Monday, December 10, 2012

USEA Convention High Performance Meeting Notes

Dec. 6 2012 High Performance Meeting (Am Session) The ROAD TO EXCELLENCE What does it take to get to the top? -our sport is different, not a lot of education through the levels. Very systematic. How do they talk about their coaches, plans, progressing an athlete? We need to pay more attention to this. We aren't any more special....the horses is just something that we do. -do you study like a professional? How much time do you spend in a classroom? Football, basketball, hockey spend a TON of time in the classroom! -we all need to have a unilateral sense of vocab (ie: impulsion---> if you ask four riders they have differing opinions as to what “impulsion” is) *HOW GOOD DO YOU WANT TO BE? -do you want to be an olympian? what does that mean to you? -do you want to be number one in the world? What does that mean to you? -Motivation is KEY. These things have to be out in front of you to keep that motivation! -team player? Good? Teacher? instructor? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?! -being an olympian isn't enough. If you’re number one in the world then you’re going to be an olympian (these are not the same) -10,000 ppl at the olympic games. only 250 gold medals! The process of being an olympian is key which makes the motivation part HUGE ---> constant struggle -Out of the struggle comes the theoretical process WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO THE TOP? ambition-the unwillingness NOT to be good. Ambition is the DRIVER Intelligence/emotional control-you have to beat the game. Your horse has no idea so you have to be able to get them there and when the game changes, you need to be able to change technique-how it is received in an instinctual moment selection appropriate horses-they’re the athlete on the day. In training it’s 80% rider/20% horse....the opposite on competition day Horse Management/Time Management-have to be able to allot your time appropriately. Is Michael Jordan answering a phone call mid practice? Need to take a section of your day to be realistic and train for YOURSELF! This is respect! talent- the least important part. ***The Talent Code-Good book to READ!!!! (10,000 hours it takes to become successful) DO YOU “GET IT”? do you understand the sacrifice it takes to be the best? This game is about winning, being the best are you willing to invest everything you have in that process? In a quiet time in your season go back and re-assess....evaluation time TWO WORDS FOR IMPROVEMENT: 1.Awareness-awareness of the time and your weaknesses, the awareness of what’s happening to you at the moment. Do you notice what’s happening underneath you at the time?? Are you reacting to the thing that actually happened underneath you. a.Perceiving things as they actually are b.Self awareness is recognizing those internal factors that distort the ones own perception of reality 2.Responsibility- the correct action is taken in a moment. Has to be repeatable.The correct action to set up everything LEVELS OF LEARNING: (5 levels) Technique-legs, seat, hands, voice, opening reins, what are their actions? Very important a.use a video- watch yourself not your horse and others you want to emulate (chose someone that’s your body style)I should watch Sinead or KOC use of Dartfish Technology-sports analysis program (visual cue for technique) use of mirrors-make sure it’s specific use of coaches-another set of eyes on the ground. tell them what you need to work on use someone else’s video for imitation-watch other competitions use of visualization-the sports psychology part Theory-theory of exercises and the effects on horses the step by step process that leads to competitive excellence your position to communicate-your seat is by far the most important thing! appropriate exercises for the level of the horse use of aids-what are they, when do you use them? the indiv. control (core strength and core flexibility) timing of aids-has to be an intellectual thought process search the internet for all theoretical thought processes g. BOOKS: The Principles of Riding and Advanced Techniques of Dressage (have to get these books asap!!!!) Both from the German school of riding Instinct-the ability to react without thinking about it. Riding ends up being about instinct (this is the section that we have to fill) the ability to react properly without thinking about it technique must be perfect-what does Tiger Woods practice the most? The simplest technique so that it’s pure in competition you must let go of thinking about technique sport psychology-creates a trigger that gives you a mind set (What is my trigger that puts me into the mind frame that puts me back into the awareness?) Going into an environment that we don't get to practice so we need a trigger to lock out part of the world AFTER THESE THREE THINGS THIS IS WHERE THE AMATEURS DROP OFF Intuition/Philosophy a.what are your most basic beliefs that are unchangeable for you that drives how you train and compete your horses? (is it all about horses instinct? Communication? The more I have communication the less I say) This is where you become a student of the sport. This is your core being of being a horse person. Imagination not teachable- Can you see the “field” differently? Can you make inside turns and lines dependent upon the horse you’re on? the ability to process multiple inputs without thinking of them and