months. And it's an occupational traineeship. So it's largely in a workplace environment, working for people who are expecting a professional job and you are supervised, supervised training, online learning works for some careers, but when you, when it's a practical skill, you can't learn the piano or how to play tennis or how to play pool by watching a video clip, you actually need to pick up the racket and smack the ball at some time.
So, and the final thing is our ability to teach them. That's very hard to be willing to admit that you need to learn - learning is a humbling experience. So a very humble person is very easy to teach and we get these CV's and they're fantastic. I've ridden since I was six I've ridden, since I was five, four, three, I've done this. I was, I was, I was.
And they're probably not the best? If they are very much "I know it all. And I will handle everything"
The cup is full. And one of the most refreshing things about what I do is the change in technology and the greater understanding, thanks to science and peer reviewed research, that things are improving all the time.
Yep. So it has changed how you've done horses teeth 50 years ago to now, Oh God, no, not 50 years ago because you look so young. So let's just go 20 years ago.
35 years - we'll go halfway. The outcome's the same.
Yes. It's still a tooth in a jaw that hasn't changed still a horse.
And there's a lot of a pseudo science - science fiction I call it around caring for horses teeth. The worst thing you can do is too much. It is a living structure. So the advent of power tools has created a lot of welfare issues and negative welfare outcomes for the horses. The reason we do teeth is to improve their life, improve their longevity, improve their ability to convert food into energy, improves their ability to be ridden, driven, whatever, and be comfortable with a bit - it's about improving their life. Not making it shorter or complicated.
Yeah, it's huge. And I remember when I was at pony club listening to your talk and you said, you know, horses correct me if I'm wrong, but they, they eat a certain way. Which means that one bit goes sharp and one bit gets worn away. And if no one in the wild, if you're a wild Brumby in the, or in the Plains of the Savannah, no dentist comes out to you. You don't live very long. Do you?
Yeah. It's often that teeth condition does deteriorate faster than a domesticated horse. They've done studies in North America, Australia, and New Zealand where we have large herds of feral horses, donkeys and mules. They're an introduced species in all three of those continents. Yeah. Average life span. Seven or eight average number of falls 2. So depending on where they are in the wild and how good the pasture is because they are herbivores that need grass. They're not adapted to eat plants. So in the Australian Bush, when there's no grass or poor quality grass, they need cellulose. They'll eat bark, they'll eat trees, they'll eat bushes. Their teeth aren't that good.
Yes. Yeah. No, it's crazy. Cool. So for everyone listening, how often should they be checking their horses teeth and, and yeah, if they're a pony clubber or a dressage rider, what what's going on there? What should they be doing?
Another good question. A good rule of thumb is a horse on largely a grass and hay diet - once a year it's routine care. So it's like caring for our own teeth.
Yes. Gotta do that checkup.
If you ask your dentist, get the checkup, say at least see a dental hygienist. And our role is probably more like a dental hygienist than a dentist. We can't administer scheduled drugs. We can't carry scheduled drugs. We can't prescribe drugs. We are not a doctor - we are a technician. A high grain diet. Most of my work's on race horses and grain harder to eat than grass. Their teeth get sharper sooner and then requires more care.
Yeah. And so do you have any cool stories you want to share with, cause I know you've got such an amazing experience with the race horses, anything that comes to mind where you go I think this, there was this one time, this one horse or some really cool anecdote.
Yeah. There's always a, a good story. Um, and that, that sometimes your small part in that of some great horses that have won really prestigious races and a lot of prize money in it in particular nowadays the colts they get, um, syndicated. If they win the right races for $10, $20, $30, $60 million is the dearest horse I've ever done. And just knowing - it was So You Think that was trying by Bart Cummings and going into his first Cox plate, he was a late three year old and losing his first caps. So horses are like kids, they get two sets of teeth - and just sweating on when to take his wolf teeth that and the cap so that they didn't throw his head. You can't have them throwing a head when they're going that fast and just seeing him win and knowing that he was comfortable and happy. And, yeah, that's good.
So why do you do what you do for the glory, for the horse, for the love of the horse? What, what drives you?
I always was horse mad. My grandfather had a lot of horses. He had a dairy and he had horses that pulled carts to deliver milk. So he had 40 odd horses in, uh, outer suburbs of Melbourne. They would work six days a week and to see how they were kept and the diet they're on. Yeah. You hear a lot of stuff now and that's just an insight how horses can be such a great servant to man and just work and live in the most simplest of environments. So my interest in horses began there and I just liked horses a lot and enjoy working with them.
Yeah. My dad was a milkman back in the day and he said he, he wanted to do, he was also trying to run. And so he would teach the horse to walk along the little thing and he'd just jump out and jump in and jump in without directing the horse. And there was one court or something and he would leave the horse there and it would walk around and he would go out with all the milk and come back. And again, this bond that I'm like, cause I was like, you don't know anything about horses. You, you're not a bondy horsey person. He's like, actually. So it is, you don't have to be a gooey girl to have a connection. And to have that relationship, that working relationship with, will you figure out that this is what we're doing? And then we can go do this.
The smartest horse in the stable was always the spare because if a horse had a shoe boil or thrown a shoe or had a sore wither and the harness couldn't go on them. The spare horse was often a very old horse often in their twenties and they would go to do round number 13 or round number six or round number 20. And they would go down the first three or four streets then drop the reins. And they knew where to stop, where to turn, where to trot, where to walk. So, uh, my grandfather, they bought a horse who it turns out, was sick and had strangles. And this is pre vaccination for strangles.
Wow - I can't even imagine a world like that.
So a stable of 20 horses all got strangles. And uh, because they had to shared water trough. So it was highly a great way to spread the disease by sharing water buckets. Anyway, uh, the guys still had to deliver the milk. A man driving a ute was twice as slow as a horse and cart and a man that's because the horse and cart drove itself.
Yes and have that relationship. I love it. That is just so, so cool. And um, did you still ride, do you still ride?
I'd like to ride more - I ride badly. So, um, I've got a hobby trainers license and on my well, and I'm well and truly overweight for age. So, uh, they sneak me a funny look. We just got very slowly, my horses end up quite religious as I turned to God to try and hope they slow down or whoever I don't care. And uh, but they, you know, it's just an interest and um, everyone needs an interest or a hobby and horses are a fantastic hobby.
Yes. And do you feel, um, have you got certain goals that you still want to see in the dentistry world? Either you personally, or with the actual institution? It sounds like you've, you know, you're so into making sure the right people get into it. Is that, is there more goals there or?
Well the goal always was with forming the association in Australia was to get, um, legal recognition of the profession, which we have nearly got on one occasion. And that might still happen, um, to, to deliver accredited training. And that's important that, um, it is regulated and to make sure that, our members can get decent insurance. If you're paying someone they're a professional, they must have insurance. My biggest clients ask me every year, are you insured how much? And then prove it. So certificate of currency and the most, you can get to 20 million, 20 million, which for some of the horses you're doing, you're only working on them for 15, 20 minutes. That's a leg.
That's just whole other world isn't it? Just wouldn't even consider it.
But your performance horses they're, you know, to find a decent one can be hundreds of thousands.
Yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah. So many zeros I go what's a zero, just keep adding them on that should be nothing just more zeros! Do you have anything else you want to add before we wrap this up?
Not just, I'm probably the wrong person to ask about life as a horse dentist, because I've been very lucky and I love it.
So I think I, and I, I don't know if you know, I'm hugely fascinated about success and the definition of success. And I look at you and I go here's someone who just loves what he does and you can see it. I see you and you are an amazing horseman. I've watched you with my horses and I love being around you. You're so calm. And so it's just straight away you go. Ooh. Um, so yeah, you're, you are the definition of success in my eyes, so congratulations.
Thank you very much and likewise.
Thanks for being here today.
Podcast Episode 9: Going To Competitions With Your Horse - Your Questions Answered
Today Natasha answers all of your questions about competition - when you should compete, what you should think about, when is the right time, what mindset should you have going into competition... and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on competition by CLICKING HERE.
Hello! Hello everyone! Good morning. Good afternoon. How are we doing? Let me know what the best thing that has happened to you in the last week, in the last seven nights in the last 168 hours, what's been the best thing. What are you grateful for? What are you rocking? What are you enjoying? What are you pondering what's going on? So I thought today we could talk about competition and we can, uh, focus about competition. And, um, that's like the theme of today. So everybody knows, Oh, I hope, you know, I love to compete. I'm actually feeling very unmotivated, very flat, very, very, um, down, because I don't have a competition to look forward to. Uh, that's just my makeup. That's just how I'm built. That's just how I am. I live for competition. I ride for competition. I do everything for that.
A lot of people aren't wired like that. They, they do things for a million other reasons which you should know, why do you ride and why do you train? And why do you do these things? These kinds of things. Uh, but yes, that's been taken away. So, um, and I get a lot of, um, pleasure. I love the pressure to shine at 2.03 on the 8th of October, um, in whatever weather, in whatever conditions, I just gotta bring it at 2.03. I love that pressure. And I love that. Um, expectation. A lot of other people, um, might be challenged by that pressure and that expectation that they have to perform at that time. You know, I don't care if the, if my rides for the two weeks prior to the competition has been bad. If the warmup is bad, if riding around the arena is bad, none of it matters - all that matters is what happens between those two white fences at 2.03 On the 8th of October or whatever it is.
So, um, let's, let's start your competition questions. How can I help you? How can I help you enjoy it? So you think you, I really want you to know, I start with that is not, how can I help you get 10% extra? How can I help you win? How can I help you be more successful in competition? Yes. But before we get to that, how can I help you enjoy the process? How can I help you look forward to the competition? How can I help you smile? Because that to me would be the most important thing. Would you like to win and really do amazingly well, if you, um, wanted to cry were so nervous, you couldn't breathe and hated every second of the day. I just don't get what the, that to me is not success. It's not about the external success. It's about how you get to be and how you get to experience every moment.
Okay. So I don't get nervous at comps, but when my horse starts getting nervous, I get nervous to get on him. Yeah. So if your horse is getting nervous at a new place or at a competition, firstly, is he picking up on you? And if he's not, and he's just upset and nervous, he needs you to look after him. He needs you to be his leader. He needs you to tell him everything's okay. I still remember when I took one of my first stallions to a competition and he, we didn't get them out of the float . He just was getting more and more and more agitated. And he was crashing around in there and I'm like, I gotta get on that. I gotta get on that. And, um, you know, we got him out of the float. There was like three of us hang on to him.
He was a massive 17, two and a half Stan, um, hand stallion. He was, he was everything. He was so big and so impressive. And I'm like, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? And then we had like three people hold him and saddling him and he's just snorting and spinning. And, and what's this and what's tha and snorting, and couldn't get on that. And I got on him, still people holding him. And I gave him a big pat and I said, Hey, Hey, everything's okay. I've got you. Everything's okay. And I kid you not this big 17, two and a half and half hand stallion that snorting and freaking out just went like this *sigh*.
And he was fine. As long as I had him, as long as I kept patting him and telling him, Hey, it's okay, everything's going to be okay. I've got you. Don't worry. If I tell you to go over here, it's because I've already checked it out. It's already safe. And as the competition went on in that day, the first five minutes, the next 10 minutes, the next 10 minutes and everywhere he went and I told him it was okay. And it was he relaxed more. And he went, thank God. It's it's okay. She's got me everywhere. She tells me to go. It's not safe. Not no boogeyman comes out and chases me or hates me. So that's really, and I've always taken it with me with any horse, with any competition, with any new environment I have to lead. I have to reassure. I have to be okay.
And it's not the horse's job to do all of that. It's not the horse's job to give that to me. It's my job to give that to the horse. I'm the old one. I'm the experienced one on the one saying, let's go here, but I know it's safe. So it's really, that's a first bit of mindset that you really want to get into your head is on there to look after my horse. The horse is not there to look after you or to not be nervous. So you're not nervous. There's nothing to be nervous about. There's nothing to, to, you know, the host doesn't know that, you know, we're going to go for a 77 or 55. All of that is irrelevant. This is about a partnership between you and your horse. This is about a trust between you and your horse. And this is about a relationship between you and your horse.
And yes, I want to get 77 and I want to win. And I want to do all that, but that has to come after this. Cause if I get on and my horse is a living, breathing dragon, that won't walk. That is terrified. That is snorting. That is spinning. That is off his Nana. What's the point of thinking about I have to, I have to get more impulsion and I have to get more straightness and I have to perform better. I kind of go into the ring with this. So it has to stop. That's like your foundation.
What do you consider a good basis to enter a competition? I've got to, I've always seen this written in the pony books and I've never known exactly. Is it kind of Connemara. I've got a Connemara horse, but on the other places he explodes and won't work with me at this at home.
We can do a lot, um, but not official. Cause he gets mad and I can't control him. Yeah, it's about doing it in stages. So if you horse is calm at home - locked and loaded. If your horse isn't calm at home, let's figure that out. When he's calm at home, take him to a friend's house, no pressure. You can still control the environment. If it's your friend's house, you can ask that there's not another horse on the arena or that you move that scary, witches hat or whatever it is. You can control the external environment a little bit more. If you go to someone's house that you can control, you keep doing that until you're relaxed there. Then you might go to a protocol day or a judging day or to a judge's house and not control what the arena looks like and what, what happens and keep doing that until you've got relaxation, then you can go to a competition, but not compete.
Just ride them in the warm up and see how they go. And then lastly, you can go to the competition. So everything in writing and training is steps. We can't go from three year old to grand Prix in a ride, it has to be, you know, um, Oh, like when I'm training I shoulder in, it's like, okay, I've got a horse that's three or four that doesn't do shoulder in. So I'm going to ask for his shoulder to move by one mm. You won't see it. I won't see it - will barely feel it. It's just the idea of it. But the idea of it builds to two mm, builds to three mm, builds to four mm, builds to five mm, which is now half a centimeter and maybe you will start to notice something. And suddenly when you come and see the horse in six months, you're like, Oh, it does shoulder in. Yeah. But it's been doing should in - a version of, for the last 90, 180 days. You just haven't been able to see it. If that makes sense.
Here in the U S I've noticed a lot of petty, main girl type attitude towards other riders. So many nasty comments happened during a show. I'm really strong at brushing things off, but I'm not gonna lie. My mind plays those words over and over again. Have you experienced any of these? I'm sure, but I wouldn't know. I'm sure lots of people say lots of nasty things about lots of people and I'm sure guaranteed I'd have to be one of them guaranteed. I guarantee you so many people have said so many nasty things.
I just try and create a bubble where I wouldn't know. So I like to think everyone likes everyone. Like I'm not naive, but in fantasy world and unicorn world where Tash likes to live and likes to hang out, everyone's nice to everyone. Everyone wants everyone to succeed. Everyone is helping each other up. Everyone is championing everyone. And so even if I heard that someone said something horrifically nasty about me, I would go in unicorn land. Aw, I must've misheard. I'm sure no one would say that about another human being, especially someone that's in the sport, but knows how hard it is. Knows how challenging it is and knows how much it takes to go in there. Now I get it. Okay. We're in dressage, everyone has an opinion, everyone. Um, yeah, I get all that. But if we listen to them that you're, you're allowing someone to have power to steal your joy.
And how is that ever in any realm in any way? Okay. It's not okay for someone to steal your joy. Like I said, I ride for competing. Competing is my joy. If I listened to everyone and, and the judges as well, I probably should take a screenshot of all the tests that say, please don't come back. You don't belong in this ring. Please don't enter another competition. You, you shouldn't be here. Um, the amount of negativity that has come from coaches, judges, humans, now that I've gone online people online, I can't control another human being. I can't. Um, I can't. So I can't try. So to answer your question, if you are enjoying your riding, and if you want to go to a show to test where you're at, to show where you're at to, to, to do your thing. And there's people going to have an opinion about like, and then so, so that's what you want to do, but you're not doing it because of other people.
We need to get you in a, in a space where those people don't exist. Sure. They exist, but they exist in their world. And you have to remember if someone is judging someone else, this is like proven. If someone is judging someone else it's about them, they can't possibly be triggered by you unless it's about them. Think about it. We go in our lives, we're just trotting along. And we might see someone wear a green jumper for some people on the planet. They don't even notice someone's wearing a green jumper for other people on the planet. They're like, Oh, that person looks weird. They really shouldn't wear green. That's about them. If your brain in that, there's a hook in the back of your brain called your reticular activating system, where you're getting 2 million bits of information flying at us in any single time. If you notice a green jumper, that's because a green jumper is important to you.
And the green jumper is important to you for a myriad of different things. And the person that gets offended about the green jumper or the person that gets hurt by the green jumper or the person that judges and has a nasty comment about the person with the green jumper, it's all about them. Wishing or wanting, or having an emotional reaction to a green jumper. It's not about you wearing the green jumper, because if you're wearing the green jumper, because you love green and it's your favorite jumper, or your grandma gave it to you, and you love your grandma and your rocking on doing you with a green jumper, you bloody keep doing it. Have I made any sense with an analogy of a green jumper? Or are you like, Oh, I thought we were here to learn horses. Why is she talking about clothing?
I don't care about anyone else. So what they think, but hard to get over the, what if this happens, who cares? What if what in 150 years, I'm not going to say a hundred years. That's got 150 years and 150 years from now. You don't exist unless some technology comes along. Even if they do write a book about whatever happened in this what if scenario, not many people read books, the chances of anyone knowing what if you did. Like, even if it was the worst mistake that ever happened, no one will know about it. And then you go, okay, well, no one knows about it, but I'll know about it. You tell me what has been a mistake in your life up to this point. And you don't have one. Normally when I ask this question, people go, my first husband or my first wife, but it's not a mistake because it's not possible on this planet to have only bad things. So yes, maybe you married the wrong person, or maybe you bought the wrong horse, or maybe you went to the competition that maybe you shouldn't have at that point. And that's something that was a mistake or a, what if failure? Or what if disaster, but it's not - because you learned something you grew from it, you changed from it. You developed because of it.
So do I look back on my life and, and would I have lived it differently knowing what I do now then? Yeah. Cause I'm very smart now. And actually I love that I'm very smart because I look at who I was at 18 and I laugh my head off because I'm very smart now. But 58 year old Tash is looking at me going, honey. You got nothing, you know, nothing. So be excited that you're on this journey of growth, be excited that you're on this journey of discovery. Be excited that you're on this journey of ever ending knowledge and enjoy the heck out of it. Don't let the, what if I fail? What if I make a mistake? What if I get it wrong? What if everyone laughs? What if it's a disaster? What if it goes wrong? Good. Everything in my life that has gone wrong, been a disaster shouldn't have happened, really stuffed it up, gave me something. There is no such thing. Listen to me guys. There was no such thing as there as a good or a bad thing at the end, a hundred percent good or a hundred percent bad. I adore my husband. I would marry him a million years over. I love him to death, but is our marriage and he's he all good? No, you should've seen us last night.
So, but it is our marriage. Therefore, because we had a big thing last night, which was pretty much all me. It was all him, listen, it's on the record. It was all him. It had nothing to do with me. Are you listening Phil? He like umm-hmm but does does that mean because we had a fight then our marriage is all bad and our relationship is all bad and he's a bad person. It's not, it's not, it's not good or bad. And the quicker you can understand that there are no right or wrong decisions. There's no good or bad people. There's no good or bad things. There's no right or wrong time to compete to do something. Whatever it is, the quicker you can get to joy, the quicker you can get to just rocking the quicker you can get to just experiencing learning, growing, and, and going with that.
Okay. I may have gone a little bit off topic of competition.
How to grieve a horse. Rosie. I couldn't possibly answer that for you, Rosie. If you asked me, how do I grieve for a horse? I could tell you, but that's not even going to be useful because how I do something isn't going to help you. So how do you want to grieve your horse and how do you want to get to a place? So for me, when I'm grieving, I want to get to a place where I can think of the thing that I've lost or the thing that has happened with acceptance, with joy, with remembering the good times. So if I've, you know, I've lost my father, I've lost horses, I've lost cats. It needs to get to a point like, um, where I remember, like I can look back and instead of crying my eyes out.
