Issue 11 · 2013
Have you ever been anxious about how an event might turn out?
Have you ever been aggravated about something someone said, or
something that just happened? Oh, baby! I have. Have you ever heard
the thought that our personal power is in the moment? The "now"? I
have. I strive to stay there. Being in the now takes focus, and peace,
and patience. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. But, I always
know that the present moment is the place to be. What that means,
is when you ride, no matter what has happened before, or what you
hope might be coming down the pike in the future, your job is in this
very moment ... right here, and right now. This moment is all there is,
even though it can be a challenge to stay anchored in the now. When
you do stay in the present by breathing ... focusing on your job ... see-
ing good outcomes in your mind just prior to taking action ... it takes
all the pressure off of things that are out of your control that either
happened before, or you fear may happen soon.
Here's the deal ... when you digress into the past, or project into the
future, challenges appear. Fear is always about the future. Unless
you are a genie in a bottle, you do not know what the future holds.
And truly, it is not your job to know. Your job is this present moment.
Anger is always about the past. It's about trying to right some wrong
that's already happened. However, the event is over, done, complete.
Nothing you, or anyone else can do right now will change it. Anger
depletes your personal power in the moment. If you feel you must
right the wrong in some manner, wait until your current riding time is
done. Do not distract yourself with something that can be dealt with
in its own appropriate time and place ... later. There's always time ...
no matter how revved up you are right now ... there's time to resolve
it later. Get back to the moment.
Life and riding is a string of current right-nows. Keep riding where the
good stuff lies ... in this moment.
1) Trusting your horse will make so many other things fall into place.
You won't be anxious. You won't try to keep things from going wrong,
(which always brings about other issues). When it's time to show, it's
time to trust your horse. When you trust, you will have more respon-
siveness to the situation, and more of that elusive thing, "feel". You
are there to support him, and be with him in the moment.
2) Making baby-step improvements is what riding is all about. Go for
progress, not perfection. You are no different than every other person
who goes through the same. Learning in small increments sometimes
feels like no progress, but it is there if you can relax, see the minutia,
and know all is well. That's how the system of getting better is set up!
3) It's more damaging to think self-degrading thoughts about a mis-
take you made, than to fret about a negative opinion from someone
else about that same thing. Mistakes are meant to be the next place
where you will focus your learning. Beyond that they have no other
purpose. If you want something bad enough, you are always good
enough to work hard enough to achieve it.
4) The way it works in cutting seems counter-intuitive. The turn
should feel slow. Once you are on the line, there should be a smooth
surge of energy to a crisp, deep stop that controls the cow. Then it
should feel slow again (almost suspended) as the horse stays on his
haunches and both you and your horse wait for the cow to make the
next move. It feels much more natural to feel excited in the stop
wanting to move, hurry through the turn, and trickle to a stop. To get
the right rhythm, it's all about being patient with yourself to find it.
Once you find it, you will crave it forever.
5) When you watch cattle, there are four main times to watch them.
Watch as they are being settled. Watch as fresh cattle return to the
herd on other riders' cuts. Watch fresh cattle behind the cutter as he
or she is showing. When you are really studying cattle, there's not
much time for watching other people's horses.
by Barbra Schulte
Barbra is a personal performance coach for all riders, a cutting
horse trainer, author, speaker, clinician and 2012 National Cowgirl
Hall of Fame Inductee. Visit her Blog and signup to receive her
FREE monthly email newsletter, "News From Barbra". You
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VS. FEAR & ANGER
This month's cutting tips from Barbra: