Highly specific behaviors you do over and over.

This from the New York Times this morning, an article oddly enough from the business section:  Tony Schwartz

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/how-interval-training-can-make-you-incredibly-efficient-at-work/?src=recg

He’s talking about the practice of doing short, intense, focused workouts, as it relates to employment.  (How to not  check in on Facebook every ten minutes but really focus for a period–and then really take a break.)

Mr. Schwartz writes:

“So what’s the trick to overcoming our resistance to pushing ourselves really hard, even for short periods?”

“The answer is fierce prioritization in the form of rituals. Set up highly specific behaviors you do over and over at precise times so they become automatic as quickly as possible and no longer require conscious intention. As the authors Roy Baumeister, Charles Duhigg and others have written, the more we have to think consciously about doing something, the more rapidly we deplete our severely limited reservoir of will and discipline.”

Hmmm. . . . “highly specific behaviors you do over and over at precise times so they become automatic as quickly as possible. . . .” 

“fierce prioritization in the form of rituals.”

That would be just like training dressage. . .

Walk on long reins

Warm up trot

Shoulder in left and right

Freshen the trot

Half pass left and right

Canter

Counter canter

Half pass in canter

Flying changes left and right

Piaffe

Passage

Medium canter

Extended trot

Back to the barn.

(Every single day at the same time.)

“the more we have to think consciously about doing something, the more rapidly we deplete our severely limited reservoir of will and discipline.”

It really does help to do the same thing every day, and if possible at the same time.  If your horse is not ready for the advanced movements in their slots, do things that will eventually prepare them for those movements.

Might be as simple as collect the gait and then send them forward without abandoning the frame. 

Wait a moment, every one of those movements above is just that!

Hmmm. . . . “highly specific behaviors you do over and over at precise times so they become automatic as quickly as possible. . . .” 

Practice, practice, practice!

3 thoughts on “Highly specific behaviors you do over and over.

  1. I’m going to leave a comment on this post and hope others will chime in. Like most of you I have a lot of other things to do besides ride, yet I basically ride every day and often help several other people ride. Most of the time this takes less than three hours–and we may have worked five or six horses. We WORK at making the ride efficient, not wasting each others time, getting the job done. One of my tricks is wearing non-riding specific clothing. I like riding in tall boots, but I also can strap spurs on to paddock boots that I can wear all day. I learned to ride in jeans a long time ago. How? First when I was pregnant. Then after9-11 when the metal strips in the back of my boots made them illegal in an airplane cabin! Gloves are the only thing I think are absolutely necessary. . .

    • I don’t see how your choosing of your outfit makes you a more effective and efficient rider.
      If you switch from the old fashion dressage boots to the ultra modern “Veredus Guanieri” tall boots with boa system, you can practically do anything in your riding outfit, all day long, including taking a flight from London to New York with the boots on!
      Trust me, I have tried this on Business Class to avoid any luggage! I did get the looks, but who cares? 200 years ago all men put on their riding boots (and frock coats) every morning to go to work, in the cities and in the countries. You can pretend you it’s the year 1800, just after the French Revolution!

  2. I like this idea!
    But just to clarify, I don’t think riding in jeans makes one a better rider–riding every day no matter what does. And if you have time to ride, or time to go home and dress for the project, it is better to ride than dress. (Of course this surely depends on what you wear to work–Vive La Revolution!)

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