So let me take my dad. For example, if I look back at my, my memories with my father and my experiences with my father, there's, there's only joy and like, laughter, it's like, Oh, do you remember that time? He did this. And there's an occasional, I would say, I miss my father, when something happens that I would normally talk to him about, this happened a couple of weeks ago. And I said to Phil, Oh, I miss dad so much. Cause at that point I just would have loved to go, Oh my God, I'm what do you think? And he would have given his whole blah, blah, blah. And I would have gone, why am I talking to you about this ignore? Um, but that's just missing something that you don't get to do anymore. But I accept that I don't get to do that anymore. And I'm glad we... it's not that I'm glad we don't get to do that. But I look at the relationship with between me and my father. And as he would say, that's how it should have been. He's my father. He should be buried first. You know, I, I can find a reconciliation. He was very old. He was a very old father. Um, he was an amazing father and sure would I like him to be hanging out? Absolutely. But it's okay because that's how it goes. So I understand, like if you're talking about grieving a horse and they've been a freak accident, but I've lost horses in a freak accident, that's, that's what can happen. It's a freak accident. So Dante, we walked into the stable, he had had a massive cardiac episode and was dead in the stable. And I remember just going, wow, cause there was so much emotions.
There's the pain of is the horse ok? Was there any pain. And you know, the vet reassured it would have gone super, super quick, really not in pain. Then there's the mourning of all the things that we were going to create together. Um, we were going to go Prix St George, we were going to go Grand Prix - so the loss of the things that we were going to have. And then it's the looking back on what we did have and smiling and going. I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to do that. I'm so glad we had that memory of that. I don't know if I've helped, but I hope so. And we are so not into competition.
I am planning to get back out competing, but my new horse doesn't like arena work. So not sure how I'm going to have lessons with her and compete.
I currently work her out in the Bush. Um, have you got any ideas of how to get her to, accept to working in an arena? Uh, well, anything you do in an arena you can do in the bush, so you can do shoulder in, travers, renvers, leg yield, half pass, tempi changes, pirouettes - everything you can do out there. Um, uh, you need to work out. I would assume if you were out in the bush and you said work, like use your back connect the hind leg to the front, um, lift work hard. Um, yeah. And you worked that I think, um, uh, she would probably not be happy in the bush either. I don't believe it's the context of where you are. I believe it's it's it's the work. So again, um, if you put me in the gym and the personal trainer says a hundred burpees, I don't care if I'm doing a hundred burpees in a sunrise in Bali, on a cliff top in a mountain resort with the alps in the distance, um, in, uh, on a beach with a beautiful Palm tree.
I don't care where we're doing the a hundred burpees, the a hundred burpees are hard and I'm not happy. Does that make sense? I don't think it's about the location that you're doing. The work. I think it's about the work I've been doing the online comps due to COVID it's been super because you don't have the added pressure of another environment that is true. And it's helped me learn to understand us both as a team. So I can't wait to get out soon when comps are up and running, but certainly helps a lot being in your own environment, focusing on your own methods to love it. Awesome, Tasha. And that's where like you get to a point where the new environment, you enjoy more because I love that extra challenge of my horse, my horse doesn't want to pay attention to me. He wants to look around my horse is fired up.
I've got all this extra energy that I don't only have at home. And I can manage that. Um, I like that I love a crowded warmup arena and I go bring it. I'm going to have to be more on my game and be more aware of where every horse is. So I'm at home and I don't have to think about where other horses are. Now. I'm going to think of that with 15 other horses are. And if I want to do a circle because the horse needs a circle, but I can't do a circle. What am I going to do about that? And how am I going to adapt to that? And how am I going to manipulate like that? So I love that Tasha. Yep. You, you work on and that's what I'm saying about doing it in steps. Do it this way. Then expand the comfort zone.
Then expand the comfort zone and then this massive sphere is all within your comfort zone because you've built your way up to it.
How do you do a perfect 20 meter circle? So firstly, you need to know your maths a 20 meter circle. Let's say at B or E is two meters before like P and S. You need to know. Yeah. So you need to get out your arena. The arena letters are marked. Um, Oh, you're gonna test me here, but I'm pretty sure it's six meters then 18 meters, 18 meters, 18 meters six. Did I miss an 18 meters 18? Let me get out my calculator. 18 times three equals 54.
That doesn't work Kate. Cause now we've got six left. Okay. Clearly Tash does not know. It must be 12, 12 plus 12 plus 12 plus 12 plus six plus six. Got it. 60. Okay. I'm a grand Prix dressage rider apparently. But yes, you've got six meters. Then 12 meters, 12 meters, 12 meters, six meters. So 12 plus 12 is 24 and it's a 20 meter circle. So that means you got to go two meters in from this side and two meters in from that side. If that makes sense. So you've got to draw out your little arena, draw out your maths. And that's the biggest thing I think people make when they're learning to do a 20 meter circle. They just assume the 12 meters, either side of B & E is, um, 20 meters and it's actually 24 meters, 12 times two. So, um, yeah, you've got to cut that circle in by two meters, each side.
And then you've just got to make sure every step is a turning step. There are no straight strides in a circle. There are no straight lines in a circle. Every single step is a turn. So you've got to figure out 12.
How should I deal with a strong horse I haven't ridden before. I've competed for my university equestrian team. And each comp have ended up with a really strong horse, which I don't know. And I'm stressed out. I feel like I lose myself. How do I deal with a strong horse and how to dissociate my anxiety surrounding it? Firstly, realize you're doing a dressage test. You're not like trying to solve like cure cancer. You're not trying to get to Mars. You're not doing anything that no one has never done before or something that's really going to change humanity at a global level. So let's just take the seriousness out of it.
Shall we? That's how I deal with it. I go, nothing. I do. Even if I win an Olympic gold, like compete at the Olympics, it still doesn't change the world at a global level. It still doesn't that if I epically failed at the Olympics, does that matter? Like tell me what the wrong, what could go wrong? If I came last at the Olympics, I was there. I don't see a downside. If I went into the ring and totally mucked it up. Now of course, would I be devastated puddle on the floor? You would get a YouTube video of Epic proportions of snot and tears and Epic sadness for a second. I'd be disappointed. I'd clearly want to have done my best performance, not my worst. And I clearly would have wanted to rise to the occasion and I clearly would have wanted a little bitty gold medal, but would the world have changed?
What I've hurt anyone? Would I have? Um, like, like, yeah, what I've heard, anyone would, anything bad have happened? Would I have lost our house? Would I, would my kids die? Would my kids hate me? Nothing bad can happen. So you're a test and it goes horrifically wrong. You just got some personal disappointment, which you can get over because you've got some learnings and you'll never do that again. And you'll be bang on ready for the next Olympics or the next test or whatever it is. That's the first thing. The second thing is, um, the strong horse, a horse, can't be strong by itself. So everyone and I get it. Horses can be strong, but they're strong. Cause I go, they're strong. And so I pull back as well. You need to have like a sharp half halt. So if I push you and you push against me, do you see we're in a pushing?
You know? So if I, if this'll work, put your hands together and start pushing one with the left. What instinctively happens is then the right hand starts pushing. So now I'm pushing both really, really hard. Now, if I just have a horse, that's pushing, it just pushes it away. So if I've got a horse that pushes me, I'll just push it back and it pushes me. I'll just push it back, pushes me, push it back. I won't get into an argument of both of us just pushing, cause they'll win. There are a lot stronger. Does that make sense at all? I hope.
Do you think people should feel intimidated about not having a fancy horse and I have a little cob? Absolutely not. No. No. What does anyone, what anyone else have, um, what does that got to do with your journey and with your, you know, with, with what your doing, you've got to, again, rock on dressage cob.
I love it. You've got a rock on doing your thing. So if you're there with your cob, you believe in your cob, you're having fun with your cob, you rock on and he can appreciate the fancy horse. I saw the nicest fanciest horse yesterday. I was like, yeah, it's black, it's big, it's fancy. It's beautiful. Um, and I would probably spend the warmup going, Oh, that's so cool. But it's "so cool". It's not "that's so cool... therefore I don't deserve to be here". That's so cool. I think that horse would be... The first thing I said thought then was I think that horse would be really hard to ride. And then, um, I can't wait to learn what I need to learn on the horses that I have to have the skills to be able to ride something like that.
Podcast Episode 8: Goal Setting - Taking Action!
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 email@example.com
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on goal setting by CLICKING HERE.
All right. So I'm thinking, what should I talk about today? I was thinking I could have a little bit of a talk about why we don't take action. Okay. So does everyone get in order to be successful - even if you have dreams, even if you have the best plans, even if you knew exactly what you had to do and have all the resources to do it, if you don't do it, nothing's going to happen. And that at the end of the day is the whole thing. So if action is where the magic is, and action is where you know where the rubber hits the road. If you take action, you're going to get a result. And that's what you first got to remember. If I take action, I'm going to get a result. Now I'm not saying it's always going to be the best result. I'm not going to always say that it's going to be the winning result.
I'm not even going to say, um, you know, it's guaranteed success. No, but you will get a result. And that's a hell of a lot more important than if you don't take action. Success has never been made on your couch. Success has never been made in the absence of action. So if you know what you have to do and you're not doing it, you need to dig why. And this is where most people lie to themselves. Yeah. I'm talking to you. Me included. I lie to myself sometimes too. Sometimes I'm quite good at catching myself out now. But if you're on the couch and you know, you've set a goal to get fitter or be healthier, and you've decided an action step is to go out for a walk. So it's 5:00 PM. You're on the couch. It's raining outside and it's time for your walk. Do you take action or do you not? And if you don't take action, what do you normally say? Do you say I chose today to not follow my dreams and goals. I chose today to not, um, do what I needed to do to get a result. I chose today to stand in my own way, block my own success and stop myself from being all I could be. Is that how you talk to yourself?
I didn't think so. What do you say to yourself?
Normally what you say is I'll do it tomorrow. And when you say I'll do it tomorrow, that sounds so fine. Yeah. Okay. You'll do it tomorrow. That sounds good. You'll do it tomorrow. And you let yourself off the hook or you say I couldn't possibly because I'm going to get wet and I'm feeling a bit sick. It's a really good thing that I don't go for my walk today and you make an excuse and you're very adult and you're very grown up. And normally it's a very clever excuse and it's a very logical excuse and it's a very, um, yeah, it's, it's a plausible, excuse you, you allow yourself to get off the hook, but you haven't like, could you really sit on the couch and go, yep. Right now I'm choosing to stand in the way of my own dreams right now. I'm choosing to not take action towards being all I could be. Right now I'm making the choice to stop myself from doing what I should do.
You don't normally talk to yourself like that. Now let's say you do. Let's say you go, okay. Yup. I'm blocking myself. Yeah. I'm standing in my own way. Yes. Um, and then you'll go with the because and why? Because I don't feel like it. And I'm a grown woman. And if I don't feel like doing something, I don't have to do it. Yeah, that's true. But that's not what I was talking about. Again, you're coming with the excuse. You're coming with the reason why you are not, and the most successful people in the world just cut that off where it stands. They have that discipline that if I say, I'll do it, I'll do it. And that is a really, really huge thing to foster in a human being. If you you say that you'll do something, you'll do it. And that is one of the things like when I think about homeschooling my kids or educating my kids, reading, writing, and math is so far down on the list so far down on the list.
And you can judge me for that or have an opinion on that. I don't mind. But what's high up on our list is, say, say what you mean and mean what you say when you say you'll do something, you'll do it. That you follow through that you're committed. All those kinds of personality traits is what Phil and I think is it is our job to teach our children because no matter what they do on the planet, if they have those characteristics or those character skills, they will, they will be successful in whatever realm or decisions, you know, whatever success is defined by them. Okay. So then let's come up with another example. So let's say you've entered a horse riding competition, and let's say it's raining, or, um, you're getting nervous and you decide to not go. You got to get deep on what is that really about?
And like I said, some people are scared of success. Some people are scared of failure. Some people are scared to be seen. Some people are scared to show up. Some people are scared to be tested if they've got what it takes. You know that when you think of a superhero, who's a famous, who's your favorite superhero - it should be you. You are a superhero. You are the one that triumphs against evil. You are the one that shows up when everyone else is scared. You're the one that comes in and saves the day. Whenever, when all hope is lost, that's you. And again, I know you weren't taught that, but it's something you can learn now.
So that's what I need you to kind of think about when you're thinking. Yeah, I know. I don't take action towards my goals. I don't take action towards my dreams. Are you being your super hero right now? Because it's okay to be scared. I'm scared all the time. All the time. I tell my kids, I'm scared all the time. They're like, really? You get scared? I'm like, yes, of course all the time. But that's where the magic is. If you take action, when you're scared, remember that's what bravery is. Bravery is not the absence of fear. It's doing it when you have fear, that's bravery and that's being a superhero. If you're scared to be brave, it's because you don't trust yourself. And you're scared to trust yourself because you learnt somewhere along the line in your life, that bad things happened when you trusted yourself or that you couldn't trust yourself, that you couldn't handle it and that you haven't got it. So you, that's just something you've learnt, which means it's something you can unlearn. And when you think about your life, where it is right now, people in life, things can happen. Things can happen real things, but
you've got two choices you can hang on to what happened to you. Or you can move on from what happened to you.
So you're going to hang on or move on. And I know we've gone deep quick, but that's the essence of it. When it comes to riding, do you feel a fake it till you make it as the way to go when it comes to confidence? I think that's part of it. Absolutely. Um, I think, I think definitely when it comes to, um, riding, when you're feeling a certain emotion, like fear or anxiety, I think to fake confidence and just go, I'm not confident, but I'm just going to fake. I'm just gonna ride it. If I did have confidence and I'm just going to make believe that I'm a confident rider and I'm just gonna fake, that I'm a confident rider. That'll get you magic. Um, learning to back yourself is something again that I'm obsessed about teaching my kids, you know, every night when my kids go to sleep, I'm like, I trust myself.
Like they just have to repeat me and little Danika and Tyler are like I trust myself and it's like, I believe in myself. I believe in myself. I'm amazing. I'm amazing. I'm good at what I do. I'm good at what I do. It's okay to fail. It's okay to fail. I've got this, I've got this. Um, cause that's just so important to their little brains for them to know they will make mistakes. I want them to make mistakes. You know, Danika is always high fiving me saying, mom. I just had the biggest fail. I fell off my bike. I fell off my horse. I spelled a word wrong. I got something wrong in maths high five. Awesome. Then what happened? Then I figured it out. And then I did it well. Or did it okay. Or successfully completed the task high five again, I say to her, I'd rather she failed and then successfully completed something than just successfully completed something.
Cause if she does successfully complete something, she doesn't learn as much as when she fails and then successfully complete something. And that builds her trust muscle of I can stuff something up and still then figure it out. I can stuff something up and the world doesn't end. I can just give it another go and then, and then get it. And that is all of it because I'm like you, I wasn't raised like that. I didn't have that. I had to learn that later. And that's where true happiness, true fulfillment, true bliss, true enjoyment comes where your brain is clear from all the shit and all the rules that you've made up. They're not the rules. And sure. Sometimes society thinks they are the rules, but they don't have to be the rules. And the more you hang out. And search for people that don't believe in, you know, the normal rules.
Like I don't believe that maths is the most important thing in the world. I don't believe that school is the most important thing in the world. Now, most people think I'm wrong and that I'm stupid or that's bad. And that's cool rock on because I've also found people that go, yeah, you know what? I think that's true. So I hang out and surround myself with that. And the world is such a big place. It's big enough all of us to live in whichever way we want to believe in whatever we want and rocking and rolling in whichever way we choose. And I'm all good with all of that until you get someone from one part of the world and I'm talking about the world figuratively, not actually, but you've got one person in one camp that goes, no, no, no, I'm right. You're wrong.
That's when I get upset. And that's when I get fired up because my whole mission, you know, my mission is to help riders, take their riding journey to the next level and have more fun, love, joy and excitement in every riding moment. That is my mission for your riding success. But what I would love, and I say this to my friends all the time I've gone. I don't know how, how to do this. I don't know how I'm going to do it. But what I would love to do is to help the human race as a whole lift up and learn that there is no right or wrong. There's just every different shade of gray and how they see the world is right for them. But they have to be open minded enough to realize that everyone else sees it differently and that everyone else can rock and roll within the space of, um, you know, the laws of nature, which is, you know, let's not kill anyone.
Let's not be mean to anyone. Let's not, you know, and that's where it's, you know, the live and let live. That's my big philosophy live and let live love everyone for how they're choosing to rock and roll. And sometimes even when I come up against people that have done horrific things, like, I don't know if you'll know in the, in the, in the media, there was a man that, um, uh, I think he burnt out the car with his children and his wife inside. She was trying to get away from him and he set the car on fire. So he's killed his wife and his kids. And I was like, wow. And what's your instinct? What, what a horrible man, that's the instinct, you know? And they were, they were vilifying this man. And I understand that. I understand that, he, like, I'm not saying... I think that man did a terrible, horrible, awful, disgusting thing.
But I don't know if that man is horrible, disgusting, and awful. He just did a horrible, disgusting and awful thing. So when you can dissociate what people do as to who they are, that's when you can then still feel love and understanding for every single human. As I say, every single person on the planet is doing the best they can with what they know. If they knew how to do better, they would. That is just my philosophy. So when horrible things happen or when things I can't understand someone does, that's just my map to going, wow. Okay. There's never an excuse for killing people. Ooh. Do you want to go down a rabbit hole? Like, I don't know how, how I could comprehend if someone came in and shot Phil and my kids in the head, someone has just taken the three most important people on the planet away from me.
Now, I know you're probably going to say, but that doesn't give you an excuse to kill him. No of course it doesn't, but I'm not gonna deny that. Maybe I would want to feel that. And I don't know if I could ever kill someone or pull a trigger, but when people go, I could never kill someone. I go, awwww don't, I don't know. There may be a scenario or a situation that you haven't thought of where you might be capable of, that it might have something to do with your kids. You know, it might be a zombie, apocalypse, um, you know, but that's where I try to get my brain to go. And wow, there is always, you can't ever say I I'm not that, or I could never do that, or that's not... Like your brain can't comprehend all the different scenarios.
Podcast Episode 7: Goal Setting and Dream Setting - Even if you have to change your timeline when things don't go as planned!
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 dreams - and just change the timeline if something gets in the way!
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on goal setting by CLICKING HERE.
Goal-setting today. We're going to talk about goal setting and in particular, um, well ask me any questions you have around goal setting, but I just want to share with you, you're not the first person in the world to set a goal, everyone, this year set a goal and, um, it's probably not going to happen. Okay. So there was everyone, there was a lot of athletes around the world that went, okay, so July, August 2020 gold medal or Olympic representation, that's what they've been working towards for the last four years. And now obviously that's not happening and it doesn't matter how much, how hard they try or how hard they train or what they do, the Olympics aren't running. So you have to change the goal. So we are going to talk a little bit about why, when do you change the goal and when do you absolutely refuse to change the goal?
And even though you're not getting any closer to it, what do you do instead? All right. So goal setting, what the hell is goal setting? To me, goal setting is what's even more important before we even get to goal setting is dream setting. And most people don't dream set. Most people have been told or they believe. And why do they believe it? Because they've been told that they can't have their dreams, they can't live their dreams. I don't know if anyone was ever told, um, I'll stop being stupid. Uh, stop living with your head in the clouds that will never happen to you. That could never happen for you. That things like that don't happen where, um, uh, an Althoff and that means X you know, or we're a Smith. And if you're a Smith that means X and you get pigeonholed and you get put in with a ceiling around you of what you're allowed to have in this life and what you're allowed to aim for in this life.