setting up a plan instinctively (two sides to the equation. did you miss the moment? if not, did you get an answer?) confidence in technique and what you can do (nobody in this country that has THIS in all three phases) a mind set (not teachable)-you dont know what Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods was going to do when they were in their A game a study of preparing your body and mind... ***Where am I on this scale??? Then there’s a plan forward....have to accept where I am now (be honest) Use of Coaches: -to achieve your goals -to prefect technique -put into your words the theoretical process -step by step process of goal achievement -creating necessary tools -timing for tools for situations -assessment of horses (a horse that’s suitable for you) GOAL SETTING: -set both long and short term goals -look at small achievements on a daily basis, not at the total picture everyday. The pieces of the puzzle (steps in the corners, small goals) If you don’t decide that before, how are you going to judge whether you got there?! -over a day, week, month, year, multiple years. Dec. 6 2012 High Performance Meeting (Pm Session) The ROAD TO EXCELLENCE THEORY: How do we communicate to our horses? -position-make sure the ppl that you choose to help you understand that we are doing three phases. Make sure that when the specialist ppl are understanding more than life in a box (pure dressage is aggressively more forward. With jumpers, they can be more aggressive bc of the indoor aspects they were going through) -parts of the body (use of the weights and use of the hands) 1. below the knee-puts energy into the system 2. above the knee to ribcage-the whole thing is the seat (you can move this part without it effecting the rest of the parts) core strength and flexibility are vital 3. ribcage to top of head-turning and use of weight with your hands at the end (for turning, shoulder in, half pass etc) -the reward to the horse is the release of the pressure. the aspect of communicating with them is some form of putting on and taking off pressure which is why the use of the hands is an important part of the pitfalls you can find with training in yours. Are you overusing your hands or is your horse ignoring you? -dressage is supposed to be more and more subtle over time -if there’s movement all the time you end up making horse’s mouth’s hard. -the horses have to understand that GIVE (the soften when the horse chooses to do the thing you ask, when you soften they are willing to go back there again and again)Most important tool -Use of Legs---> dressage vs jumping -the ratio of your aids will change from dressage to show -the lower leg becomes more important higher the jumping and the less the seat is important and vice versa -Pressure and release of pressure: when I use this single aid, this is the single response I want. The idea of making it simple has to be very important to the trainer. Horses aren’t reasoning this out, this is up to the rider to solve. Timing is key in the release of the pressure. 5 PARTS OF THE TRAINING SCALE (this is what we get judged by in dressage) *rhythm-more about purity and rhythm of the gaits. The purity of gaits when you go to change something, does the horse lose its rhythm. Walk and canter is more prominent (stay away from a horse with a natural four-beat canter) *looseness/suppleness-how the horse is using his whole body. Lateral suppleness behind in the ability for them to cross and engage themselves is imperative Walk and trot are symmetrical...canter is not. Horses naturally bend to the outside so that they can give their inside hind leg more room to move so it doesn't have to bend so they can remain balanced. They use their head and neck as a counterbalance *contact/acceptance of aids-acceptance of the bit, if there’s a change, do they change? Contact is a big issue in this country. Quality of a still and a relaxed contacts is lacking *impulsion-willingness to go forward over their back with a looseness in their body. Is the horse taking you? “Out in front of the leg” There are different factors as you go forward. *Straightness-it’s about pushing off evenly in their step. The physicality of a horse, we are all stiff on one side or the other we have to be able to touch our toes so we don’t have tight hamstrings *collection- if you have all the previous things, then the collection comes. It’s given to you then but cannot be truly collected if lacking on any of the other steps. FRAMES -stretching:dressage gymnastics (the lowering of the neck NOT the closing of the angle) -helps to strengthen their back muscles (a long muscle that his skeleton hangs off of) ex. Rembrandt changed dressage, he was the first horse that exemplified lightness and softness not just power stuff. -harder for event horses in the canter. They need strength over their back, not FITNESS. -strength training we talk about reps, make sure the dressage training is similar -if not correct then we cause problems (lameness and mental) -if you give the reins forward and the horse doesn't follow you don't have them -show frame can be false -by switching back from the show and long and low frame it makes the horse better and gives the ability to relax them and works on their strengthening and hones the communication that you have between your horse -Definition of thoroughness: THE HALF HALT 1. Have to create the half halt: -different types based on the horse