27/01/2012

I am writing this on the way to Boneo Park for my first Grand Prix CDI!

I am super excited, and super focussed on where I need to get my horse for the warm up – as the success of the test is determined by the success of my warm up.

I am very lucky I have my coach by my side – he is my husband, and he has never ridden a horse in his life! 🙂 But he is my eyes on the ground – he tells me when I need more, when I make a mistake, and if I am ‘there’. He also loves me unconditionally and doesn’t quite ‘get’ what all the fuss is about – “Just have some fun Tash!” he says! He doesn’t get why I am so intense about it! 🙂 Well – he does, but he thinks I ride better when I don’t care so much!! 🙂

Being at the top, trying to be the best, I need everything I can get. But there were also a couple of years I had no one there at competitions. There is something magical about being there alone, and for those of you reading this saying I don’t have someone there – that’s ok! When you’re alone – it’s just you and the horse. That’s it. And I LOVE that! You’re his best friend, and he is yours, and it’s you two against the world together.

In the stable last night I wrapped my arms around my horse Abe who is my rock, and who allows me to have all these amazing experiences, and I just enjoyed being with him, and allowing his quiet confidence and carefree attitude wash over me.

Whenever I get too ‘externally focussed’ thinking about the test, the movements, the warm-up the blah blah blah… I just quietly remind myself of my ‘why’. Why am I here? Why am I doing this? And the answer is always the same – because I LOVE it, and I LOVE my horse. When I focus on the love, everything else just flows, so while I am in my warm up today I will be intensely focussed on half halts, keep him up, relax the back, let it flow, keep the left rein, soften to the right, use my body, keep my abs, ride more seat, less hand, but every now and then I will smile and just enjoy the ride 🙂

Have a sensational day! 🙂

To Your Success,

Natasha Althoff Signature

Natasha