Now, I'm very, very lucky. I had two types of upbringing. Um, my father was very much in the box. He came from a family in, um, Germany that was a factory worker and a housewife. And they very much were clear on what they were allowed to dream felt like there was just nothing that the dream was go work in a factory, um, and then retire and then die. Big dreams, big dreams. Now out of that came my father and he, um, uh, definitely, um, had different dreams. Absolutely, but he was still pigeonholed by limited, in a certain way. Now my mother came from a completely different, um, environment. She came from her mother that was very much, I can have anything I want in the world. I just need to figure out how to get it. And, um, uh, her way of getting it was very, I'm not going to judge her for it.
I think it's a very clever way of getting it. Um, a hundred years ago when women didn't have the rights that we have. And, um, yeah, she always, my grandmother was hugely influential. Um, in me believing that I could have horses and ride horses and I, she would just, um, we would only go visit her once a year, but once a year would visit her for about a week. And I remember every night I'd lie on her lap and she would brush my hair and I'd say, grandma, tell me, tell me about my life. Tell me about what I'm going to do. And she would fill my head and tell me of all the horses I was going to have and all the riding I was going to do. And did we have any idea at that time? I didn't own a horse at that time, we lived in a suburban house.
I was, I'd ridden maybe 10 times in my life. There was no reason why she should say that one day I was going to have my own horse place and have horses and, and ride. Um, there was no reason she said that. Um, but I was young and impressionable and didn't think to ask, how is this going to happen? Um, and she was smart enough to know, just fill her head with this and she'll find a way. So, uh, yeah, that's, that's, I, I'm always grateful. And I remember, you know, I'd run to my dad with pictures of my horse property and he would laugh at me and say, that's never going to happen, Natasha. That's you'll never going to do that. Um, I definitely had both sides of that won't happen. That can't happen. That don't even think about that that won't happen as of, and also this is your life.
Absolutely. This is your life. This is just going to happen. It's a given. So I'm very, very lucky for that. But if you're thinking, Oh, I didn't have any of that. All I had was the ceiling and the, you can't do that. You can't have that, go get a real job. Um, you've got to put food on the table. How are you gonna put food on the table with that idea? If you had any of that, most likely you've been influenced by that. So I would love for you where, you know, we're in a really unique situation where the world's kind of shifted and we have an opportunity to really sit down and go, okay, how do we want our world, our personal world, and our experience with that to be different, moving out of this. And you've got the time you're not running around taking kids to birthday parties, um, drinking, going out and drinking yourself, um, being social, going to the movies.
You're not doing any of it. So you've got such an opportunity to sit down and think about who are you and what do you want to have? I know that sounds scary. And I know that sounds ridiculous because, um, so what if you want to have things, how are you going to get them how life is? And our brains are amazing when we commit to something, we find a way, if we don't believe it's possible, we will never find a way, even if the way is staring us in the face. So you really need to think about are you brave enough to commit to this? And this is where I think it gets down to when I work with, with, with riders or with humans that want to create a bigger life for themselves. There's huge amount of fear there. So at least get clear on the language, not, Oh, I don't have that because I'm not lucky. Or I don't have that because, um, insert excuse here. I don't have that because I wasn't brave enough to go for that. I know I'm being harsh and I'm being unfair. And, um, you can call me whatever names you want. And I'm only saying this because I love you so much. And I want you to hear the words. And I want you to think about what if you were brave, what if you were brave enough to follow your dreams?
So I'm glad you guys are loving it. Good, good, good. And, um, you know, and I just want to share some stories of some amazing goal setters that I've had the most amazing opportunity to work with. Like Tammy, she started a business because of her work with me. She's done, she's done so much because of her work with me, another amazing lady, um, heard, heard my goal setting. And then every year I was like, okay, do you want to do goal setting next year? And she said, Oh my God, Natasha, I can't. I went, okay, that's fine. She said, no, I really can't. I have sold my house, my husband and I, and our three kids have bought a boat and we are sailing around the world. And I don't know if I'm going to have internet. So I'm not doing a goal setting next year.
And I was just flabbergasted. I just went that is insane. That is the most amazing thing I've ever heard. And she went, yeah, why not it? Like, why, why wait, why stop? We can do this. We can homeschool. Who needs a house? We'll have a boat. And they made it work. And they made a way. And she inspires me all the time. I had an amazing lady. She was in a marriage that wasn't serving her, where she couldn't be all of her. And she had just shut herself down and she wasn't stepping into her power. And for anyone that was there, you guys remember that I was throwing chairs. We did an amazing, um, intervention. And you know, and that was, that was the day. And I didn't know what was going to happen. And then she, she calls it like comes over three years after I had last seen her.
So just so you know, I left him. I'm now married to another amazing man. We used to live in this. Like I lived in the city of my previous life. Now I live in the country. We have a cow, we milk it. And I'm like, you kidding? Are you kidding? So, um, there is amazing human beings, um, that do amazing things when they realize the power that anyone that has the dream, they're not special. You know, just because I have a horse place in horses, I'm not special. I'm not unique. I'm not magical. I just dared too.
And my dreams don't work out when I think they will either. I'm the first person that said I was going to the Olympics in the year 2000. It was 1998. I was in prelim and I went, I was going to learn some skipping and some training on the spot. I'll be fine. I'll do that in like 12 months and have a year to spare. But has the goal changed? No, just the timeline. So dream setting is when you get clear on the life you want to live and the dreams you want to achieve, then you need to turn that dream into a goal. That's he put a time frame around it. That's when you start thinking about, okay, uh, when, when is it possible to achieve this goal? And then you start working into, um, so then I go, everyone talks about goal setting, but I'm more into dream setting and then plan setting.
What's the plan? How are we going to get from here to here? And the best and quickest way to go from here to here is to get a mentor. That's done it before they know the way. If you were to Trek up Mount Everest, do you just start climbing? No. You get maps. You talk to people that have been up there before you get the Sherpas that understand the weather conditions and what Everest does, and you get all that information to assist you to do your journey. And that to me is what plan setting is all about. And that's what's happening right now. Everyone's timeline got blown up. I saw this beautiful thing on Facebook, this meme that was like, well, I'm glad I bought the 2020 year planner. What a waste of money. And yes, I have a year plan out. I've just gotten my little squidgy board.
It's a whiteboard and wiped it all out and gone. Okay. But that doesn't mean that 2020 will be a waste. 2020 is probably going to be one of my most fun years. It's just going to be a different fun year. It's going to be the year that my kids and I just played the most monopoly that we've ever played in our existence. It's going to be when I just sat around and watch my kids coloring. It's going to be when, um, I just got to spend so much time with my kids, my family, my loved ones, like, okay, you're not seeing your loved ones, but I'm talking to them on the phone. And I never normally talk to them on the phone. I I'm a friend. And I shout out to Tom, Tom and I are really into musicals. And Andrew Lloyd Webber is live streaming.
One of his musicals for 48 hours every weekend. And Tom and I, Tom lives 30 hours away from me. I haven't spoken to Tom on the phone for like six months. But, um, I shared that I was watching it. He's gone on me too. So I said, okay, we're going to watch it together. So we're on the phone and we're like three, two, one boom. And we spent two and a half hours texting each other every three minutes, our whole philosophy on what was going on. Cause it was Phantom of the opera. And we were talking about the daddy issues. And we were talking about, um, just, we were having so much fun and it was the best two and a half hours. And I'm sending him videos of me singing and he's sending me videos of him singing. And then we're like, Oh my God, we have to do a duet.
And I'm like, yeah, we can do it on horses. Cause he rides too. And it was just, it's an experience I never, ever, ever, ever would have had if this whole life thing hadn't happened. Cause I wouldn't even be at home. I wouldn't have an Andrew Lloyd Webber. Wouldn't have live-streamed his musical, all these things wouldn't have happened. So there's so much that you can now put into 2020 and set goals around and set plans around and set dreams around. So most people I'm hoping that spending more time with their families makes them understand that this needs to be an important part of their 2021, 2022, 2023. And so on future planning, that family is the most important thing. And to set goals around what you want to do as a family. And what you, what you want to experience is, is huge. I just was listening to someone amazing a couple of days ago and he said, you need to have a yes day with the kids.
And I was like, what's a yes day. And he's like, it's a day when everything's yes, except for technology. Like it's not, can I just watch TV all day? Yes. But with the exception of technology, everything is yes. Can I eat four bowls of ice cream for breakfast? Yes. Can I, um, go to Disneyland? Yes. That might mean we need to plan it. That might mean we need to save for it. That might mean it's a 10 year goal, but it's yes. Can we, um, run outside naked and um, make a fire? Yes. And you tell me, this is what really hit home. You tell me one person that had their parents give them yes day.
I certainly don't remember it,
but my kids will remember the day mommy and daddy said today's a yes day. And for them, it'll probably be as simple as will you jump on the trampoline for eight hours? Yes. Will,we slept on the trampoline? Yes. And it's a yes day. So I think it's super, super, super important, um, to do all of that. Cause I also find people that they're good with the dreams they're even good with the plans. They know what they want, they know what they have to do to get there,
but then they don't do it hands up. Who's that?
And that's a huge one. Yeah. So, um, the reason why people don't have the lives that they want, there's a whole camp and there's a whole group of people because they don't dare to dream that they could. Then they've got the people that are the big dreamers. We all know one of them just, you know, they're always, what are you working on? Oh, I'm writing a book. Oh, now I'm doing this. Now I'm doing this. Now I've started motorcycle ride. Um, uh, riding. Now I'm doing this, but do they ever finish? Do they ever actually become a motorcycle rider? did I actually ever write like finish the book? No, they don't. Then you've got the people that, um, uh, and that's probably because they don't have a plan. So you've got the people that are good with the plan, the dream, but that they don't know how to get there and they're not willing to find out they're not willing to invest the money.
The time, the effort it's going to take to figure out how to achieve my dream. Whereas I don't care. I don't care how hard it is. I don't care how much money, time, energy I have to expend to get it. If I want it, I need it. And I'm going after it. And then we've got the people that are that as well. Like they really want it. And they really know, they know that they've invested everything they need to do, but they're not sinking the black. So we call, you know, not sinking the black or not, not, not doing the eight ball, which is all snooker terms, but they've done all the work. They've put all the balls in. All they gotta do now is put sync the eight ball and they step away from the pool table. So they're not taking that final action.
And that's a whole other story of that whole self sabotage and that whole non-belief and that whole worthiness piece that we can have a chat about another at another day, if you want to, how do you put a realistic timeline on a dream? You don't, I'm going to the Olympics in the year, 2000, not realistic. Um, you just move that timeline. You, you, you do your best with what, you know, at the time I, all I thought I needed to do was learn how to skip and trot on the spot. I didn't think it was going to take that long. I remember speaking to another friend from high school, James and James was a swimmer and I said, James, we're going to the Olympics together. We're doing this in 2000. And he said, Oh, I think I need to get, like, I think it was four seconds.
I'm sorry, James. If I've got this wrong two seconds or four seconds off his time and I'm like, dude, one, two done. Like you shouldn't, you should, again, I thought he would be at the Olympics by 1999. Like how hard is it to shave four seconds off your swimming time or two seconds, whatever it is, turns out it's extremely, extremely, extremely hard. And he said the same thing to me, what? You're just going to trot on the spot and do some skipping. Oh my God. I could do that now. And it was his complete non understanding like, look how much I didn't understand about swimming. I thought he should be able to shave four seconds off his time in the next week. And he thought I should be able to trot and skip tomorrow. Um, and neither of us actually knew what we were doing, but that's okay.
So you do the best you can with what you know at the time. And when you know more and know better, you change it. Uh, but also you gotta be clear like how many people will tell you that you can't go to the Olympics and that you can't, you know that your horse isn't good enough. You're not good enough. You don't have the means. You don't have the finances. You don't have the ability. You don't have the skills, whatever it is. So I don't like reality. I've told you before when our very first like very previous live session, we talked about what is reality. We can experience reality, 2 million bits of realities coming at you. Every second, you can't experience reality. You experience your version of it. So in my version of it, I have the means. I have the skills, I have the horse, I have the ability and I just blindly operate as if that were true.
And until it is present or plain, that it isn't true. And then I adjust and change and keep going. But anytime I'm told no, like, no, that won't happen. Can't happen because of you or because you don't have this or because you don't have that, I either go, well, how do I get that? Or do I reject that and go, I don't even need that. And you have to think about it. Like if I go, I'm going to the Olympics. Oh yeah. W w w what's your horse. I don't have a horse, but I'm going to the Olympics for riding horses, you know, there's some laws of gravity, there's gravity, there's schools of thermo dynamics. There's laws of nature that you absolutely have to abide by. And then there's the reality that someone else thinks now whether or not you have to take that on is true.
Ah, fun and games, fun and games. Cool. Cool, cool. And obviously, if you had a goal to do your first dressage test, um, at X venue, um, on the 2nd of April, You can't achieve that goal, that venues closed and that's not happening, but can you do an online competition? Can you reschedule your, your debut in the physical realm for 2021? Absolutely. So that's where the timeline, you know, the timeline is irrelevant. It's your commitment to the goal. That's gonna determine whether or not you achieve it and not being disillusioned with the time it takes. I told you I wanted an indoor and I dreamt of an indoor, and I thought I'd have an indoor at age nine. And I'm pretty sure it happened at 36, 35 or 36 for a long time. It's a long time to keep going. I'm going to have that and everyone going, you keep saying that.
but it doesn't happen. And I go, yeah, just gotta be patient.
Podcast Episode 6: Overcoming Fear - Getting to The Root Cause of Your Fear (Live Coaching Session with Sheila Part 2)
Today Natasha shares with you a follow up coaching session she had with one of her members, Sheila. Sheila still has some things holding her back, and we dig deep today to find out what the root cause of her fear is (hint: it's not of falling off her horse - it's much deeper than that!)
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on overcoming your fear by CLICKING HERE.
Okay, Sheila, what's going on? How was your ride?
I don't know why I feel very nervous right now. Wow...
New Speaker (00:11):
Why are you choosing that?
I don't know. I don't know. Um, I don't know. Maybe because I was hoping, I was hoping that I would be able to say I have no more fear. Everything is perfect... But I still have fear, so I kind of feel like I let you down.
It's got nothing to do with me Sheila. This is all on you. It's all good. So what's going on? So you took your circle - did your circle follow you to the horse?
Yes, I took my circle. Um, I felt a lot better, uh, going down there, going to the ranch because I, I want to go, but I always feel a lot of fear and dread.
New Speaker (00:58):
You used to feel a lot of fear and dread, and you used to choose to feel a lot of fear and dread.
Yes. Um, this time I felt more, I was excited. I couldn't wait to go. Um, and I felt a lot calmer on my horse. I felt I really more relaxed. Um, yeah, so that was good. That was good. Uh, I do, you know, but the fear, I was going down there telling myself, because I don't have a trainer right now or anything, I'm not taking any lessons right now. So I just go down and I get on my horse and I, and I just kind of ride around the ranch and try to go places that I'm afraid of going. So I had this big, I picture in my head of how I was going to go here and go there and do this, but that didn't work out so well. I went pretty much the same places that I always go. Yesterday I did go a few little places that I didn't want to go to before. So that was good. So that was good. So there was, you know, but I, I, when I think of going somewhere that I'm scared to go, I feel like I'm paralyzed.
New Speaker (02:26):
Okay. So how do you know that you're scared to go?
Because my mind is telling me, my mind is, is, is I just conjure up catastrophes in my head.
New Speaker (02:49):
Okay. Tell me what the catastrophe looks like.
A catastrophe? Yeah. I don't know if it's so much looks like anything, but feels...
Do you feel in your head?
I think I do. I mean, I, I guess I get nervous in my stomach, kind of sick to my stomach, kind of sick, but it feels like it's all in my head. Like I feel like my head, like I'm, I'm, I'm just like stopped, you know? Like my head is blocked. I'm paralyzed.
So tell me how to do that. Tell me how to block in my head. If it's no pictures, if it's no, nothing that you see, but you feel it, but you don't feel in your head, you feel in your stomach. So tell me how you do it in your head. I'm so curious
I don't think it's anything that I do. It just happens to me. I think I'm a really bad case.
No, no, okay. What's this?
What does it do to you?
Okay. So, um, what, what, give me an example of something that you scared to go in the arena. Oh, sorry. Not in the arena. Tell me, you said there's places that you'll find to go and you don't feel fear riding there, but you have fear riding in a certain spot.
Okay. Even in the arena, I'm afraid to go to the far side of the arena because I feel like when we start getting towards the end, there was a road, there where cars go. I feel like when we start getting towards the end that my horse gets kind of spooked going down to the end. So I'm thinking that he's going to get spooked. She, I'm thinking that she's going to get spooked and then I start getting nervous that she, that I'm expecting a spook. Okay. So that's in the arena and then...
Stop, stop. Just go with that one.
Just think about what you just said.
Okay. I'm expecting that she's going to get spooked and so...
Stop. Tell me the third word you said.
I'm expecting. Expecting. Yeah. And it happens.
Well, I don't know what happens - probably, but if you are expecting something, do you think that means that you think it could happen? Not even could happen, but most likely will happen.
Yeah. Uh huh. Yeah.
So you need to manage your expectations, right?
New Speaker (06:11):
Do you go to that place in the arena?
I haven't been. I did. I tried to yesterday. I tried to yesterday I got a little farther than...
Okay, so here's a pen. Take. Teach me how I try to pick up the pen.
Okay. Put your hand, direct your hand towards the pen. Direct your hand towards the pen and then put your fingers over the pen and then clasp your fingers around the pen and then pick it up.
No, you didn't teach me how to try to pick up the pen. You taught me how to pick up.
So to try to pick up the pen. How much energy? I really want to pick up the pen. I should pick up the pen. I'm expecting the pen to attack me when I do pick up the pen. Try, try, try. Just pick up the pen. So either go to that place in the arena and deal with what happens when you go to that place in the arena or don't go to that place in the arena. Where else in your life do you not make decisions?
Oh, Oh, I have a hard time making decisions.
Of course you do. To me that needs to be your next coaching session. You now don't have a problem with fear. You have a problem with making decisions. You have a problem with, with, with trying to do things. Don't try it. Do you try and breathe?
No I just breathe!
New Speaker (08:06):
And thank God you don't need to make a decision to breathe or not because then we might be paralyzed and not know what decisions to make and should we breathe now or should we breathe later and how big should we breathe...and it's all too confusing and too hard... and I'm going to run out of oxygen!
Yes. I have a hard time making decisions and if I make one I think I should have done something else. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
New Speaker (08:33):
I mean, I would say then your yellow circle is nowhere to be seen. Your yellow call is nowhere to be seen.
Um, I think I forgot about it.
New Speaker (08:49):
Yeah, because in your yellow circle, you had confidence. You can do anything. You're smart, you have wisdom, everything is okay. You don't make decisions because you doubt that you will make the right one.
Yup. That is me. Yes.
New Speaker (09:09):
Have you made a wrong decision in the past?
Okay. Um, not that I can remember. Not that well. Yeah. Oh yeah. My first husband was a wrong decision.
New Speaker (09:40):
Wow. Okay. So when you make a wrong decision, so does your brain go, it's very, things turn out very bad when I make a wrong decision.
Oh yeah. My first husband was the wrong decision. My moving out of my house with him was a wrong decision. Like giving up my guitar lessons was, yes.
New Speaker (09:59):
Wow. You've got this whole evidence in this whole bank of, Hey brain, can you tell me all the time I've made the wrong decisions? And it goes, yeah, there were these big things and they cause to things to go bad, it's really bad and things never got back to normal or things, things you know, only went worse after you made the wrong decision. So don't make the wrong decision. Have you got any evidence of, you've just gone to the milk bar and you need to make a decision about the chocolate ice cream or the vanilla ice cream? Have you ever made, have you ever had to make a decision like that?
New Speaker (10:42):
Have you ever made the wrong one?
Well probably, maybe I got one that I didn't really like and I thought I should've gotten the other one.
Right. And did you get burned at the stake? Did you get, did you burst into a ball of flames?
How many decistions do you think you make a day?
Wow. A lot.
New Speaker (11:14):
How many do you think are right?
