Whether you are a beginner at your first local horse show, or a professional riding at the top of the ranks, improving your performance in the show ring is one of the main goals of competing. At the shows, there are many factors you cannot control, such as the judges personal discretion, the weather and footing, or your horse's particular dislike for the brush box at the base of the oxer. However, you do have control over the decisions that impact how you feel – how you stay energized, focused, and able to ride well.
The following are profiles of individuals that may benefit from health coaching.
“Clair” works long hours as the Marketing Director for a software company, but loves competing in the Adult Amateur Hunters on the weekend. She only rides twice a week after work, so her horse is professionally ridden the other days. Her jammed-packed schedule includes juggling her 2 kids' sporting events, preparing / picking-up quick meals, making time to spend with her husband, and maybe fitting in a workout.
Clair's dream is to be the Zone champion, but in a recent horse show her nerves were shaken. Her fear of being injured was almost realized when she was jumped loose at the in-and-out. With all demands in her life, she feels that she isn't able to focus and excel in any one particular area.
After coming out of the 1.40M jumper class, “Owen” is absolutely wiped out. After a sleepless night in an uncomfortable hotel bed, he was up at 5am to oversee the horses' morning routines and teach lessons before the show. He immediately grabbed a large coffee with sugar and cream, and managed to eat part of a bran muffin moments before the course walk. Attending to his clients needs and ensuring the horses are well prepared is his top priority, and he certainly wants to look his best at the show in front of other trainers and competitors. Although Owen has what he considers the best job in the world, he is exhausted, frustrated and on the road to burning out.
While cleaning her bridle after a no-stirrups flat lesson, “Katie” sips on a sports drink and scrolls through her text messages. She suddenly remembers about the paper due on Friday and realizes that she will have to stay up late that night to turn it in before she leaves school early for the horse show. With the pressure to maintain her grades, spend time with her non-horsey school friends, and still qualify for the equitation finals, Katie finds herself reaching for processed packaged foods and sugary drinks that she can grab on the run. Her acne is getting worse, and although she appreciates the opportunities she has, she finds that she isn't always very happy.
Each one of these riders has their own unique circumstances, life-experiences, body-type and specific goals. Taking into consideration the various aspects of their lives, along with the understanding of dietary patterns and overall wellness, health coaching will support these riders in reaching their individualized vision of health. For example, some of the specific areas these riders may want to improve upon include Clair's desire to get stronger, Owen's need for more energy (through a healthy whole foods diet), and Katie wanting to look and feel better.
In addition to the dietary adjustments and food planning techniques these riders may choose to implement, there are other elements they may want to address as well. Clair may fit in a workout during her kid's sports practices instead of sitting on the bench compulsively checking her blackberry. In Owen's case, he may want to create some strategies that help him to sleep better away from home. Katie may decide she needs to learn some time-management and scheduling skills so she doesn't forget about deadlines or important get-togethers with friends.
Holistic health coaching does not only address dietary concerns, but also encompasses other areas of life that impact how you feel. It is the mission of The Equestrian Health Coach to offer guidance and support to riders of all levels and disciplines who want to gain more energy, improve their diet and lifestyle, and ultimately perform their best at the show.
The Equestrian Health Coach was founded by Kimball Robeson and is a service offered to riders nation-wide. Learn more about one-on-one programs, group sessions, and tele-workshops at www.EquestrianHealthCoach.com or connect with her onwww.facebook.com/EquestrianHealthCoach , www.twitter.com/EqHealthCoach, or through email, Kimball@EqHealthCoach.com. Look for articles and tips from The Equestrian Health Coach in future issues of The Plaid Horse.