you’re riding -on the younger horse it’s to change the length of stride -in the end you have the rebalance -and to help increase cadence -body has to go first before the hands -by changing the tempo of your posting, the horse will soon change his tempo to your posting (haven’t used the hands) the lifting of the cadence -you have to create the tool 2.where do you use the half halt: LATERAL WORK leg yield-front leg and the hind leg cross, bend going away from the direction you travel. Suppleness exercise (it is the touching the toes exercise) not a weight carrying exercise, it increases engagement (4 tracks) shoulder in-hind legs don’t cross, the hips stay square to the line and bend still similar to the leg yield. This is a weight bearing exercise! (3 tracks) haunches in- can be on both 3 and 4 tracks (it can have more angle to show the difference in angle) Shoulder fore-inside front leg and inside hind leg on the same line, a slight flection. Takes the outside front leg in the middle of the tracks between the hind leg and less bend through the body Pirouette in walk-the inside hind leg steps up and down but stays in the same place. Practice 90 degrees walk out no longer so they don’t plant or get stuck (the turn on haunches allows inside hind leg to walk on a small one meter circle) Working pirouette-the haunches are on a 5/6 meter circle, bringing forehand back over the top of the inside hind leg. Bringing the front around in a haunches-in exercise really helps to teach them collection 90 degree turns are very important Dressage horses have more sustained elevation whereas the event horse have same collection just not as long of elevation. (big difference) Half Pass-haunches in on a diagonal bent towards direction they want to go -turn on the forehand is a good exercise about yielding from the leg. On a bigger circle, not in place EXERCISES -simple change through the trot (as horses go up the level this becomes a very very difficult exercise, huge exercise for looseness and letting go, needs to be more practiced) -simple change through the walk (3-5 steps) make sure the walk is established -flying changes (the position of the hindquarter is extremely important. inside hip to inside hip) -quality of aids that ends up becoming important through the levels (if youre losing the hind quarters in simple changes youll never be able to do it in the flying changes--> practice with tennis balls) -Halt (horses need to be more patient to stand there and not too rushed. Make sure they are comfortable....if they get nervous walk forward give them a place do it again and so on and so on) -Rein Back-halt, relax then rein back. They need to be separate in your mind. DOC doesn't want to see the rider’s leg go back. Use the reins alternating to control the front end -Always practice above the level in which you’re showing (4 star horses should be doing tempi changes, pirouettes) LENGTH OF STRIDES -gradual changes to immediate changes -pendulum of elasticity -working -shortening/lengthening -collection/medium -passage/extension ***make sure you work on both sides of the pendulum TEST RIDING -use of corners (thanks KIM!) 5 steps in the corner (the coiled feeling you have in the corner that the horses are READY) horses normally want to release the pressure by stepping on the outside in the corner (gets lost in the third step in the corner) which makes you come out of the corner RECOVERING the deeper in the corner the more advanced the horse is in his training watching the horses go down the centerline and turn to the corner they step out the three lines -use of the shoulder in -use of the haunches in -the use of shoulder fore -what do horses do naturally? Straightness issue. Must realize what they do naturally and the type of straightness you need and understanding where the hind legs actually ARE!!! DEFINITIONS -straightness -impulsion -engagement -cadence-lift in movement (has the ability strength wise to carry the weight) -western world wants an immediate reaction to the aid and we want to change the gaits JUMPING POSITIONS -three positions two point half seat full seat USE OF AIDS FOR JUMPING -more lower leg (thigh is no part of this except for creating structure of your position -use of weight through your own back (being able to use strength of your position instead of just your hands. Use back instead of hands) Event riders are more handsy than show jumpers bc they have far more strength in back and are more consistent (when you land from a jump are you rebalancing hands or landing with them on horse’s whither?) -important to keep hands as still as possible so the horse can pay attention to the rail WHAT DO YOU NEED TO JUMP A FENCE? -direction -speed -rhythm quality of canter (impulsion) -balance -timing (recognize the distance not LOOK) -the same thoroughness as dressage in their back so they can use themselves LINES IN SHOW JUMPING -straight related -bending -accuracy not only for a single fence but also how you jump into a line or combination (we have roll backs, straight lines, 6 stride, combination then another 6 stride....need to commit ourself into that line so we create a canter that produces a good shape) THIS IS IN EVERY COURSE! Just long enough distance to panic! Dec. 7 2012 High Performance Meeting The ROAD TO EXCELLENCE JUDGING EXCELLENCE:(expectations of selection and the process of selections) -the fight to beat the game is what determines who represents