How could I, I don't know. How can I tell? I mean, they're just not, they're not right or wrong.
New Speaker (11:36):
Oh, I am so glad you agree. There's no right or wrong, so you've never made a wrong decision...
Yeah, I've made a wrong decision.
New Speaker (11:47):
Which is it? There's no right or wrong or you've made wrong ones?
New Speaker (11:55):
It's your world. It's your rules. You tell me or do you live in a world where you can't win? Where the rules change daily. As long as it means that you're wrong, you've made the wrong choice and you can't trust yourself and you have stacked the odds so that you can actually never win at this game.
Oh, that sounds kind of logical... not totally, but it sounds kind of logical.
New Speaker (12:26):
You tell me. Like I know the rules I set for my game so I can win. But most people set the rules like their rules of how their world works and when they are and when they get to feel love and when they get to feel joy and when they get to feel confidence is this interweb of if a equals B plus C plus X plus the moon in Venus and the sun sets this way and it's on the first of the month and it and, and, and you know, a feather dropped from this bird. Then I get to feel fun, love, joy and confidence. It's like, Whoa,
My brain is so frazzled right now. I don't even know how to answer you!
New Speaker (13:14):
What you need to do. I mean, as you said, your experience was better, but it wasn't exactly how you wanted it to be, but you have to accept the responsibility that you drive your own bus. Things don't happen to you. Things don't just appear, you create every single bit of them either with the rules, well, either with your emotions or either with, you know what you're doing in your brain, which is still quite, can't quite tell me what you do. You can't articulate what you do in your brain and that's the key. I can't therefore change what you do in your brain if you're not aware of what you do.
Okay. Can I think about, okay, if I'm sitting on my horse, I'm looking over there and I want to go over there, but I'm afraid to go over there...
New Speaker (14:12):
But stop. I can't accept the presupposition of I'm afraid to go over there. How do you know that?
Okay. I know that because this panic comes over me.
New Speaker (14:44):
Yeah, but the panic doesn't just happen. I can't just go panic! I can't entice that emotion into you right now. There is a trigger that sets off the panic and you've got to figure out what that trigger is. It's either something you tell yourself something, you see something you hear there are the trigger, because we can only interpret our world in five ways. See, hear, feel, smell, taste. I'm assuming you're not tasting anything. I don't assume you're riding a horse, eating a cookie, going yum chocolate. Now I feel panic. So taste's out. I don't assume you're sniffing something and going horse poo - now I feel panic. So it's either something you see, something you tell yourself, or something you hear. And when it's something you see, it's either something you see physically with your eyes or something you show yourself.
Okay. So I show myself, I show myself a catastrophe.
New Speaker (15:55):
Tell me what that looks like.
Yeah. Okay. It looks like, my horse starts running or starts. Yeah, my horse starts running and I can't control it.
Okay. Or are you looking at yourself riding the horse in the picture? Are you seeing it like a movie or are you riding it as you're picturing this horse running away?
I'm seeing the picture yet, I am watching a movie. Yeah.
Okay. And is it in color or black and white?
It's in color. Right.
And frame or panoramic.
I think it's panoramic.
Okay. Um, so tell me again what's happening in the picture. Describe it in detail.
Okay. My, my horse is okay. My horse is having a fit. He wants to run away. He just like, yeah, he's just like, runs, he just runs and, and just, you know, just, I can't control him yeah, it was, it was just kind of like that. He's just runs and scoots off, or you know, just, you know, boom. Like an unexpected, just boom.
Do you fall off? Does he end up stopping? How does it end?
Oh, well I fall off.
Okay. And do you die? Do you get hurt?
I get hurt. Yeah.
How badly? Like what happens?
I don't know if I get that far.
So does it just loop and go back to, so are you're seeing a catastrophe and the horse is galloping away? My horse is galloping away. I can't stop him. I fall off. You said I don't think it gets that far to know if you're injured or not. So what does it loop back to the start of horse is spooking and horse galloping off and you fall off? Is it just a replay? Like sometimes you get videos that are just 10 seconds long and they just replay? Is that what you've got going on?
Yeah, it's just replays.
New Speaker (18:55):
So you never get hurt in the replay. Like you don't know if you do or not. You can't say that you don't, but you can't say that you definitely do. You don't know if you get hurt in this particular movie.
Yeah. I don't know.
New Speaker (19:20):
You don't fear falling off or getting hurt. So you fear what? What is, what is the thing that's looping? Do you know what you're really scared of?
I'm scared. I want to say that I'm scared of the unexpectedness.
New Speaker (19:41):
Yeah. What about the unexpected is it that scares you? What would that mean?
I'm scared of the, just the, the speed. I'm scared of the speed.
New Speaker (19:58):
Hmm. And um, yes, but why speed scare you? If I take the brakes away and you can't stop it. What does that mean?
Well, that I'll fall off, that I have no control. I have no control.
New Speaker (20:21):
Sounds like your life that you don't like to be out of control, that you would be a little bit, not just in your riding, but in everything.
Yeah. Well I feel, I feel like there's so many areas of my life where I don't have control.
New Speaker (20:43):
So you want control in this area, right?
Tell me an area where you don't have control. Do you like not being in control.
Well, no, I mean, I, I guess I do.I think it's more the, I don't know, the decisions making the decisions. I don't know. I felt in the past that I haven't had control over things. I think I have more now than my life.
Yes, but even the need for control. What's that about? Think about why you would want or not want control. Think about, I don't make decisions cause I don't want to make the wrong decision. What's all of that about if you were to guess
That I, uh, I wouldn't like... I wouldn't, that I wouldn't like what, what is happening to me.
New Speaker (22:20):
If you didn't like what was happening to you what would that mean?
I would be, I wouldn't be happy.
And if you weren't happy, what would that mean? Why is not being happy a bad thing?
Because it feels it doesn't feel good.
And why is not feeling good a bad thing. How is that a problem?
Well, I don't know. I mean it's, sometimes you just feel bad and you're not like, I haven't felt bad. You get it. I get over it.
And how often do you allow yourself to feel truly happy and truly free?
Not very often. Well, I don't know. I mean, I do things that make me happy. It's not like I'm miserable all the time. I mean, I have things that make me happy.
Is riding one of them?
Not right now. I have felt it.
New Speaker (24:38):
Why do you block yourself?
Why do I block myself? Maybe I, maybe I don't, I want to say why should I be happy? But I, I didn't really think that I felt like that...
New Speaker (25:35):
But that's what came out. Who am I to be happy?
That's what, that's what came up. But I really didn't think that I felt like that about myself. Yep. That's, that's what came up.
Yeah. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being open. Why do you think it came up?
I don't know. I, cause now I feel like crying...
This is the real you saying who are you to be happy? You are stopping yourself. You are stopping yourself from being this yellow circle of going out and having this love, this confidence, this, everything's okay. This wisdom, the abilities. I can do it. So I gave you that gift last session and you went great. And then the next part of you went no no no no no - back in there and now you're going that that can't be true. That can't be it. But I just heard it. You're doing so good.
You're making me cry.
No, that's ok, that's what I do.
But yeah, I, it's true though. I know there's so many things that I, that I could have done that I wanted to do so badly, but I stopped myself. I know, I know that there were things I could have been, I went to, things I went to school for that I really wanted to do. Um, and I stopped myself. You know, that I, and I have so many regrets about that because I, I went to school too. I wanted to be a therapist. I got a job was doing my my hours and I couldn't do the job. I was in so much anxiety about doing the job that I actually got fired. And then I started a life coach, um, class life coach course, and I was so enthusiastic about, paid a lot of money for it. And when it was almost over and I had to do some project, I sorry, I have a full time job. I'm too busy. I can't do this. And I quit. So, and people have told me, you would have been so good, you, you could. People tell me that. And I, I stopped myself from doing what I want to do. It's true, and my husband tells me that. He says, you're amazing. You can do this. You can do that. You could do this and, and, and you don't think you can do anything. And I stopped myself from doing these things. It's true. I don't know why, but I don't. Oh God, now I'm so embarrassed.
Oh no, don't, don't be embarrassed, don't even think about anyone else. I'm here. I've got you. What else does it fucking cost you? Get angry! What else?
You know, like I say, I really wanted to do this. I wanted to be a therapist. I really wanted to, you know, and then I just like, like, like I said, I'm just, I just get, I get in so much anxiety. I was in so much anxiety at this job because I kept telling my supervisor, I mean anxiety... Instead of helping me. She, you know, told my boss and they fired me. But it's like, whenever I think I'm just there. You know, I make excuses. Like when I made excuses, like I couldn't, I with the life coaching school class. We had to get on the phone and coach each other over the phone and I just, I was paralyzed again. Like, like when I'm on my horse and I want to go over there, I get paralyzed in my head. I can't do it. And so that's how I, so I, I couldn't do it. I didn't want to have to get on that phone and coach, you know, of coaching. I didn't want to do it. I couldn't, I was paralyzed. I couldn't do it. So I said, I can't, you know, I'm working full time. I'm tired. I don't want to have to come home and talk on the phone and then I just quit, you know? And that's what I do up my horse. I want to go over there, but I'm paralyzed. I can't make the decision to go over there. And so I just quit!
You've lived with this, I know we talked about your age. Let's just say, you know, 40 years, you know you've lived with this for 40 years. Are you fucking sick of it, are you ready to get rid of it?
Oh I am !! I just like, I just like, I don't know why I hear. I hear my mother's... I hate blame the things on my mother because I loved my mother. But you know, when I first started taking horseback riding lessons, she was so freaked out. She, she tried to stop me, talk to me against it. She told my ass, my brother to talk me out of it. Cause I'm really close with my brother. My mother was a very fearful person and I feel like, you know, she brought it to me and my brother.
It's called a tribal cycle and I'd love to know what her mother was like. Like this could have been passed down from generation to generation to generation. We are all victims of victims. And it's only until we make the conscious decision to do it differently.
Yes. And I really have been trying, I mean I really have. I, you know, I've read so many books about fear, you know, and try to take the advice and you know, to, you know, on the horse,
You've got to see that you have never ever had a fear problem. Sorry, I shouldn't say a fear problem. Do you know what you're actually terrified off has nothing to do with a spooky corner or being out of control? Do you know what you're actually terrified of?
Making a decision?
Yep. But even if you made the decision, yes. That's part, that's it. That's a symptom of what you're scared of. That's why you don't make decisions. But what are you actually scared of?
It'll be the wrong one. Or somebody will tell me it's the wrong one.
Yes. But why? They're again symptoms of what actually scared of. Being scared of what if I get it wrong. And what if people say it's wrong and what if I fuck it up? Or what if it goes wrong? But what is, what is all of that scared off? Because Sheila, you tell me if you got it right and everything went right and everything went fabulous and you were the best life coach in the goddamn fucking world and you were the best therapist in the whole damn fucking world and you were the best rider and you just went wherever the fuck you want or whatever the fuck you wanted. What the fuck was would that mean? You tell me, what would that be?
I'm good. Yeah, I'm good. I'm afraid of being good.
It would appear so. But every time you're give you an opportunity to shine, to fucking rock, to fricking step up. You run like the fucking hills. You've got me fired up now.
But I did go to school. I did graduate. I in my forties I went back to school, I graduated, I got two master's degrees.
Okay, but you said you were born on this planet to maybe be a therapist. You were maybe born. You resonated with that so strongly. I don't make the rules Sheila, you do. You have run from things that are important to you that probably you could be very good at. Everyone can go and get a masters. But when you're heart says this is important, this is special, this means something for some reason in your world that means run.
Yeah. I, I'm a good swimmer too. I joined a gym to go to swim and I don't ever go. I don't go because I just think, Oh I don't wanna put my bathing suit on...
Oh, we're very, very smart with our excuses. Yeah.
Yeah. It's just too much trouble. I, that's another thing is that I see things are just too much, too much trouble. So I don't, you know, and when I, when I do what I love it. Oh it's too much trouble.
So you're like, you're sitting on the couch cause that's not much trouble. Right? Yeah. Basically you've got this great system. Anytime you feel yourself making an excuse, it's too much trouble. It's too hard. I don't really want that. That probably makes you fucking do.
That's I'm fucking good at it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean I could, I could go down to the ranch to open my tack shed, stand in front of the tack shed and stare in there trying to decide whether I should get my saddle out and I can stare at it. I can stand there and stare for 10 minutes cause I can't decide whether I should, you know. And then I say, Oh it's late anyway. Uh, you know, I should, you know, I got to go shopping or you know,
So we started off the session thinking do we need to do a session around decision making? But no, the non decision making is because as you've just shared, you don't follow through. You don't fight, you don't go for what you really want. And that is an ingrained thing that you weren't a million years ago when you were a baby. When you really want something, you don't get to have it.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
You can fuck that belief right off - you can keep it if you want. But look where it's gotten you in so far. If you're living your ideal life, then you keep it. But if you're, if you go no because of that, I missed out on this and I lost this and this didn't happen. How I want it, where you just make the decision now. That is not my thing anymore. That's not my jam.
Yeah. Yeah. There were things I, yeah, there were things going up I really wanted, but I got discouraged from them. Yeah.
When we are babies. When we're children, our parents or our teachers or the big people, they're magical big people. We don't question them. We don't think we didn't have the psychology or the awareness to go, you know what? I think they're having a bad day and they didn't mean what they said to me. Everything goes in unfiltered as absolute truth. And then we spend the rest of our lives going huh - that's not true. That doesn't serve, that's fucked me up. Welcome to taking responsibility and adulthood and you know, I can know all this stuff and I can still see my kids, you know, cause I'm not perfect. I'm a human and there's going to be times where mommy's had a really bad day or mommy's stressed and mommy's tired, or mommy makes the, it's just this one wrong thing innocuously you know, like even like go to bed, a child can go, I'm worthless, I'm stupid. I'm nothing because my parents don't want to spend time with me and they want me to go to bed. You can't. I've given up trying to make sure I don't make a mistake because anything - you got to work. My parents preferred to work than to look after me. So, not to try and make sure that never happens. As I said, we're all victims of victims and it's nothing to do. I adore my parents. You adore your parents. They did the best they could with what they knew. Oh and innocuous things, like I say to my mum that I just figured out, blah, blah, blah. And she will be like Oh my God, I didn't, I, that was never my intention. I didn't want you to think that. I said, I know. I can't believe that that's even what you made it mean!
So many things. So many things. When I that I've told my mother, you know, if I tell her I just bought a washer and dryer, she's, she said to me, why did you do that? They break down and then they have to be fixed and then I told her, I bought a couch one time. How much did she says, how much did you pay for it? I said, a hundred bucks. It was cheap. You had to pay a hundred bucks. I said, mom, do you know how much couches costs nowadays? When I got a dog, she knew I wanted to get a dog my whole life. I never had a dog. When I got a dog she said, why did you do that? They get sick and you have to take them to the vet.
She's a bundle of fun. Your mom!!
But now, you'll have this communication with her up here giggling. I giggle. I just go ok, that's cool ok. But you won't be really entrenched in it going, is mum judging me or his mum saying that I've done the wrong thing or he's, no, no, no, no. That's her story and her projections and her stuff. And you know, you're starting to understand who you really are and what you're really capable of. And that's got nothing to do with anything or anyone else.
So go take that yellow ring. Give yourself the permission. So last session I gave you the tool to use and then we found out that you didn't allow yourself to use the tool. Now allow yourself to you to really lean into that yellow ring. That is where your confidence is, that is where you allow yourself to shine. That ring also terrifies you. Yeah. So you have to just stop practicing and you can practice, you know, step into your ring with your partner. If you trust him and he's, you know, he's not gonna, you know, it's a safe place. Step into it. Okay. That's your homework. Everyone on the comments just thinks you're amazing. They're just saying it's so generous of Sheila. Thank you, Sheila. Sheila, everyone's loving you. Absolutely amazing.
Oh, I was just gonna thank you. Thank you so much. I so appreciate you for this.
Thank you for being honest. We almost didn't get there because you came up with who are you to be happy? And you almost didn't actually verbalize it because you said that's actually not true, but you've trusted yourself. You, you stepped into your yellow ring there. You shared with me what was actually the essence and um, yeah, good job. I'm really proud of you, you are n exceptional human being. Thank you
Podcast Episode 5: Overcoming Fear - Submodalities and Other NLP Techniques (Live Coaching Session with Sheila Part 1)
Today Natasha shares with you a coaching session she had with one of her members, Sheila. She uses some interesting submodalities to allow Sheila to overcome her fear, change the way she thinks and feels about riding, and we can't wait to hear all about the results!
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on overcoming your fear by CLICKING HERE.
Sheila, how are you doing?
Oh, I'm doing okay. How are you?
I am very well, thank you. Very good.
I can't believe I'm doing this.
It's exciting isn't it
Yes I'm really excited.
I love it. I love it. Okay. So, um, what are you here for today? How can I like, why get, why are you here?
Well, I'm here because I am a completely, um, scared. Um, I have to make a long story short. Mmm. I started taking riding lessons a long, long time ago. Maybe 20 more years ago. I took a few lessons. The horse took off on me in the arena. I could not stop the horse. I fell off and broke a rib and then I got back on after a while. I took some more lessons, but I always have this picture in my head of the horse taking off on me and I cannot get rid of that. So I, I took a few more lessons for a while and then I stopped. And then it was about probably 10, 15 years went by until I got on a horse again. Yeah. Scared to death. So I had to build up my, my, my bravery a little bit. And then about six years ago, I got my own horse and she's very sweet. Everybody loves her, you know, sweet, mellow horse. Um, so I was starting to get a little bit braver, riding around a little bit. And then what was about three years ago, she kind of took off and I, I mean, I probably could have stopped her, but I was so panicked that I didn't do anything. I just had my hands up in the air and I'm saying to myself, why is she doing this to me? Why is she doing this to me? But I didn't do anything about it because I was just too freaked out, fell off again. I didn't hurt my, I mean, I was hurt, but not bad, nothing broken. And, um, so that was like three years ago. She hasn't done anything like that since. But, um, lately I'm more scared than I ever before and I don't know why. I mean, nothing's happened. I'm just more scared than ever. Every time I get on the horse, I expect the catastrophe.
Okay. Firstly, thank you so much for sharing and thank you so much for, um, uh, telling us what's going on. I can imagine that must feel, to logically know she hasn't done anything. She hasn't done anything for three years. You're like - I could have done something about it, but I just didn't. And to feel that every single day can we acknowledge you and want to send out a million hugs to you?
Thank you. You know, because I, I, it's, it's always, it's always there and I'm always, it's always been my dream to have a horse. I never thought I'd have a horse, you know, and um, it's always been my dream to get on and ride into the sunset. Yeah.
So, what, what, what dream horse you riding off to the sunset? Is it the horse you have now?
She's, she's really sweet. She's part halflinger. She's a halflinger paint cross and she's really sweet. Everybody loves her. But, um, I don't know. I cannot, Mmm. I can't canter on her. I cantered on other horses before years ago or actually recently out on the horses, but I just can't on her. She just won't, she doesn't want to canter. Other people have tried to canter on her and they can't. One or two people can, but I think she's maybe a little lazy or she just, maybe she just feels it from me that I'm scared.
I'm sure. I was going to say, but I'm sure she's listening to what you're really telling it. Yeah. Yeah. Well if we fix this today. Is it cool if we remove this for you today, if you remove it.?
If you remove this fear and remove this feeling of what's going to happen and I don't know what's going to happen and I don't know if I can handle what's going to happen. Would it be alright if we removed that for you tonight and just left on love join it. Oh yeah. Do I have your permission to do that? Yes. Alright. Sounds good. Alright, so, um, we've got this dream. To own a horse. Okay. And you've, you've now tick, you've got that dream, but you want to ride off into the sunset with fun, love, join and excitement in your heart. That's the piece that's missing. Is that correct?
Yeah. And I really acknowledge you. I think you were fricking champion too. How old are you? Oh, you don't need to share a, you just give me a decade. Okay.
