Building Mental and Emotional Muscle

Building Mental and Emotional Muscle

We talk about mental, emotional, or physical training, but the reality is that the mind, body, and emotions are one.

When we think about something, it impacts our emotions and our body. When we do something physical, it affects our thoughts and feelings. And no matter what we feel, there is a corresponding response in our body and ideas in our mind.

Just as physical muscles can be built, so can mental and emotional muscles. And the process is the same.

For example, we will hit a plateau if we do the same physical exercise routine every day. There won’t be much change, and we won’t get weaker, but we won’t build muscle either.

To get stronger mentally and emotionally, we must expose ourselves to more challenging mental workouts.

How do we do that?

Here are some scenarios for you.

When we are riding well, and everything’s going great, there might seem to be very few emotional challenges. It feels like we’re cruising along, singing a song, side-by-side with our horse. ūüėä

But challenges always come up, both big and small. Maybe we don’t care for the judge, the weather is difficult, the ground is terrible, or we get a stomach bug. All kinds of situations always happen.

But when we embrace the idea that just like working out physically to get stronger, we can get mentally and emotionally stronger through adversity, our entire mindset changes. Hardships become opportunities to grow.

We don’t resist challenges. We access what’s in our control and what’s not. We decide what we can do or what we can learn, but through it all, we never turn on our belief in ourselves or our horses.

We take the opportunity to respond calmly with solutions. We keep believing we are enough and we can do it! We welcome those chances to keep learning but never allow them to break our spirit.

When the inevitable challenges come up, how we respond is what makes us mentally and emotionally more vital – or not.


Smooth Out the End of the Cut

Smooth Out the End of the Cut

One of the most challenging aspects of making cuts in cutting and herdwork classes is how many things are going on at the same time:
    • Staying with our plan and slow on the inside
    • Navigating our horse
    • Making¬†good decisions amid constantly changing cow flow scenarios!
    • Helpers talking a lot at the same time
    • Crazy cows going everywhere!

Here’s what happens sometimes.¬†

 Riders manage to walk into the herd and drive the herd out just fine but then feel pressure when it comes down to the final moments of the actual cut. 
 A chaotic feeling at the end can result in being out of position for the cut, using our hands erratically, stirring our horse up, holding on too long, etc. 
In this video, I talk about three actions you can take to help ensure that the final moments of the cut are smooth and you and your horse are set up for success – not only for the cut – but to begin working the cow:
    • Looking and focusing your eyes correctly
    • Guiding your horse with your feet
    • Talking to yourself as you make the cut
 As you watch this video, have fun using your imagination. You get to decide what color cattle you want to cut. (-:


Identifying Common Breeds and Color

Identifying Common Breeds and Color

In this video, a Lesson from Barb’s¬†CowSmart Course,¬†she walks you through identifying the colors and characteristics of some of the most common breeds of cattle (and crossbreds) often seen in cattle classes. Barb also suggests the following exercise to help you consistently practice identifying typical breeds and crossbreds.¬†


Exercise: Identify That Breed

To keep familiarizing yourself with the breeds, combinations of colors, and types of crossbreds, whenever you see a cow, take a stab at identifying it by color and breed.

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