They say that to every bad situation, there is some positive aspect. That there is always a shed of light no matter how wrong the case seems to be. This so-called silver lining may sometimes be tough to find, but it is still there.
Even if you are unable to ride at the moment or if you are stuck at home and singing the blues, there is always something you can do. In this article, we would love to bring you some ideas about how to get the most out of your home quarantine.
There hardly seems to be any time left in everyday life. If you feel like you usually do not work out often enough, now is the time to change it! There are plenty of workout videos online – a lot of athletes are now without training, and they upload their fitness routines. For more ideas, you can also use the exercise from our previous article.
If there is typically no time to exercise, there is even lesser time to relax. Use the time you have and try to relax, sleep longer, and catch a breath. When this situation is (hopefully) over, and you are back to competing, your body will thank you. Nobody can go full speed ahead all the time, and the more you relax now, the more you will be able to manage in the future.
Riding, or any sport in that matter, is a mind game. Whether you win or lose depends on the state of your mind. When it comes to a crucial point in a course, your reaction depends on your mindset. Do you believe you can do it, or are you scared and nervous? All of the top-class athletes are mentally tough and train their minds as well as their bodies because the brain can be your best weapon – or your worst enemy. If you focus on your mental training, your brain will never turn against you. There are many great videos about sports psychology on YouTube. If you want something specially made for riders, try "Perfect Mind, Perfect Ride: Sports Psychology for Successful Riding" by Inga Wolframm. This book reveals many secrets about the rider's mind and can help you on your way to becoming a better rider.
Reading is the workout for your brain – keeps it healthy and fit. Many excellent books can inspire you even if you feel like losing all the motivation lately. If you want to see what it takes to become a world-class rider, several biographies are at hand. "The Girl on the Dancing Horse" (Charlotte Dujardin), "Gold: My Autobiography" (Nick Skelton), or "Second Chance" (Mark Todd) are all autobiographies that will inevitably make you believe anything is possible if you work hard enough.
In case you feel like reading something non-horsey, try authors like Rhonda Byrne or Laurent Gounelle. Their books are very engaging yet possessing the power to bring positivity into your life.
Visualization is a way of imagining your round. You think of every detail – how you ride the turn, how much leg you give, or where you look – even before you get on the horse. Science has proved that athletes who visualize their performance beforehand achieve their goals better. It is because when you go through your ride in your head, you stimulate the same regions of your brain as during the actual performance. You do not have only to visualize before you get into a saddle, though. If you have some time to spare without the possibility to ride, find yourself a quiet place and think of the rounds you rode in the past. Try to notice every little detail, and this way, you are a step closer to better performance once you sit on your horse again.
Learn by looking. Find a recorded world-class competition on YouTube (Global Champions Tour, Nations Cups) and look at how the pro riders ride. Notice every detail like their position in the saddle, how they approach different kinds of horses, or how they solve technical parts of a course. Then try to apply it to your riding. "What should I do differently?" "Is there something I can pick over?" "What do I need to learn to get better?" Those are all questions which you should answer if you want to improve!
We hope this article could help you in the time of social distancing and quarantine. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing – you can make it!