I'm sorry. What?
Sorry, I talk so quick. Um, just give me a decade of what, what, what year you're in. Are you in your forties? Your thirties? Oh, I'm in my sixties. I love it. So whenyou're this gorgeous woman, you're in your sixties and you're like, God damn it, I'm going to have this dream. So I really acknowledge you for it and I can see how successful I'm going to have so much fun working with you because I can already tell you're committed, you're tenacious, you're going after this and you're just a little part of you standing in your way. So that's where I say the frustration and the pain. Yeah. If it's cool with you, we'll, we'll get rid of that today.
Great. Great. Great. So, um, let's talk more about, you said 20 years ago, that's when the incident happened. And ever since then you've got this picture in your mind of this horse taking off on you. Yeah. Tell me about it - is it a picture or is it a movie? Does it move or is it just a still shot? Tell me all about it. I'm so curious.
Oh boy, that's hard. Um, alright. Wow, that's a good question. Mmm.
You tell me how you do it.
I think. Okay. Um, I think it's more of a, well, it's a picture. Yeah, it's a picture. I mean, I can see it.
So is it a frame like a screen or is it panoramic? Is it the whole, everything you see is the picture or is it like a little picture frame and you see a photo in it?
Oh wow. Oh my God, that's such a, wow. I don't know.
I'm sure you're used to looking at it you tell me!
Yeah - I think it's panoramic.
Is it color or black and white?
Are you in the picture?
Okay. Am I in the picture? Wow. I think so. I think so.
Maybe it's not you.
I don't know. You tell me, you go right now and you tell me.
Okay. Yeah. It's me.
And are you looking at yourself in the picture or are you seeing the reins and the neck in front of you? Are you inside the picture or are you observing the picture?
Wow. Oh my God, this is too hard. Wow. I think, I think I in there. I think I'm in the picture.
Okay. So you said you've been living with this picture for 20 years. It's sounds a bit fuzzy, it sounds like it's not that clear.
Yeah. Maybe it's more like a feeling.
Okay. Tell me about the feeling.
The feeling is... Gosh, the feeling is like, it's just a, it's a panic. It's like, it's just like a dread, it's kind of like a dread panic. Mmm.
Back to this feeling of panic and dread. What kind of shape is it? Is it Misty? Is it solid? Is it heavy? Is it what? What kind of shape and consistency does it have?
Oh my God. A feeling.
You're the one who is in touch with that feeling...get that feeling and go is it big or is it little?
Where is it?
Where is it? Okay. I think, well, I think it's in my head. Okay. It might be kind of in my stomach too, but for some reason it feels like it's more in my head.
Yeah. And is it heavy or light and does it feel solid like a piece of wood or a piece of metal, or is it more wispy?
Wow. Mmm. What if I, what if I don't know?
If you don't know, well firstly I go, well, it can't be that strong. If you're really not sure if it even has a shape or it even is heavy, then maybe you don't even have that feeling when you ride,
But it's, it is, you know it's there. Yes. It's a feeling.
So it's heavy. Like is it five kilos? If I got rid of it, would you less?
Oh, I think so. Oh yeah. Yeah. I think it's like a heavy cloak.
Yeah. That's what it is. It's like a lead cloak.
Good. Yes. What color is it? What color is a lead heavy cloak. Can you just tell me what color does it feel like it is?
Blue green, maybe.
Really great. And a light blue green or... Um, a really, really dark blue green.
Okay, great. You're doing such a great job. Okay. And how much did we say the weight is? How many kilos?
Oh, okay. I don't know kilos cause I'm in America.
Oh so in pounds.
Maybe about 25.
Wow. Good on you. Your muscle woman carrying that around.
Yeah, I don't like it.
So this feeling - I completely understand. All right, so this feeling of this dark cloak somewhere in your head and then sometimes... it's a cloak so it's pretty much all over. You would feel that when it's gone, wouldn't you?
All right. Are you cool to do an exercise with me?
Okay. Yep. Okay.
So just going to require you to close your eyes. Okay. And have a nice relax. Take a deep breath. And what I want you to do is visualize your timeline. So I'm going to get you to notice that you are in the present moment of now and I just want you to, this is listening to your gut. There's no right or wrong answer. I just want you to point to where your future is.
Yes just point.
Where's your future?
Okay? Yep. And I just want you to now go ahead and look behind you or not behind you anywhere you need to, whereas your past?
My past. Yes. Oh, but keep my eyes closed.
Yep. I just want you to point to your past.
And do you see does your timeline run through you or um, outside of you? So if your past is behind you and your future is in front of you to the right, um, where is now, where is the present moment? Is it inside you or is it to the side of you?
It's inside me.
Right? Yep. So your timeline runs through you. That's great. Are you always, if your timeline runs through you, I would say that you were always, um, uh, on time for your appointments. Would that be true?
Uh, not always.
Alright, well, you at least you're ready for this one. If your timeline runs through you, you're on time. When it runs outside of you, you have no awareness of time. So you tend to be late! So now what I want you to do is float up above your timeline.
Is do what? I'm sorry.
What I want you to do is right now you're inside your body. What I want you to do is float up above your timeline. Come out of your body and float up way up high above your timeline. Okay? Okay. And what I want you to do is slow back to your past, all the way back to that moment in time. 20 years ago when you broke a rib and you had that horse take off on me. Okay. And tell me when you're there.
Okay. I'm there.
Okay. What I want you to do those float down inside that moment. Okay. And tell me what you feel.
Oh wow. Okay. I can, I have, I'm having a hard time breathing.
Yeah, yeah, that's okay.
Okay. Yeah. So you remember I fell on the floor, I fell, I was on the ground and I couldn't, I could hardly breathe. And the ambulance came.
And you're feeling that right now.
Okay. So what I want you to do is float back up way up high. I notice as you float higher and higher, that feeling of not being able to breathe is getting less and less than less, and you just tell me float off as high as you need to until all the feelings have disappeared again.
Okay. Yeah, and you say you feel like nothing.
Yeah I'm okay
What I want you to notice is way up high way up there as a place where only love, wisdom and understanding resides. It's a place where you are safe, where you can only feel loved and these deep, deep understanding and genius of the universe resides there. What I want you to do, please ask this wisdom and understanding what are the lessons that I need to learn to resolve this now and to move forward in my future without this holding me back. What do you need?
You want me to do that?
I want you to ask and then I want you to tell me what the answer is about.
Wow. Should I ask out loud or to myself or?
Do whatever feels right and natural to you. There is no right or wrong in any of this yet. Okay.
Yeah. Gosh, I don't know. Mmm.
What is the lesson that you need to learn here? What did you make this event mean? Yeah. What? What did it mean? What did he make his event mean? Wait, sorry. Just stay in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Great. That you've lived over 60 years on the planet. Do you remember every single day of your 60 years?
Do you remember this day?
So there's a reason you remember this day you made this event mean something. What did you make it mean?
That that there's fear. Life is, is fearful. Okay. There's fear and you know, I need to be afraid. Yeah. I really can't just do what I want to do because I'm always afraid and I, I just, I don't have confidence in myself and I can't just go out there and do what other people do because I'm always afraid. Okay. Yeah.
Did you know that you made it mean all of that?
No, I didn't know, but that's how I feel now.
Absolutely. Okay. And I'm sure. Did you notice other things changing for you to say, I can't do what others can do. I can't just do what I want to do. Did your life change after that moment? Just not just in your riding, but in a lot of other things as well?
I don't really remember. So I don't know. I don't know. Maybe it did. I don't, I don't know. I can't put my finger right.
Okay. Is this reality? Can you do what others can do? Can you just do what you want to do?
I probably can, but I don't feel like I can, yeah.
Float up higher. There's no feeling here. Just wisdom and understanding. You made it mean that you can't just do what you want to do, that you have no confidence. I can't do what others can do. I need to be afraid. Life is fearful. There's a lesson here. None of those things are actually true.
So, so yeah, it's just, it's what I've learned.
Right. Did you learn all these events? Go with your gut. Don't try and think of a logical answer. I just want you to connect with your truest self. Did you learn this before this event on the horse?
Yes. Yes, yes.
Float up. Go back in your past, go float down even more into your timeline and take me to the root cause of when you learnt this lesson. Go back all the way in the past. It might even be in a past life. It might even be in utero. It doesn't matter where it is. Just take me all the way back to the first moment where you learnt these, this, this thing of I can't do what others can do. I can't do what I want. Life is to be fearful. I need to be afraid. Take me back to the first moment.
I don't. I don't have, I don't know. I can't think of a moment.
Jjust relax. Just trust yourself until in your mind to take you back. That first time that you learned this lesson, you don't need to remember it. You don't need to know what it's about. It's going to be very far back in your timeline when you were a child or even before as a baby in utero in a past life. There's no right or wrong answer. Just tell me the answer that pops up for you. How old were you when you first learned this idea?
Okay. I want to say 2, right?
Good job. Well done, Sheila. That's great. Okay. Okay, and can you see anything about the event or do you just, yes, there's nothing. It's all dark. You just know you were too. Just what I what I'm picturing, I'm just picturing that I'm trying to learn how to walk and I fall down. My mother has a fit. Yeah. I fell down. Oh my God. I fell down. That's, that's how I picture it because that's how my, okay. That's how my mother was doing. Great. You're doing great, Sheila. Okay. What I want you to do is float app and how did that event, okay. Florida, way up Hyde, where love, wisdom and understanding resides. I want you to, I think, what is the lesson to be learned here? And it's not the lesson you've learned. You learned life is to be fearful.
I need to be afraid. I can't do what others can do. I can't do what I want to do. That's what you learned, but you were 2. That's the decision you made and what you thought the world, how the world worked when you were two and you didn't have any other information. Now you are a beautiful, strong, committed, tenacious woman in her sixties that has so much more knowledge and so much more understanding of how the world works. And you tell me, what are the, what would you have liked to have learned there instead of what made, what you did take on for the rest of your life? What did you want to learn instead?
Oh, I would like to have learned that, I can do anything, you know, that I'm strong, I'm strong. I, you know, I can, I can do what I, what I put my mind to, you know, that I have, I have abilities. I have confidence. I can do it. I can do, you know, whenever I want to do I, you know, I can do it.
I want you to really, I feel those feelings of I have confidence, I can do anything. I'm strong. I can do what I put my mind to. I have ability, I can do it. I want you to feel those feelings through your whole body.
Yeah. I mean, and, and I'm, and I'm smart, you know, I want it to feel like I'm, I'm smart. I am smart. You know, I am intelligent. I'm, I have wisdom. I have confidence. I can do what I put my mind to doing, you know, I can, you know, everything's still okay. You know, you can tell I can do it, you know?
So all these feelings of I'm smart, I have wisdom. Everything is okay. I can do anything I put my mind to. I'm strong, I have confidence, I can do it. All of those feelings, if they were to have a color, what color would they be?
Yellow. I love it. And if I were to have a shape, what kind of shape?
Circle. And where in your body do you feel the circle? Is it surrounding you? Is it in your body? Is it outside of you surrounding you?
Mmm, probably it's surrounding me.
I love it. Good. Good job. Okay. So what I want you to do is really take all these feelings of I have confidence. I can do anything. I'm strong. I can do what I put my mind to. I have abilities, I can do it. I'm smart. I have wisdom. Everything is okay. And I want you to see yourself bathed in this yellow circle of light and this yellow that's got you and protecting you and making sure that you always remember this lesson because this is the lesson that you were meant to have learned. And this is what you to take forward to your compelling future. Notice that this yellow circle protects you and nothing can harm it and nothing can change it because it's always been there. And it always will be there from now on because now you know how to find it and how to tap into it again.
So in this yellow circle, I want you to go back down, um, into that event when you were learning how to walk, as a two year old. And I want you to tell me what do you feel now?
Yeah, I am walking. I am feeling good about myself.
I love it. Really good job Sheila. Okay. Now what I meant to do is float back up and I want you to start floating along, um, from that past moment all the way until we get to the event. Mmm. Where 20 years ago when you had that horse incident. But what I want you to do is only float as quickly as you can while replacing every single one of your memories with this new yellow circle of light, with this new understanding of I have confidence, I can do anything. I can do what I put my mind to. I'm strong, I have abilities, I can do it. I'm smart, I have wisdom. Everything is okay. Just wash over those memories with this yellow circle of light all the way until you get this 20 year, year ago event of this horse incident. And tell me when you're there.
What I want you to do is go into that event with your yellow circle of light and tell me what you feel.
Okay. Wow. I feel kind of insulated.
Right? Can you breathe?
Yeah. Good job. Okay. Yeah. Enjoy that memory. Now with your yellow cycle of lot, being able to breathe this beautiful feeling and I want you to come back along your timeline all the way back to this moment of present of now only as quickly as you can, replacing all your learnings alongside this yellow circle of light of I have confidence, I can do anything. I'm strong. I can do what I put my mind to. I have abilities. I can do it. I'm smart. I have wisdom. Everything is okay. All the way back to now. Only as quickly as you can do that and when you are back in the room, you can open your eyes.
Hi. That was fantastic. Did you know that we discovered that they go horse incident was never about your horse riding fear has nothing to do with any of that... Started when you were two
Wow. Yeah, I had, I mean I kind of had a feeling about that.
Okay, really good. Okay. Um, when are you going to ride next? Tomorrow, in a week? When are we riding next?
Well, I probably, I want to go tomorrow.
Let me do, I got to do this last bit. A little bit. So tomorrow you're going to go riding and I just want you to project out now into your future. You're going to go riding. Tell me how you're going to feel.
Oh, I am going to feel like I've got this. I'm going to get on my horse and I'm just going to feel like, I've got this.
I love it! Two months from now. What's your riding like now? And two months from now with this yellow circle of light and I freaking got this and I'm smart and I can do this and I'm confident. What's your riding look like? writing?
Two months from now I'm going to go, because right now I, I can't, I don't, I can't go out by myself. On the trail two months from now I'm going to do it. I'm going to go out there.
Yup. I love your future. 12 months from now, what's your riding looking like?
12 months from now, woo. 12 months from now. Oh boy. I'm well, I'm just going to be going out there. I'm going to be getting on my horse like, like you know, just like no problem.
Living your dream I think.
Oh, comfortable. Just, yeah, just comfortable and relaxed and you know, just get on my horse and go and not be worried
I love it. All right. I want you to enjoy the rest of today. You are going to be buzzing. You are going to think all the colors have been turned up in the world. Everything's going to be different but in a really awesome way. Because everything is now through your yellow filter. I have confidence. I can do anything. I'm strong. I can do what I put my to. I have abilities, I can do it. I'm smart. I have wisdom and everything is okay. You are going to love the rest of your day. Enjoy it, enjoy that feeling and enjoy your ride tomorrow. Oh my God, the horse will be different. You will be different. Everything will be so extraordinary. And I'll check in with you in a couple of days and I'd love to hear how your ride went. Okay, great. Thank you. So my absolute pleasure. Is there anything else you need from me to make this more complete for you now?
I don't know. I can't, I can't think of anything, but, um, I guess I'll, I just keep going on the program!
As you go through the program, you'll, you'll notice the things that I kind of have used with you today and yeah, like it'll just even more stuff will, yeah. We are able to use these tools that you're learning in the program to even more, have some fun. But the core thing, which was this two year old thing done, so this whole yellow filter and this whole yellow circle protecting you is yours to keep forever.
Okay. Oh, thank you so much. I've been wanting this so badly.
Well, it is my absolute pleasure that you were extraordinary to work with and thank you so much. Thank you.
Podcast Episode 4: Dressage Secrets - Transitions
Transitions in your dressage test - you can't avoid them! So what is the best way to make sure you have good transitions, what are some of the things to look for or some of the challenges you may face with your horse when you are trying to perfect your transitions? Natasha goes through step by step what is involved in a good transition, in particular trot to canter transitions.
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on improving your dressage by CLICKING HERE.
I thought today we could work on transitions. How does that sound? Who thinks that they might need to learn a little bit about transitions? Transitions - can't get away from them. Can't get into a dressage test and go, I'm an expert dressage rider and I'm going to do the best dressage test ever. As long as I don't have to do transitions, the transitions will be there. And first you have to start to realize that transitions are not something to be scared of or something to worry about or something that's annoying. It's a test to see how well you've got the horse. If you have the horse completely through, if you have the horse completely connected, if you have the hind leg active, if you have your contact well, if you have your seat well, if you've plugged in your seat bones and your seat can influence the horse - transitions are a piece of cake. So it's not the transition that you're having trouble with. You're having trouble with your basics, you're having trouble with contact, you're having trouble with throughness, you're having trouble with activity and when you fix all of that you'll get the correct transition. Now most people don't look at it like that. They go, just help me with the transition. So if I'm going to help someone with the transition, I'm never going to look at the transition and I'm always going to work on the stuff that we do before. Then I do really love working with, with let's say a trot canter transition because there's lots of things that can go wrong. Okay, so when you go walk trot transition, what can go wrong? Either the horse doesn't trot or the horse like puts its head up and kind of jumps into the trot.
There's only a couple of things that can go wrong. The trot canter, not only do we have to get the horse from trot into canter, but we also need to get the horse, um, on the correct lead, which can be a whole other thing. So yes, and it's that normal complication of not only do I have to get into canter, but I have to get the correct lead that can play with our minds and get a little bit more complicated than let's say, a walk to trot transition. So we're going to focus a little bit more on the truck to canter transition today. And the thing that you first have to remember is for the horse to do a correct canter transition, it can't, or the correct lead, uh, it can't have too much weight on the inside shoulder. Okay? If the horse is falling in, it's never going to do the correct canter lead.
And that might sound simple, but I hope for some of you you've gone, what? What? I never knew that. Hopefully! It's like I learned in um, on Facebook that there's a, there's a little hole in your saucepan, um, handle on your saucepan handle. There's a hole in it. And I just thought I never even registered or thought. I never sat there going, I wonder what that hole is for. But when you realize what that is for is actually to put your spoon there so you don't put it next to the stove and make a big tomatoey mess - who knew? So I'm sitting there going, life's changed forever. Hopefully we're on it. I've said your horse cannot canter on the correct lead if it's falling in and falling on the inside shoulder and heavy on that inside shoulder. Um, hopefully for some of you you've gone, I didn't know that - because I know that was me.
I was going around, my horse was falling in - doing that motorbike thing and I'd be like, just canter on the correct lead! And I didn't understand why he wasn't cantering on the correct leg. No one ever told me. So hopefully that's the first thing. Then comes the trickier bit. Okay, that's great. But he is going around like a motorbike and he is falling in and he is doing that. How? How do I stop from doing that? Yeah, that would be our second thing. All right, so and how do you know it is? Well, you should be able to feel, it feels like you're on a motorbike. It feels like you're getting closer to the ground on that side and it feels like, um, yeah. The horse, like you're thinking you're going this way, but the horse is kind of falling in this way.
It's really important. That's why I say like plan your circle plan where you think the circles going. So if it falls in and you're suddenly doing an 18 meter circle, when you plan to do a 20 that means your horse is falling in. That means there's too much weight on the inside shoulder. So, how do we do it? It's really, really basic. Okay, so we've got the horse falling in. What we need to do is get the weight over there. How are we going to get the weight over there? What tools do we have? What aids do we have that could do that? So. The tools and the aids are, we have an inside leg and what we're going to do with that inside leg is push it onto the horse and ask the horse to move everything over to there. Now we could ask the horse to leg yield so we could actually say, I want your legs to go over there.