the USA in the Games, the Worlds and the Pan Ams. The FIGHT is important ***HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THOSE 5/6 PEOPLE? The Selection Committee Separation and independence- these ppl are judges The selectors will not be the primary source of information-DOC will be the primary source! The selectors have to be independent so they can judge us fairly 4-5 selectors, plus 4-5 scouts (they’ve had a direct appt onto that committee) Veterinarians Create a vet team-more of a team that can go with us on indiv trips No evaluations after CCIs in 2013- the evaluations will not be during training sessions so that it’s more preventive Evaluations during training sessions Evaluations before public money spent on you Vet team and DOC will be in barns ALOT at competitions Transparency has to work both ways (ex. movie GI Jane--> “Are you hurt or are you injured?” GET USED TO THIS PHRASE) If there is a horse that’s hurt, we can do something about it whereas if he’s injured we need to come up with a plan to get him better . We have to make sure that our score will BENEFIT the USA. Trust is key! Trust takes a long time to build but about 30 seconds to kill Farriers Steve to head the farrier team although he won’t have to be the one that has to tack the shoe on Several farriers for trips (similar to vets) No one is going to give up their practice all the time to do as many trips as we are talking about so have to split it up and increase the team player SELECTION TIMELINE: -Application deadline for trips up to July 1 will be March 15 (these are soft numbers) Decisions will be made IMMEDIATELY AFTER deadline!!! Want it to be early enough so that you can plan and you have the chance to raise money (the grants will be $20,000 so will pay for horse flights and our own and that’s it.) -Application deadline for events July 1-Nov 1 will be July 1 -2013: as above -2014: For WEG decisions by July 1 (make the team earlier to build camaraderie and increase team morale) -2015: for Pan Am Games decisions by June 15 -2016: for Olympic Games decisions by June 15 (we aren't going to wait until the entry deadline to name the team anymore) SELECTION PROCESS: -Naming the team earlier -Subjective decision by selectors to remove someone from the squad for reasons other than soundness (human nature warning: happens to a lot with first timers) loss of form (are you prepared?) Not preparing horse to necessity (most likely at that time you’re not going to agree with it) Code of conduct (Olympic fever is a TRUE disease) If the system is challenged, then it will revert back to the older system of last minute selections (there’s some duplicity here) An intellectual and emotional change FIRST TIME THIS HAS BEEN DONE EXPECTATION: (THIS IS THE FIRST GOAL) a. Better than 70% for dressage (this is a 7) WE WANT TO START HERE! This is your body of work (national horse trials: around a 30 international horse trials: around a 45) So when you come out of a test on your training horse, was this test around a 70%? If this horse is with you over 4 months, then you should be getting AT LEAST a 70% in your body of work at EVERY LEVEL! Would this have benefitted the USA? Put the pressure on yourself because we are an island. We are competing against ourselves and we can get comfortable. DOC isn’t just interested that we win, but he wants us to be winning well!!!! XC-the ability to quick and clean in any situation (within ten seconds) You’ll have to tell DOC how fast you’re going to go before you leave start box so we can judge ourselves in proximity to our expectations. When you’ve made the decision, you have the ability to go quick and clean SJ-the ability to jump clean in many situations, horse’s comfort level, surfaces and weather (never more than one rail)DO YOU HAVE A BIG DAY TEMPERAMENT? SELECTION SYSTEM: (what are the subjective elements? Need a quantitative number to a subjective decision) -mix of objective and subjective criteria -can we have a sub number for sub criteria? -can we create a guide to make this decision? OBJECTIVE CRITERIA: -dressage score as a percentage (ie. 7.5) -XC score 1-10 -10 points for a clear round -2 points off for each stop -0 points for DNF -1 point off for every ten seconds below fastest time of day -as a whole the XC could get to 15 -SJ score 1-10 -2 points off for 1 rail -3 points off for 2nd rail -4 points off for 3rd rail SOUNDNESS: -1-10 ten being totally sound -Decided by veterinary panel including treating vet SUBJECTIVE CRITERIA: (Done as a combination of one horse and rider and only INTERNATIONAL HT not NATIONAL) -Character: does this rider have a positive or negative effect in a team environment? (1-5) how do you handle stress? travel? How do you handle not being the primary individual anymore? -WIll and Ability to win. BIG DAY TEMPERAMENT (1-5) -Experience in CCIs and teams (1-5) -Type of combination for planned event (1-5) -Rider instinct/technique (1-3) -Rider fitness.....our own soundness (1-3) -going to try to have fitness evals 5-6 times per year (injury prevention) -four star xc results will have objective criteria and soundness multiplied by 1.5 -for 4 star: 70% obj. 30% sub. -for 3 star: 60% obj., 40% sub -CIC system -CCI*** system -CCI**** system -Used as a guide for selection decisions. -Information could be given to rider and to owners (want to be able to hand it back to you) -Not the actual final selection process however