And with a young horse, that's probably what I would do with an older, more experienced horse, you can just put your leg on and say move your weight - so I can move my legs and actually come out. Or I can just curve. I can just go from loading up here to loading up here. Yeah, and that's what we do like in a flying change. I don't have time to be leg yielding lift and leg yielding right if I'm going to do four time, three time, two time, one time tempis, but I might go, Oh, there's a bit of block move this call, there's a bit of block, move that on, do whatever I need to do in the ribs and move the horse wherever the blockage is to make sure it's soft for the new hind leg to jump through wherever we want to canter if we want to canter left or canter right. And feel if the horse is falling in. Does it feel like bend? No, it feels like your horse is a bit drunk. You know when you're walking with someone drunk and they're like, arghhh...or wherever they are is literally someone falling onto one shoulder or falling onto the next and they literally, if you're going in a straight line, the straight line moves either left or the straight line moves near moves to the right. It's such a good exercise. Like I do it on all the old experienced horses, all the Grand Prix horses... I'll ride a straight line and go, what do I feel? And I'll feel slightly this or slightly that. You might not see it in the mirror, but you will feel it. You'll feel a filling up on one side but not the other. And you want to feel even, you want to feel that both sides are even.
So that's our first thing with the transition. So the transition trot to canter, I always go, the first thing is the trot has to be good. If you're trotting like a jog, you know how sometimes I say bring the trot down to where it's a nothing trot to a pathetic trot to a trot. You would never ever show anybody and a trot you would never ever used for a test. But if you're learning, sitting trot, that's the trot you want to know you want to sit on. Um, and then if you, um, are feeling that it's an active trot, it's a forward trot because especially on a young horse, a horse can go into canter from a bigger trot more than a smaller trot more easily. So you want to really pump that trot, boom, boom, boom, boom and have it booming. Then you want to make sure it's ramped.
Because obviously you want to do a round trot to canter transition. So you're going to ask for the horse to be really through. Ask the horse to be really round, you know, play with the lower fingers, play with your hands over the bit, play that mouth away. Um, close your legs, have that whole connection piece going on. And then you're going to, I like to sit trot even on a really young horse so I can feel when the right moment is. And then I can um, use my inside seat bone as my scooping aid. So, you know, when you're on a swing and you scoop with your bum or your seat bones to get the swing to move, that's the feeling into an inside, inside seat bone for a canter transition to the inside. So, um, you're going to do that and then you are going to, um, so you've got the horse round, you've got the trot forward, you've got to have you apply your seat aid and then you're going to be ready to bail.
So either two things are going to happen. Your horse is going to canter instantly and it's going to be beautiful. Your horse is going to trot one step and put its head up. If he does, you're going to bail out of the canter transition, get the horse round and try again. Or the horse is going to just speed up in trot. If it does that, you're going to bring the horse back. Try again. Soft to me is, um, like if the horse has its head up, he's not soft, he's resisting the bit, you're going to feel weight in your hands because he's up there like that. Um, and so we want the horse to be round, but we don't want the horse to be heavy. We want it to be round but soft, which means that he's giving with his back. He's got a soft back. He's, he's letting you in, he's got his hind legs active, all that kind of stuff.
So normally when in a normal dressage test, if we're cantering, we want the horse to canter, um, with it. Uh, so what you're going to see when you look down is when you tell your horse to canter, you're going to look down at its shoulders. The same thing. Um, when you're learning, when you're looking, if you're on the correct diagonal or not. So when you're on the correct diagonal, you want to see what, when you're up in the air, which shoulder do you want to see coming more forward? So that same premise of when I looked down and I see that one shoulder is going forward and then I see the other shoulder going forward. It's the same with the canter. You want to see that inside shoulder going more forward. Otherwise, if you see the outside shoulder going more forward, you have the wrong canter lead.
So that's, and I shouldn't say the wrong, it's just the, um, what, what would you call it? So normally in a dressage test - it'll say between A and F canter left, which means they want the left lead, um, and they want the left shoulder going more forward. Then when you advance more on the dressage test, it says we want you to counter canter. So we want you to have the left lead, but we want you to go right. I know - it gets confusing. So when you start riding elementary, medium, advanced, there becomes no right or wrong canter lead, there just becomes, do you want the left one or do you want the right one? And we start doing exercises as the horse becomes more advanced - then you know, we might trot down the center line and canter left trot, canter right trot, canter left trot, canter right trot.
So the horse has to learn that it's not just get to canter now It's when I put my body and legs and my, my, your position in a certain position, I want canter left. And if I put my body and your body and my position as certain position, I want canter right. But yes, we want to rise when the outside shoulder is moving forward. So, um, it's the opposite. Well, it's not the opposite, because we don't want to rise in canter, but we want to see that inside shoulder and be okay that you don't know. Be okay. How about learning experience? I used to be like, I have no idea.
My coach would be like, um, same with diagonals. Are you on the correct diagonal? Yup.
I would just guess and 50% of the time I'd get it right. Same with the canter lead. You're on the correct canter lead? Yes. Or I'd be like, ah, it feels good. So it probably is the correct canter lead. And if it felt really uncomfortable and unbalanced, I assumed it was the wrong lead. Um, and I used to fake my way through it for years. But you're in big trouble when you then have to start to do counter canter and flying changes and you don't know if your horse has changed cleanly and all those kinds of things. So, um, be okay that you, you know, you weren't born knowing it and everyone else in the class might, well that's great. They're gifted. Good for them. You're going to have to learn it. And I would just sit there and I'd go, okay, um, I think it's, I think it's correct.
And, and my, my coach would just give me that visual feedback. No, it's not. Okay. So what I think that looks like isn't what I think that looks like. So, and this is how bad my feeling used to be. I used to go, all right, I feel, or I think it looks like the canter is canter left. That's probably wrong because my feeling's normally pretty wrong. So I'm going to say it's to the, it's the wrong canter lead. It's the counter lead and I'd be correct. So I had to really firstly learn to not trust my feelings because my feelings were always wrong, which then led into this belief that I was the worst rider in the world and I couldn't feel anything and I never knew what was happening underneath me. And then, um, after doing that for so many years, I then had to retrain that belief because I was a much better writer than what I used to be.
And you can't progress to Grand Prix. You can't progress to where I want to get to not trusting your feelings and not going with your gut and not feeling and just reacting to what you feel. So then I had to rewrite. I'm the best rider in the world. I can feel everything. I have the best feeling ever. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So very very interesting journey. But I always do like to share, you know, I didn't know my diagonals. I didn't know my canter leads. What did I, Oh, I learned this amazing, um, catchphrase yesterday and I absolutely love it. "Every master was once a disaster."
So, you know, Isabelle didn't always get the diagonals, Charlotte didn't always get the correct canter lead. Every master was once a disaster. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. So that's transitions. Well, that's trot to canter transitions. And then the other thing is the canter to trot transition. Um, most people drop the horse into canter to trot. They're like, all right, canter and canter and canter and drop. You want to float. Think that you're wearing a parachute. You and your horse are wearing a parachute and you're going to float forward into your trot transition rather than drop and either run away in the trot or kind of like go slow and then speed up. You want to know in your head, what is the rhythm that I am hitting when I, when I dropped down here, it's not canter... I'll see what trot I have and then see and then deal with it.
It canter, trot trot trot trot trot. You have got to be really clear with your body, with your mindset of what does my trot transition look like the minute I hit it. Um, so you really want to think about floating down and think about going forwards into it. We did this when I was on the horse. You know, especially trot walk transitions. People go trot halt walk because they using too much rein and too much backwards. Tell the horse you want to walk then relinquish your reins and ride it. So ride the transition forward because as you tell the horse to walk, it's a process. So as the horse floats down into walk, if you already ride the walk forward, he'd going to get transition trot forward walk. Rather than have that halting step. How do you keep them from going too fast? When transitioning from canter to trot? It's really about using your core, your body.
So canter, trot trot trot and you might, if it's a horse that's going to fall on the forehand, if it's a young horse, if it's a horse that's trained to, you know, hasn't been trained to sit on his hind legs through the transition, you're going to have to, you know, you're going to have to sit on his hind leg and you're going to have to do a million half halts through the transition. And when you land in that transition to keep the white on the hind leg if that makes sense. So transitioning to halt, same thing as your, as you've got the halt, soften your reins. So, and this is a teaching thing. You want to teach your horse to, um, stay in halt without anything. Um, so soften your reins. And then just tiny little lower fingers, tiny little lower fingers to say hi. I'm here. I'm here.
Don't go anywhere, but I'm here. Nothing with your wrists, nothing with a backwards thing. Just to, Hey, we're going to stay here and the horse the whole time, just ride forward again and halt and halt. Train your horses. I think you've seen it on a video like it. It's a training thing. You've just got to train them to be okay. Pat them, talk to them, tell them it's okay. Get them used to standing there two seconds, then ride forward and tell them what a great horse they were. Then three seconds then four seconds then five seconds and build it up.
Podcast Episode 3: Dressage Secrets - Getting Your Horse On The Bit
The million dollar question with dressage riders, is how to get your horse on the bit? This was something I really struggled with when I was first learning dressage - how do you know your horse is on the bit, what does it mean to get your horse on the bit, why is it important that your horse is on the bit and what does it feel like? I can't wait to share with you this whole conversation, because it is a topic that comes up again and again with my members of Dressage Mastery and in the riding community as a whole.
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on improving your dressage by CLICKING HERE.
In today's class, we're going to talk about throughness. How do you get your horse on the bit? How do you know he's on the bit? What's going on with on the bit... And everything about on the bit. I can't wait to share with you everything I've learned. This was something I really struggled with in my early years, so I can't wait to share with you this whole conversation, so let's get into it. Welcome to the your riding success podcast. My name is Natasha Althoff 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 chocaholic mother of two amazing children and obsessed with helping riders be all they can be. Each week I'm going to be bringing you 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 your riding to the next level and be the rider you dream to be, so let's get into today's episode.
Let me know one thing you're grateful for or one thing you are excited about. One thing that you're happy about. One good thing that has happened to you in the last 24 hours. So I'm here for you. I've got you and I really want you to know I am, I really want to look after you in this time and I just wanted to talk about, before we get into on the bit, I wanted to talk about decisions and choices. So somebody asked me last night on Instagram, they asked me how do I know if I should stay in university and keep studying or follow my heart and my career and my passion in a career with horses. And what do you think the answer is or what the answer should be.
Because I'm going to tell you guys what I told her because I think it just might be a little bit helpful. So I told her that I couldn't possibly give her an answer because I couldn't possibly know what the right thing for her is. Okay. There is only one expert in your life who is that expert? And don't say me, don't say your parents. Don't say your teachers. Don't say your mentors. There is only one expert in your life and that is you. Okay. So the only person you should be listening to and the only person you should be referring to when you need to make choices and decisions is you. And no one taught me that and no one you know, acknowledged me for that. So I just want to make sure that we get it out there to people to, you know, just understand, Oh, am I the expert?
And then you get to say a really funny thing when other experts decide to tell you what you should do. Who's had that? I don't think you should do that. I don't think that's a good idea. Hmm. I wouldn't do that if I were you to all those fabulous people. You say, Oh my God, I've never met anyone like this before. I thought I was the expert in my life. Please sit down. If you're the expert, you tell me, you tell me everything about my life and what I should do. Because you seem to think that you're an expert way more than me. So sit down and please tell me everything. And of course they can't because they're not the expert. They don't know you. They don't know anything about you. You guys don't know anything about me. You see 1% of everything that I am and everything that I'm about, even my husband doesn't know me at the intimacy and the, and the, and the deepness that I do.
And even I don't, I reckon I know about 20% about what's going on here. So there's no one on the planet that's an expert. And if there is, it's going to be you. Okay? So I want you guys to really remember that. And then the second part of that is, okay, so if I'm the expert and you still don't know what the right choice is and the right decision is, you have to realize there is no right decision and there's no right option. And you go, what do you mean? What do you mean? What are you talking about? Well, when you make a choice or a decision, you get something and you lose something every single time. Okay? While we're in covid-19, everyone's looking about what we're losing, what we're not having. We're not being able to go out. We're not being able to compete.
We might not be able to go ride our horses. We can't do this. We can't have that. We can't do this. Correct. But that's all the things you're losing. There's things you're gaining, you're gaining time at home, you're gaining time with family, you're gaining time to assess, you're gaining space, you're gaining freedom. All these things that you're gaining. But our minds work like someone in a dark warehouse with a torch. And wherever you shine, that torch is what you notice. So really make sure today guys, what are you noticing? What are you filtering in? Are you filtering in what you're losing or what you're gaining? So in any choice, like let's go back to this girl, I was helping on Instagram. What should I do? Should I study continue studying at university or should I follow my career with horses?
Once we've established, no one can answer that. She has to answer that. Then you have to have the freedom of, there's no right or wrong answer. There's only choices and every choice. There's no right answer here. There's not. If you go to university, your life will be fantastic and fabulous and everything will be perfect and it's the right choice. Or alternatively, if you work with horses, that's a fabulous choice. Only things go right there. Only things go well. You guys get that yeah? Whatever choice, there's going to be good things and bad things. There's going to be things you get and things you lose, things you achieve, things you don't. And your job is to then create the freedom of going, I'm just going to do what feels right. I'm going to do the best I can with what I know at the time. So anytime I make a mistake and then yeah, make a mistake, make a choice, and it turns out to be the wrong choice. I go, I did my best. I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. If I knew how to do better, I would have.
And it's that mindset of understanding I did my best. It was a shitty best. It was an uneducated best. It was a pathetic best, but was my best with what I knew at the time. And if I knew how to do better, I would have. And that is not only how I judge myself, but that is how I judge every single human being on the planet. A lot of humans decide to have opinions about other humans, which I find hilarious because firstly, as we've established, you don't know that human as well as you think you do. You don't. And secondly, they are doing the best they can with what they know at the time. And it might be a shitty best and it might be a horrible best and it may have hurt others, but they are doing their best. Okay. So I just wanted to get that out there because it's been on my mind. And I wanted you to just, just, just have that. So now we can get into the dressage. So today I wanted to talk about throughness. I hated that word when I was learning how to ride. You know, get the horse more through.
You could have said, get the horse more square, get the horse more triangular, get the horse more piggaly diggaly... That's what it sounded like to me. I was like, yeah, that's nice. Good for you. What should I do? How would I know I have it? All those kinds of questions. So what I want you guys to realize, firstly is through, is not a button. Your horse is not through and then not through. It's not like you're pregnant or you're not pregnant. Okay? That's it. That's a black or white. You can't be a bit pregnant. You're either pregnant or you're not pregnant throughness isn't like being pregnant okay? So we can start with a mindset of you know that there's, there's a continuum of thoroughness and there's 0 % on the throughness and we've got a hundred percent on the throughness. Okay. And this is our continuum.
So if we want to get our positive mindsets out, we can say our horse is already through, it's just at 0% on the throughness scale, but it's through just not very through if you want to stay positive about it. Okay. So if your horse is at 0% throughness, don't think, how can I get my horse to a hundred percent throughness because a hundred percent throughness, I don't even know. I reckon I've had glimpses of maybe a stride at a hundred percent throughness, but probably not because how would I know that it's a hundred percent throughness because there might be another level of thoroughness I've never felt, I've never discovered, I've never understood. So I'm not going to know that that's the border or that's the limit until I get to the next level and go, Oh, there was this whole other level and who's done that in their riding career?
They thought they did it good. They felt they did it well. They thought this is it, that this is the thrthroughness or the on the bit or the softness or the suppleness feeling. And then a year later they ride a different horse, or they have another experience. I know people come to our Riding Success Institute and they ride the FEI horses and they go, Oh, is this what it's meant to feel like? And it's like, yes. And more and more and more. So you know, there's, there's always another level. So I might argue and say that, you know, Charlotte Dujardin and Isabel Werth, they're at a hundred percent throughness, but they might not be at a hundred percent throughness. They're probably still uncovering higher levels, more levels of more that they didn't know existed and that they're uncovering and uncovering.
So you first have to get really excited that you're on this continuum that probably never has an end point. But that's also very exciting. And that's when you read the interviews of the dressage masters who've been riding it 70 years, 80 years, 90 years, their entire life. And you, you know, you go, well, why are you riding? And they're like, cause there's still so much to learn. There's still so much to discover. There's still so much to play with. And that's what I've you know what's the words I'm reconciled in myself because when I was learning how to ride, I was very, very frustrated. I just wanted to know the rules. Yep. And I just wanted to know when I had achieved it and I just wanted to know when I had arrived and felt very, very frustrated pretty much all the time because I never really arrived and I never really got it.
Because as soon as I arrived and as soon as I got it, there was something else that I had to arrive to and somewhere else that I had to get to. So make peace with, you'll never get there. So you can enjoy the journey. So we're at 0%, we might be at 10%, we might be at 20% or wherever we are in our throughness continuum. And what does that mean? That to me throughness is the connection of the hind leg to the front end. Okay. And the horse is really through when you feel the back up, when you feel the hind leg active, when you feel the connection, you feel the contact in your hand. But it's not heavy. It's not pulling, but it's not empty. There's a light soft uphill connection that you've got with the hand. The horse is reacting off the seat, the hind leg is pumping and you know the horse is in front of the leg.
Another one of those terms, remember the definition of in front of the leg is that the horse feels like it wants to gallop off. It's not galloping off, but it feels like it wants to. It feels like it wants to go forward all the time, even if you're in a rein back, even if you're in a collected pace. And the more you can get that, the more through you are okay. But then there's also a base level of throughness that every single rider has a standard about. So I have a standard when I get on a horse. So if I'm going to especially ask for a transition, I won't even ask for the transition until I'm at a particular standard of throughness. Now my standard is again, different to Isabelle and Charlotte's even I would love, you know, I'm constantly in my mindset going, I've got a, I've got to ask for more.
I've got gotta I've got to raise that level of standard. That's why we go to lessons. That's when you would go and have a lesson with Isabelle and Charlotte. She'd be like, don't do what are you doing that's not through. And you're like, I've got to find another level. And as much as we try to self motivate and try and upskill ourselves and try and find that new level ourselves you know, sometimes we do just need to, you know, have that, have that, you know, or even if we watch a video, I know people in dressage mastery, they'll watch a video and they'll be like, Oh, that looks really good. And then my voice will be like, this is not okay. I'm not happy with this, so I'm not going to, you know, ask for the transition until I get the next level. And people go off, all right.
And then they get back on their horses and they're like, okay, well I've got to find this next level. Okay. So there's that as well. So think about what your standard is and maybe try and up it by 1%. And then the next thing is, is, well, how do you get a horse through? Or how do you get a horse througher? And that's not a word. I just made it up. I had to get a througher. But we're talking about our continuum here. So there might be a degree of completeness. Yes, there always is, you know, or to me throughness is like love. Do you love this person completely? Yes. Do you marry them? Yes. But then you might have a child with them and then people say, Oh my God, I thought I loved my wife or my husband and then I had a child with them and then I loved them at this whole other level that I never knew existed or you know, they might save a puppy out of a tree or you know, I'm sure I'm trying to just use, take it out of dressage because you might not have felt it in dressage but you may have felt it in love.
You know, people might have a kid and they go, I never felt true love until I looked at my child for the first time. Whatever it is, there's, there's more love than what you think there is. There's more throughness than what you think there is. There's more fun, I guarantee you that than what you think there is, who's ever, you know, had the best night of their life. And then 10 years later gone out and then gone, Oh my God, this is the best night of my life. There's always another best. There's always another level. So there's that as well. But I also now don't want to discourage you and you go, well, there's always more and you know, my crap is really crap right now. How do I, I'm sure you're screaming at me on the phone, going, how do I get my crap better?
Or how do I get more through? Like I'm not very through, I'm on zero, how do I get to 1% or how do I get to 10% so to get your throughness to the next level, you need to think about what are the aids that you're applying. Okay. And it's the aids that I keep talking about and I know you're wanting me to say them differently, but they aren't as complicated as what you think they are. You just like I gave at the beginning of this talk, you just need to have the freedom to make some choices and to make some mistakes and to make some decisions. I was coaching an amazing rider yesterday and he, I were having a conversation about transitions and I was like, Jazza stop trying so hard and stop forcing it and just believe and just trust. And the more I could move him into believing that it was going to happen, committing that it was going to happen, but not forcing it to happen.
That's where the beauty happened and that's where the magic happened. So how can you take that into the riding as well? And, and then in terms of throughness, we need the engine. We've always said the first step of getting the horse through is forward. Okay, we can't get the horse through if the horse is not active behind. And remember active behind is the hind leg active and what is the hind leg active? It's, it's in my word, I say it's pumping. It's not dragging on the floor. So how would you do a lazy walk compared to an active walk? If you're walking and I said walk more active what would you do? And you'd probably walk a bit quicker or walk a bit higher. And both those things is more active. Okay. So on a three year old, we can't expect it to really step higher and use these big muscles to, you know, take us up into passage.
So we can't really ask them to take the big, high step. So we're going to ask them to take a quicker step because that will increase the activity of the legs. Same as if you were dragging your legs walking really slowly, I just get you to go come on, come on march quick, quick, quick, and I'd get the activity that way. So that's what we do with young horse, active, active, active, let's go, go, go. But then we don't want the horse flying around because the minute they just fly around, the minute you start running, where does all the energy goes? It goes on forehand, it goes on the shoulder and we know as dressage riders It's our job to lift the shoulder and to have zero weight in the shoulder and to have all the weight sitting on the hind leg, we've got to send all the energy and all the weight back there.
So we go, okay, how are we going to do that? So it's what I talked about on the hrose. We're creating energy, but now we're going to half halt that energy, we're going to block that energy for a second, not the whole time. We're not going to just now pull on its head, kick it and pull at the same time. We're going to create energy and then we're going to go up, we're going to go... We just close our hand and we say, Hey, take that energy up and back to the hind leg rather than forward and galloping out on the forehand, up and back instead of forward and out, up and back instead of forward and out, we're going to bring our shoulders back. We're going to tense our stomach and we're going to be the anchor, the pole on the carousel horse. That is the lever and the strength in this exercise and say, Hey, Hey, Hey, we need you to come back to this.
We need you to to, to, to bring yourself back to here. And the more we send the energy forward, the more we catch the energy and bring it back. The quicker we do that, the better we do that and the more effective we do that, the more throughness we'll have. Okay. Then the other thing that blocks throughness is blocks or stiffness or the horse not being soft and supple. So the horse is hanging on the left or hanging on the right or falling in and dropping a shoulder or falling out and drifting out and making his circles 30 meters instead of 10 meters. So that's when we're also playing with the shoulders. So that's the next level. Once we've got the forward and we've got the half halt, we're playing with the shoulders and we're playing with is the horse soft and supple between my reins and between where I've got him.
So I might need to leg yield left. I might need to leg yield right, I'm might need to shoulder and I might need to travers, I might need to renver, I might need to just bend. I might need to just flex. I might need to just apply my inside leg. Uyou know that inside leg to outside rein that bend through the body. You have to be clear on the outcome you want, what is the outcome you want and then you're just measuring everything you do. Is this getting me closer to what I want or further away from what I want. The other thing when we're riding horses is you can't uget it perfect. You can't ride a three year old and get piaffe today. You can't. We can if something spooks it - but you know, you can't ride Grand Prix on a three year old, so it's not, you've got an idea of what total perfection looks like and then it's just, are you 1% closer to that because you can't expect the horse to go from zero to a hundred percent throughness or zero to a hundred percent piaffe or whatever it is in a day.
So all I go is I go am I further away and sometimes I'm further away, but it's still been a good session. So it will be like, how was your ride? I'll go. I figured out 500 things that don't work. That's what I did today. Who's had those rides where it's just like, yep, that doesn't work. That didn't work. Ooh - that gives a bad reaction. Yep. That's definitely not. It's good. It's good for your learning. You can't know what works until you learn what doesn't work. Thomas Edison, did you fail? Oh my God, you must feel so bad. You failed 10,000 times to invent a light bulb. You loser. No, I'm a fricking genius because I came up with 10,000 ways on how not to invent a light bulb. I successfully achieved 10,000 ways to not invent a light bulb to successfully achieve how to invent a light bulb.
That is my training and that is my mindset and that is how I get from nothing to Grand Prix - sometimes without a coach and sure it takes longer. Sure. Sometimes it's wise and that's what I'm always trying to do. I'm trying to get from coaches or trying to get from people that have a result I don't. All right, what's the cheat sheet? Save me the 10,000 things that I don't have to do. So you can just tell me the one thing that works that will get me the outcome. But when you're riding on your own and you're riding without help, this is, Oh, you can't then just do the excuse of so I'll never get there. You will. I always say if the horse reacts, I must be doing it right. If I'm in the gym and I'm going down 10 centimeters in my squats, like doing really poor, bad quality, bad form squats and the, and the personal trainer says, do a hundred I don't argue do, do, do.
I'll give you a hundred because it's not hard. It's not working. It's not doing anything. Um but if the personal trainer says bu to your heels or you know, gives me a little low seat that I've got to rest my bum on for a second before I go up and he says, give me a hundred squats. I'm going to start complaining a hundred. I can't do a hundred that's not fair. I'm not doing a hundred. I'll give you 10 and I'm sitting down. So that's the horse. When the horse is is arguing and the horse is going no and the horse is trying to you know, take off or you know change. I always put the horse in a position where he has to work. If the horse doesn't is trying to get out of that position, it's a good position. But if the horse is like, yeah I could do this for 10 hours, it's probably not going to build the built muscles you want. It's probably not challenging the border of you and your horse.
But again, I just feel I need to do a disclaimer on that. But also the horse could be really sore but also the horse could, you know, not physically do it. Like there's so many things that you've got to go in your head and again the horse can't talk. You will be guessing. You will be hypothesizing, you will be trying to put a voice to something which you know, like if I say hi, what does that mean? Does it mean I like you? Does it mean I don't like you? Does it mean I'm pretending? Does it mean I'm saying hi cause I have to, is it meaning that I'm, I really like you, but there's something going on with me. How did I say the hi and what is the meaning behind how I set the hi and what I did with my eyebrows and what I did with my voice and because I went up not down and what did I do with my, my mouth and was I smiling or not smiling?
We don't know. We don't know. We will never know what that hi meant, but we have to know, our brains have to put a label on it. So every single one of you will extrapolate what that means to you based on your previous experiences, based on your values, based on your belief systems, based on your energy, all those kinds of things. And that's with the training as well. So, you know, we try and cover off our bases. We make sure that the physio sees the horse. We make sure the vet sees the horse, we make sure the dentist sees the horse, we make sure the saddle fitter sees the horse. And if there's nothing, then we have to go, okay, well maybe it's a personal trainer. You know, screw you personal trainer. I'm not going to do it. And we push the horse and we see what happens.
And sometimes you know, the horse gets stronger and the horse can do it. And we go, okay, that's what it was. Sometimes that happen and we go, what is it? Sometimes it's a mindset of the horse. Sometimes the hostess doesn't want to do it ever. It's fine. It's not sore, just doesn't want to do it. All right, love you guys. Stay safe. All my love. And remember I'm here for you guys. If you need anything, reach out. Let me know what you need. Yeah, we're totally here for you. If you enjoyed today's episode, I would love to invite you to a free dressage class than I am running. On this free training. You will learn the reason why most writers don't have progress and don't succeed. You're going to learn the secrets that we use so you can progress faster and easier than you ever dreamed possible.
You'll also learn how to ensure you get riding results on any horse, no matter the breed and age. Learn the fastest and easiest method to fast track your riding to become the best writer you can possibly be. And the number one thing you have to make sure you've got to progress and get dressage out results. So go to www.dressagemastery.com/trainingsecrets to claim a spot in my free class now. Also - Make sure you hit subscribe so you'll never miss a podcast episode and I can't wait to enjoy and spend more time with you on our next podcast.
Podcast Episode 2: Dressage Secrets - The Elusive Half Halt
What is one of the most commonly asked questions Natasha is asked about dressage and riding horse? What is a half halt would have to be right up there! What exactly is a half halt, how do you do a half halt when you are riding your horse? Why do you need a half halt when riding your dressage horse and when... how often should you do a half halt and is there such thing as too many? Natasha demystifies the half halt in dressage (and it can certainly be used in other equestrian disciplines too!), so you can experience your horse riding in a dramatically different way, to take your horse riding and understanding of dressage to the next level.
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on improving your dressage by CLICKING HERE.
Today we're going to talk about the ever elusive, the ever complicated (or not so complicated), half halt. What is it? Why do we use it? Why is it so complicated? How do I do it? When do I do it? How often do I do it? Everything you need to know about half halt.
So let's get into today's episode. Morning, evening. How are we doing? Let me know one thing you're grateful for or one thing you are excited about. One thing that you're happy about. One good thing that has happened to you in the last 24 hours. For me, the best thing that has happened to me in the last 24 hours. I had really good strawberries and cream last night. Really yummy. I love strawberries and cream.
How are we doing? I know life is going on and I know things are different and I know we are getting maybe a little bit used to this new normal, but I know our stress levels are higher than normal. I know uncertainty is high right now. I know we've got a bit more to cope with than what we normally do. So I just wanted to say I'm still sending out lots of love, lots of, lots of hugs, lots of good vibes out there.
And if there's anything that you ever need, please reach out. I'm here, I'm here to help here to help. It can be horse related, it can be not horse related, but I'm here for you. I've got you and I really want you to know I am... I really want to look after you in this time.
So today I thought maybe we could have a chat about the ever omnipresent, the ever elusive the ever, what-the-hell-does-it-really-mean half halt. Do we understand half halts, why are they even called half halts? Do you half 'halt'? Like do you do stop? Like what is a halt? A halt is a stop. So do you half stop? What is a half stop? How would you go and do that if you were to literally go and do a half stop? So I just wanted to share with you my map around the half halt and to try and give you guys a bit of an idea about how it should go.
When I was first learning to ride, well I still... I've got a contact story for when I was first learning to ride because that did my head in for at least two years. But let's progress past my understanding or not understanding more so about contact and progress to when I was starting to train elementary, medium advanced, and these half halt came up a lot more. Pfffffff.... that's all I have to say. I just didn't understand. I, so what I would love to know what you guys do with half halts. What I did was I just wiggled my fingers. I just wiggled my hands. I just, anytime the coach would say half halt, I would just do that. And I would make that face too. I dunno. And I, you know, I know and I always knew I had to do more of them. I was always told do more of them so I didn't know what I was doing and how whatever I was doing, either that wasn't effective or I, I still needed to do more of them.
So I really, really struggled with firstly I got caught up as a rider going, what should I be doing? What should I be doing? So I want to give you your first little bit of advice as a rider. Stop thinking about what you should be doing and think about what is the result that you want to have. So this will play with your brain and change everything about how you ride. Most people are like, how do I do you know, what are the correct aids or how do I do something? How do I do it? Well, how do I make sure it's good? And I go, well, it's irrelevant how you ask for something. And it's a irrelevant how you get something done. So if you take a trot canter transition, there's a million ways you can get your horse to do a trot canter transition.
And especially in, when you look at riding with the disabled, these riders train their horses to do certain things with completely different aids because they might not have a leg at all or they might not have a very strong leg or they might not have the connection with their seat that they might have. They might have a different rein connection. So they have to think outside the box and find another way to get the job done. And I want you to realize that, that that's your goal, to find a way to get the job done. Don't worry about how to do it well so much as opposed to what is the outcome I want. So in a trot to canter to transition, that's, I'm using that as an example because that's a lot easier. We, I hope every one of you knows and is crystal clear in your head, what does that look like?
What does it feel like and what, what happens when you do a 10 trot to canter transition? So a 10 out of 10 to get a 10 out of 10 trot to transition, what has to happen, it has to go from the balanced most like a beautiful forward but not running round, soft balanced calm trot. And then it just has to lift into a beautiful, calm, forward, round, expressive canter. And if you've got all of those things and that transition happens immediately and it happens beautifully and it floats and it's, and it's just the most beautiful, heavenly thing that you've ever seen. That's that's, that's what you want. That's a trot canter transition. Now. So when people, riders, when riders say to me, so do I use my inside leg? Do I use my outside leg? Do I use my inside seat bone? Do I use my reins? Do I use, what do I do with my this and what do I do with my that? And sure, I tell them the aids to, to, to get that transition to happen. But what's more important than any of what you should be doing is does it get the outcome?
I remember always saying, if I can get my horse to piaffe by tapping my head, I'm going to tap my head! If that gives me a 10 out of 10 piaffe and it's not. And sometimes you know, the rules in the dressage test is you've got to have both hands on the reins. But in the freestyle you're allowed to not. But if as long as I'm within the rules and obviously you can't use your voice, so you can't say, Oh my horse had perfect truck can to transition when I say, "and canter" because the, the, the dressage society has decided that you can't use your voice to apply aids. But anything that's within the rules, if it gets you the result of a beautiful trot to canter transition. Does it matter if it was your inside or outside leg? Does it matter if it was your inside seat bone or if it was a wiggle of the inside rein or if it was I blink three times with my inside eye? It doesn't matter. What matters is that you get the outcome. Now sure - depending on the aids that you apply, we found through trial and error that certain aids tend to get a better outcome than others. But, anything can be trained. You can train a horse to do a trot to canter transition off of a noise off,uoff like patting them on their shoulder, off tickling their tail.
You could train them because all it is training a horse is a pair of a stimulus and a response. So you apply the stimulus and you want the horse to respond a certain way. Apply the stimulus, you want the horse to respond a certain way. So the outcome that you're looking to achieve in a trot to canter transition is a perfect canter transition. So now let's go back to halt halt. Okay, so forget about what is the half halt and what should I do and why should I do so many of them. Think about what is the outcome, why, what do you want to feel and what does your horse need to look like and what, what is the point? What, what, what is better after you've done an effective half halt? Because I know when I was learning, I had no idea. I had no idea what the horse should feel like if I had done a correct half halt correctly.
I had no idea what the outcome was that I was looking to achieve. I had no idea of anything. I just, you know, I wanted one of the coaches to stop yelling at me and I wanted to apply a correct half halt, whatever that was, but I wasn't even conscious or aware that whatever I'm doing in my behavior should actually produce an outcome. And again, that's something you always need to think about. Everything you do on the horse is to provide an outcome. It's either to prevent an outcome or to provide an outcome. You know, it's influencing the outcome. And when you become outcome focused as a rider, everything begins to change. How would you know that the horse is rebalanced and reconnected? What would you see and what would you feel? So that's great. The horse should feel rebalanced - well tell me, how does that feel if I was an alien from outer space, what does a rebalancing on a horse feel like?
I know I'm getting tricky and I know I'm asking questions that you've never asked yourself and no one has ever asked you that is good for when you explore things that you, when you answer questions you've never answered before, your brain opens up to a whole other level of thinking and operating and acting. How do you know when the horse's attention is on you? It's an interesting question. How do you know it? Is it a feeling? Is it that their ears are flicking back so you can tell they're paying attention? How do you know that the horse is paying attention to you? That the ears are back, that we can pay attention, that the horse is paying attention to us, but again, what if they're flat back? Does that mean their paying attention to us? Arghhhh that's my brain pretty much all the time and that is how I'm always focusing when I'm riding, when I'm doing something, when I'm learning something, when I'm reading something, I'm always asking deeper questions going, well, if I take that on to be true, what does that then mean and how would I know that I have that? Or how would I know that I don't have that and if I don't have that, what would it mean? I did have and if I did have that, what would it mean? I didn't have a lot of people say that I wouldn't want to live in my brain. But it does take you to that next level of going, Hm, if I can get the answers to these questions, if I can be crystal clear on the outcome that I'm looking to achieve and here comes the next thing, the evidence procedure to know that I've achieved it. Okay? So if we're saying what we want from a half halt, and my definition is the outcome we want from a half halt is that the horse is back on its hind leg. So the process of a half halt is a rebalancing.
We are rebalancing the horse from the front to the back. And the outcome that we want is that the horse is sitting on the hind leg more. Okay, now what's my evidence procedure? How do I know if my horse is now sitting on his hind leg more? How do I know that that's happened? What do I feel? What does a hind leg swinging underneath feel like? Do I feel it in my bum? Do I feel it in my legs? Do I feel it in my shoulders? Where do I feel that? And I know I'm asking hard questions. I know you're going, what do you mean what do I feel? You feel you feel it? But what? And this is where I struggled so much as a rider because I don't feel very well, meaning that didn't come out right. I feel fine. I'm not sick, but I don't feel things.
There are three, there are four ways that you can experience your world, but I for to experience, you're riding, you're meant to experience it physically in a kinesthetic way. You meant to feel and react. You meant to feel that the shoulders over here and you're meant to put the shoulder over here. You're meant to feel that the horse's hind leg is under. You meant to feel that you've got to put it under, you're meant to feel that the horse is, you know, resisting here and you've got a unblock the feeling and feel it there. But I didn't have any of that. I operated in a visual world, so I was all about, well, what am I meant to see? Will I see the shoulder do this, will I see the hind leg do this, will I see the neck do this?
And I didn't know how to get into my kinesthetic frame of operating in a world. I just kept going, well, what do I want to see? And a lot os riders are like that. Because then if all we can see is all that we fix, what, what can we see when we're riding a horse, the neck, that's all that we see. So with fiddling with the neck and we want the neck to be right. And that was me when I was first learning to ride. I was like, Oh, you know, just put the horse on the bit. And I was worried so much about the neck and I had no idea that the neck was connected to the back and the back was connected to the hind leg. And to get the neck to do something, I had to get the hind leg to do something to get in the back, to do something which would then make the neck do something.
Yeah. So I'm getting away from half halts, but I'm just trying to show you that because all I was worried about was what I was seeing, it was severely limiting me and severely lacking in my progress as a rider. So I didn't progress if I continued to only base my riding based on what I could see or based on what I could see in front of me, because I didn't have an arena, I didn't have mirrors, I didn't have anything. So all I could say was what I could say when I'm on a horse. So I had to start getting into my kinesthetic modality and I had to start first retraining my beliefs because my beliefs were, I can't feel, I can't feel, I can't feel when the coach says, you know, who's had coaches, you know, can you feel you're on the wrong diagonal?
No. If I felt I was on the, the wrong diagonal, do you think I would have changed it? I can't feel it. You know, or I'd look, you know, and the judge would be like, the judge the coach had been, now you're on the correct diagonal. Can you feel that? And I would say, no, I can't feel that. I can't feel that. I can't feel that. I used to have this huge belief. I couldn't feel it, couldn't feel it, can feel it and get it was all too hard. No, I can't feel, I can't feel that if a horse is on the correct lead or not. I can't feel if it's on the wrong, if it's correct or not. I can't, I can't. Woo. No wonder I struggled so much. So I had to really work on my mindset and really trust and believe that I had the capabilities and the, and the, the, the understanding to get this, to feel my way around riding.
So yeah, it was really, really important that I focused on developing my feeling muscle. And so this is when we go back to half halts. How do you know if the half halt is firstly had a, had an impact? Secondly, if it had the impact that you wanted, if it actually happened correctly or not. And then thirdly was it successful? Do you need to do it again? Do you need to do it more? Do you need to do it stronger? Do you need to do it less? What needs to change based on what you just did? All in a feeling modality.
What do I feel? What do I feel when I apply a half halt and do I sometimes feel different things? Cause you probably should. You probably will. You'll be like, you sometimes I do my thing and I feel, I feel, and you'll do this, you'll go, I feel, I feel, what do I feel? You know, when your brain, you'll, you'll be really clumsy. You'll be really hesitant. You'll say a word and you'll be like, Oh, that's not the word I meant. And that's okay because you're, you, you're not used to saying what it is that you're feeling and verbalizing and understanding at a deep level what you're feeling. I was, I was so clumsy when I started this, you know, but it was so important to my progress as a writer because I had to then talk to my coach. I could talk to my coach in a whole different level and be like, Hey, when you're saying half halt, I'm doing this thing.
And sometimes I feel that the horse like nothing changes. I feel like I'm trotting and then you say half halt. And so I will do my thing, which was my wiggle the reins at that time. And the horse, like nothing changes. Now the minute I got to verbalize that and the minute I understood I do A and B happens or A equals B, which was A I wiggle my hands equals B horse does nothing different and keeps trotting in exactly the same way I could go. I guess my half halt isn't effective. I guess it's not. And then when I knew I didn't want B, so first I had to be clear on what did I want and I wanted the horse, yes, to be balanced and to be more on the hind leg or what does that feel like? What does a horse from the four on, on behind like feel like?
And I'd love to hear what you think, but my feeling, my, my verbalization of what that feeling feels like is the horse is light in front. Oh my God, who's heard that light in front? But it is, it is a good explanation of the feeling. So you can either be heavy in front, which to me means heavy on the rein. So I'm feeling five to 10 kilos on the reins and I'm having to hold the horse's head up. That's heavy. On the, on the front end or you can be light and light means I don't feel like there's, there's weight in my hands. I feel that it's light, but I still feel the connection. And then, so that's my first feeling. So I feel that in my reins on my feet, I feel that the horse is breathing with my seat. So if I breathe out and try and, you know, push my seat a bit more, the horse is going forward and when I close my seat and when I breathe you know, like breathe in and you know, bring it all in, the horse is coming more on the spot. Okay. If I feel that he stays light in front when I do that, he's gotta be on the hind leg because then it's not my rein. I haven't had to touch him in the reins for him to do to come back. He's coming back off my seat and the only way he can come off my seat is if the hind legs are active and under. So, okay. That's what I want. That I want all of that. I want to feel that all the time. So how am I going to do that? So if every time I wiggle my reins and if that's everything I want and that equals C. And every time I wiggle my reins I get B, which is no reaction. Horse is still running around. And it feels not, it doesn't, it might not feel heavy on the front end, but it doesn't feel light.
Then I have to try something else because A equals B, but I want it to equal C, and I'm with you. I'm not into math, I don't do algebra. So it's okay, I'm not going to go too much with this algebra stuff. But then you have to go, okay, well if A always equals B, there's no point just going, I want it to equal C, I want A to equal C - you've got to turn that mathematical equation around and go, we'll see equals question mark. And that's the fun. And that is where I love riding because I'm, I get very crystal clear on what's the outcome and then I go what aid and what sequence of what I can do and what strategy of me as a rider can I execute to get C. And that's just called hunting. So you go on a hunt, you go on a treasure hunt and you go, well, if I do this, does it get C?
No, it doesn't. When I roll my shoulders back and sit deep, does that do C when I wiggle my pinky, does that do C when I wiggle my pinky and look to the left, does that give C and I just go through, I was doing it again today. I was having so much fun. I was, you know what, just playing with the horse and I wasn't asking for too much and I was just like, Hmm, I wonder if I can get more expression and more shoulder up and more fluid and more just more, without asking for more, but just by changing how I am. So I was rolling my shoulders even further back. I was then, you know, putting more weight on a certain seat bone and just, just seeing what the horse did. It was really, really fun. As a coach, I stuff up all the time.
I say things that I then go, Ooh, do, does that, does the rider understand that? And I, it took training, it took a huge understanding for me to go, Oh, every time I ask something and the rider doesn't do it, that's my fault. That's on me. That's my bad. And that, that's a time for me to, for me to learn that they don't teach that to you in day one of horse riding instructor school. And they have to, they have to help you understand that if you've explained something 50 times and the rider doesn't get it, it's your fault. It's on you, you fix it. But it, you know, back then I thought if I didn't get it, it was my fault and I stuffed up and I wasn't feeling it. And you know, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's all just, it is what it is.
And I'm sure you've done that in your riding. You've ridden around and you've asked the horse to do something the same way 10 times and haven't got the outcome that you wanted, but yet you're still doing the thing that doesn't work. Einstein's definition of insanity, doing the same thing, but expecting a different result. And all humans do it. We do it based on what I taught you in a previous live about generalizations. We generalize, all things are the same. So we go to the door and we push down the handle and we pull it towards us because that's how doors work. And when it doesn't happen, we tend to just push the handle down and pull it toward us harder we do exactly the same thing. Because our brains take a while to realize, Hey, that's not working. You're going to have to do something different - this is not the same door that you're used to or that you've come across in your past.
So generalizations are awesome for us to handle doors and to handle getting through our life very quickly. But with riding and with, with some things you've got to bring that next level of brain power into it going, hang on, I need to think about this. I can't just operate, I can't just go from what I know. I have to bring that next level in. And that's constantly what I'm forcing myself to do. Going, okay, this is what I think I know and this is what I, this is what I think are the rules around riding or around creating something or the, this is what I think I know about X, but what, what, what, what in here am I missing and what if, what if and what by thinking this, am I not having access to? I remember thinking, I knew everything there was to know about riding horses. Oh, I was probably yeah, 1415 at the time and I thought I knew it all. And then when I learned a little bit more, I went, Oh yeah, I'll know it all in 12 months. And all I can tell you is now riding 20 years, I don't know any of it.
The more, you know, the more you know you don't know, and you get excited and you get curious and you get playful about what you don't know and you go on that treasure hunt or that discovery hunt for the rest of your life.
Okay guys. Well, that was amazingly fun. I'm so glad I could give you something to think about and hopefully a different frame to look at your riding and to look at your training and let's see how that goes. So as I said at the start of this video, I'm here to help you. I'm here to serve you. I'm here for you. If there's anything ever you need, I love you guys more than anything in the world. I want you to know I've got you. Please reach out if there's anything you need.
If you enjoyed today's episode, I would love to invite you to a free dressage class that I am running on this free training. You will learn the reason why most writers don't have progress and don't succeed. You're going to learn the secrets that we use so you can progress faster and easier than you ever dreamed possible. You'll also learn how to ensure you get riding results on any horse, no matter the breed and age. Learn the fastest and easiest method to fast track your riding to become the best rider you can possibly be. And the number one thing you have to make sure you've got to progress and get dressed out results.
So go to www.dressagemastery.com/trainingsecrets to claim a spot in my free class now. Also - Make sure you hit subscribe so you'll never miss a podcast episode and I can't wait to enjoy and spend more time with you on our next podcast.
Podcast Episode 1: Overcoming Fear - Deletions, Distortions and Generalisations
In our very first podcast episode, Natasha shares with you some tools and techniques, looking at a new way of experiencing your world, specifically aimed at horse riders of all disciplines (but it can also be applied to any area of your life), so you can experience your horse riding in a dramatically different way, and start to notice why you are fearful, anxious, worried or having any negative emotional reaction to whatever is going on in your life and in your horse riding, and how you can change it to become confident, happy and ready to take your horse riding and your life to the next level.
Loving Natasha's message and wanting more? Check out our free web class on overcoming fear by CLICKING HERE.
(00:00): Today, I want to share with you a way of looking at how you experience your world, so you can experience your riding in a dramatically different way and start to notice why you're fearful, anxious, worried, or having any negative emotional reaction to whatever's going on in your life and in your riding and how you can change it.
Welcome to the Your Riding Success podcast. My name is Natasha Althoff and I'm a Grand Prix dressage writer 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 bringing you 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.
(00:54): So let's get into today's episode. As always, let's start with what we're grateful for, what we're positive about what we're happy about?
What is one good thing that's happened to you in the last 24 hours?
I thought today we should talk about fear. So let's talk a little bit about why we have fear.
I'd love for you guys to think about that.
Why do we have fear?
Why is fear something that is present?
Just think about that.
Why would we have that as an instinct or have that as an emotion?
What would be the use of that?
So when you think about it, fear is very useful. If I'm standing on top of a building and going, woo, maybe I should jump. Maybe I should just look over there. Maybe I should be a bit careless about where I put my feet.
(01:40): No - my fear instinct kicks in and tells me to be very careful, to probably back away from the tall building and get somewhere safer and preserve my life. Okay. That is what the fear instinct is there to do. Preserve life. The fear instinct is very quick to judge. I don't like fear. It's very quick to judge. I don't like people that are judgmental, but fear is very judgmental. So normally if one thing bad, if like one bad thing happens, the fear instinct goes well, that's real. Like that’s just what happens.
So think about when you were child and depending on your parental controls, they either said, don't touch that, don't touch fire, don't touch fire. It's hot, it's hot. But most likely all of us went to the stove or went to the fire and went, Oh yeah, that's really hot. Now think about how many times did you have to go - “Let me just check. Is it really hot?” and burn yourself again, I wonder if it's not hot this time. Let me check and burn myself again. None of us do that because once we have a bad experience or once we have an understanding of that something hurts or something is bad or something is not desirable or a bad thing can happen, brain goes, yet avoid that.
So we avoid fire or we avoid touching the stove because we know what happened last time we touched a stove and we don't just go with that stove. We generalize. It's every stove now and this metaphor, are you understanding why you might have FP a problem? If you fall off a horse, you'll brain goes, you can fall off a horse and get hurt. So if you fall off a horse once and get hurt, your brain now goes, that's now reality.
(03:33): That now just happens every time. And sometimes it can even say, and it's not just that stove, it's not just that horse, it's every horse. And so this is our instinct. Everyone can agree that they've already done it. They've learnt this around the stove or around fire or around, um, you know, certain things. And this was useful. Think about when we were in caves. We didn't like go pat the sabre tooth tiger and our friend got eaten and we go, Oh, that just happened to Bob. Bad things always happen to Bob. I'm sure it's okay if I go pat the saber tooth tiger. We didn't, we just generalized sabre tooth tigers kill people. Stay away. We didn't need to lose hundreds and thousands of humans in our cave and in our clan to realize, Hmm, maybe we should avoid the sabre tooth tiger.
(04:22): It only had to happen once. And we avoided it when Mary went to go and eat the purple berry that killed her. We didn't go, Oh, well Mary must just have a weird digestive system. Let's just keep eating the purple berries. We went, yeah, that, that, that new purple berry, not so good. Let's stay away from the purple berry. So these instinct has kept us alive. It's why you're here. You are a descendant of this generation of 10,000 years ago that actually survived.
You wouldn't be here if you were like, I'm just going to eat those purple berries and your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather died eating the purple berries so he couldn't pass on the genes to you. Um, to now live in the 21st century going, Oh yeah, that just happened once. So I'm going to be okay with that.
(05:10): So this is where the understanding of how your brain works and how to teach it something new. It's so, so, so, so important. I've talked to a couple of times now about generalizations, so your brains are getting 2 million bits of information at any one time.
As you're hearing me speak, you're also feeling the sensation of the socks on your feet. You're feeling the sensation of the clothes on your back. You might be hearing the noise of birds or typewriter keys or music playing in the background. You might be thinking your own thoughts as you're hearing me speak. You might be having reactions in your own inner dialogue of what I'm talking about and what I'm saying.
So there's a lot going on and we'd go a little bit cuckoo. Crazy if we were focusing, if I was like, yeah, yeah, I'm wearing clothes and I'm hearing this and I'm sensing this and I'm thinking this… It's an overload on our senses. So our brain goes very nicely where you can't, you're smart, but you're not that smart. You can't possibly process and deal with 2 million bits of information at any one time. So I'm going to cut that down to seven plus or minus two chunks of information.
So this is where I love it because when people go, this is what happened, or this is the truth, or this is the absolute reality of the situation. I just laughed my head off because it's not true. It's your version. It is not the reality. It is impossible to experience reality, which gets me super excited. Cause if it's impossible to experience reality, we all live delusions.
(06:46): And if it's, if we're all living delusions believing that they are reality, I therefore can choose my delusion and I can choose what I filter in and what I filter out. I've gone deep really quick, really early. How are you guys going? Um, so anyway, back to this 2 million bits of information can experience reality. We're all delusional. So how do, how does our brain figure out which seven chunks to give us?
It's based on our value system. Our belief systems, our masculine feminine energy, our values, previous events, which normally then shape our beliefs and all of those, it's like a sieve with a filter system and out spits out the seven plus or minus two chunks and everything else is either deleted, distorted, or generalized.
So a generalisation is “all stoves burn me” the generalization - you have not experienced every stove in the world. So it's actually false fear to say stoves burn me because you don't know. But, you hadn't experienced with a stove. It gave you that reaction. So you just generalize. Stoves burn, I'm going to stay away and it's a good thing. Does anyone ever get to a door and they're going up to the door and they, they see a door handle and they freak out They go “oh my God it’s a door handle. I didn't know what to do. I don't know what to do about this. Do I pull, do I give? Do I? I didn't know what to do. I didn't know today what should I do?”
(08:19): No, we've experienced a door handle before. We know what to do with the door handle. So all we do when we see a new door, because we see new doors all the time and whoever does this - like I get sometimes confused with the push and the pull and I'm just pulling, when it says push - they are both “p”words. Maybe it's just a me thing. I'll just, I'll just live in my deluded world that it’s an everybody thing, when actually it’s a me thing.
But anyway, we were at the door and we, we don't stress, we don't freak out. We just assume, generalize the door will like most doors and we push the handle down and we pull it towards us or we push it away from us, whichever one - but we don't freak out. So a generalization is very useful when it comes to getting through the world and getting through what we need to get through.
(09:09): But it's not so helpful when we generalize that in the wind all horses play up, or all young horses do crazy things, or all chestnut mares are bad, or whatever it is that we generalize in the horse world. So I am very very particular when it comes to my generalizations in the horse world, because it's not okay normally to generalize here.
So you've got to become like a decoder of information and go and seek, you know, that new reality. Yeah. That's, that's the generalization.
The next point is the deletion, who's ever been, um, hanging out with their partner. And maybe you've gone to a party or you're listening to the radio and… let's say you were at a party and you meet this guy and you're like, Bob's, you like to do Bob's boring. You don’t like Bob.
And you leave the party and your partner’s like, wasn't Bob amazing? And you're like, really? I didn't think he was. Yeah. Isn’t he amazing, and he rides a motorbike and he's done the blah blah trial twice. And um, he, uh, rode a bike from the West coast to the East coast. And I just think it's amazing. And, um, I can't believe he's done that and he's really, really cool.
And you're like, Oh, I didn't even really hear that he did that because your brain deletes all things motorcycle, not important to you, but maybe it's really important to your partner. So he hung on every word and he didn't delete any of the conversation because his RAS, the hook in the back of his brain said, this information is important to him, therefore I need to hear it. It's the same when we, um, you know, recite back to our husband everything about the horse world everything that we heard, you know, we might take our partner to Equitana or to a horse competition. And we're like, wasn't it amazing when this happened? Or when this was said, and they're like, Oh, I don't remember that. I didn't hear that.
Now what's the reality?
Was it said or not?
Of course it was, but his RAS says, Oh, it's horse. Delete, delete, delete, delete. It's not important.
Yeah, I love it. I love uncovering, I'm a real discoverer. I love hanging out with Phil or hanging out with other people in my life that are very different to me because they give me a whole different of version of reality over the experience or of a new thing. So obviously there's a lot going on in the news right now. We all have an opinion on that. So therefore, when we hear the news, we're going to filter in more of the news that, that agrees with already our preconceived preconception of what the reality of the situation is.
(11:50): So if you're fearful right now, if you're worried right now and your believing that this is a horrible thing that could, and I'm not, I'm not saying that that's wrong, but if you believing that this is all this, you know, it's bad and it's wrong and it's horrible and it's, it's, you know, Armageddon and it's coming.
When you listen to the news, you're gonna pick up the death rates, you're going to pick up the, the how many people have it. You're going to pick up all the worst parts.
Whereas if I'm coming with a filter of um, wow, this is really, um, uh, an amazing time in history, what an opportunity to pull together as a community and as a, as a world unit. What um, an amazing, uh, time to show love and gratitude to the people that help us and look after us in terms of, uh, the truck drivers and the medical teams and all these people that help us get food and, and health care.
(12:45): And I listened to the news, I'm going to pick up the stat, all of who helped someone and who's done amazing things and what good things are happening out there. The reality is there is some horribly bad, shockingly scary things happening out there and there's amazing, beautiful, wonderful lifting up things that are happening out there and they're both happening at the same time.
And your job is to make sure that you're trying to keep your filter system as open as possible to get that in. And like I said, we are master deleters. So if anyone ever says this is what happened, you know, that's why I find the court system and the jury system fascinating because they're trying to uncover the deletions.
But when you don't think it's a deletion, when you just think it's the reality, it's a bit complicated. So think about in your riding, what do you, so we talked about the generalizations.
(13:40): What are some deletions that you're doing, you know, deleting when your horse was good and only remembering when your horse was naughty. Deleting when your coach said good job and only remembering when she berated you for not bringing your shoulders back.
What are you deleting when um, all the rides you've done in the wind and the horse has being fine. Normally I find with people that have fear they have deleted a lot of the good stuff. Just try that on for a second.
If I actually thought about what I could do rather than what I couldn't, how would everything in my life change, which is why I really dig what I do.
And I love helping people in my fearless program because I don't just help them. And when someone asks me for ABC, I give them the alphabet. That's my duty. That's my job.
(14:24): So when people come into FearLESS mastery, I think I'm just going to help them overcome their fear and riding. No - I’m going to help you change your relationship with yourself and with fear in every single part of your brain and in every single part of your life.
So you can go and live a full life and rock and frickin roll because that's what we're here to do.
Cool cool cool - so, I've talked about generalizations. I've talked about deletions and now I need to talk about distortions and you're going distortions - I don’t distort reality. I just experience reality. No, you distort it all the time.
Who's ever had a bowl of ice cream and then their husband said, how much ice cream did you have? And you got this much when it was this much?
Who has ever ridden their horse. And maybe they're a little bit fearful or a little bit anxious when they're riding and their horse does a little pig root and you say, my horse bucked or their horse does like little mini rear and then they go, my horse reared or my horse bolted all my hole bolted. But did they bolt or did they just go in extended canter?
(15:33): Okay. So, um, and how is this a problem? Well, again, distortion helped our brains learn quicker. So, um, when things were bad, they were really bad and when things were good, they were really good.
It doesn't work so well in relationships. You know, when we distort the good feelings and the good endorphins and the good things that are happening, we're really, he's not, he's not the right guy for you.
That's a whole other story, whole other thing. But when it comes to our riding, you need to get clear on what your distortions are, who's ever ridden through a test and distorted how badly the test is going. And then that influences you and makes you ride the test even worse and worse as you go through it. But when you get out, but if your whoever's around goes, actually didn't look that bad.
(16:19): Okay. So it's very important. That's why I ride with mirrors. I don't know what the reality is. Let's have a look. But then obviously even my reality of the… so we can distort the feeling we get - Oh, we felt like the buck was huge. Or we felt that the rear was huge or we, um, uh, actually even see it and we see it as bigger as what it was. Cause you haven't realized, you haven't learned how your brain works. No one teaches this in schools. I don't know why. Um, so that's why it's my duty to teach you. That's what I'm going live every day to help you and to teach you and to help you, you know, understand what your it is that you're doing. And that's why you might be experiencing a reality of fear in your riding or anxiety when you do something or pain or sadness or depression or anger or worriedness, all of these emotions you get -emotions don't just arrive. I know you think they do. God, I'm going deep.
I know you think the emotion just arrived magically, but it didn't. The emotion came because of something you thought, Oh, I know it's deep. I'm not a psychologist. I'm not really into psychology. This is pure, just NLP is all based around, um, methodology, a success framework. So, um, I just do what works and believe in my deluded world.
Really. Okay. Beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful. I love it. So I trust that has helped today.
I don't know even know how we got onto deleting, distorting, generalizing. Because I told you 2 million bits of information come at you and therefore the reality, your experience is your seven plus or minus chunks, seven plus or minus two chunks of information and that seven plus or minus two chunks of information, what those seven chunks are is determined by what you deleted, what you distorted and what you generalized and what you deleted distorted and generalized is influenced by your beliefs, by your values, by your past events, by your masculine, feminine energy, by your experience in time and space, all these kinds of cool stuff.
As always, please share any, anything you would like me to talk about, anything you would like me to share. I'm an open book. I'm here to help you and I'm here to help us all get through this.
I hope you enjoy today's episode. I had so much fun at bringing it to you and for you.