"The Bubble" A Mindfulness Workshop for Parents and Children
This unique workshop is designed for parents who have a pivotal role in the riding experience of their children, and who are always striving to improve their quality of life and learning for their family.
Having the horse, child and parent together during the workshop allows the family to learn new skills, techniques and strategies to create an environment where all involved are enjoying themselves as well as really getting down to the nitty gritty of changes that can be made to improve the overall performance of "The Bubble" (Horse, Rider and Parent)
Here are some of the topics that will be covered during the day:
Are we all on the same page?
This is a biggie and often overlooked. We have all done goal setting workshops before, often with mixed results. Some goals get achieved, others we only start on for the first few days and they seem to slip by the wayside. Ever wanted to know why that is?
One of the many reasons this happens is that out goals are not always congruent with our values. Our values are emotions or states that we choose to experience on a consistent basis. If on one hand we have a goal that we think we want to achieve, but in order to move towards that goal we need to move away from one of our values then subconsciously our mind will sabotage ourselves so we don't pursue our goal.
When it comes to goals for children, where the parent has a large impact on the eventual success in achieving that goal, it is important that both parties are working towards the same goal thats still staying congruent with their own values and core needs. Conflict can arise when this hasn't been openly discussed and both the parent and child have differing ideas on the end goal, the process to get there as well as the reason for achieving the goal in the first place.
In this workshop we will get clarity around the needs of everyone in the bubble to make sure you are all moving together in the same direction, this allows the pushing and pulling, conflict and frustration to cease so the bubble can then float easily towards the surface.
Mindfulness and Awareness
This topic is another huge area, and one that will impact every part of your and your child's life, not just with the horses. Having the ability to be able to 'hear' the subconscious chatter in our mind, and then learn how to be still, is one of the best ways of being able to propel ourselves towards the things we want most. Being able to chose what we want to listen to and when, will greatly change the emotions we allow ourselves to carry around..
Young children and horses have a tendency to live in the now, meaning they don't look back at the past and aren't needing the future to make everything OK. They are happy where they are, and don't judge themselves for what they choose, or choose not to do. However, as we get older (from teenage years) we begin to criticise and judge ourselves for our choices in the past and will allow resentment, fear and anger to play in our heads over and over and over again, creating depression and pain in various degrees. For some it's just a hardly noticeable annoying hum in the background, for other it can be a dark cloud that follows you around everywhere.
We then are not happy where we are and keep striving for something in the future to fulfill us again, a new job, a lotto win, winning at Sydney Royal, when we sell the house, move to the farm etc etc etc. What we find is when we achieve this thing that is supposed to make us happy, sure we are very happy for the first few weeks, maybe even months we end us being just as sad and dissapionted as before so look for the next new thing to make us happy again.
The solution to this is simple, learning how to be grateful is one big step. This can be a whole lot harder than one might think however, and can take some practise, but is a fun a hugely fulfilling process. This is great for kids and parents to do together, as it can resolve many untalked about conflict in a positive light.
The other step is to reframe the chatter that goes on in our mind. Once we become aware of what we are telling ourselves it is easy to let go, that which does not serve us. Even our kids play tapes over and over in their heads. We are always careful what our children watch or play on the computer but don't make it a priority to know what they are listening to in their minds. Something as small as a comment another child made in the playground, or a misunderstood conversation can impact them for the rest of their lives.
To be able to help out children process all the information that comes at them and help them to decide what is worth listening to and what is not is a great bonding exercise. Using examples and experiences from our own lives helps our little people to see how we have had to let go of pain or resentment and choose to forgive others is such an honour and a pleasure.
During our time together I will give you some cool exercises to help develop these skills.
Using our imagination
Having the ability to let our imagination and creativity run wild, is a great way to create motivational drive. It also allows us to chunk down problems into smaller pieces that we can work through. Our imagination is one of the greatest links to good memory. See my blog.... Are we losing our minds?
Have you ever heard the question - How do you eat an elephant? Well, You start at the tail!
In this workshop I will help you find your imagination again so you can come up with great exercises etc to help your child improve their skills while riding, whether you only have one pole and a cone in your paddock, or whether you only have a small paddock on the side of a hill to ride in. I will help you make the most of whatever you do or don't have
One common answer I hear when I ask the question to a group of kids. "If you were to use one word to describe a dressage test, what word would you use?" More often than not I hear scary, hard, and boring.
When I delve further into this, what keeps coming up, is the fact that most kids struggle to remember their dressage tests, in fact most kids struggle to remember to take their lunch boxes out of their bags at the end of the day, or take a note to school, so what chances do they have of remembering an entire test.
Well the good news is, I have a whole lot of exercises on improving memory as well as helping you and your little people know how exactly you need to learn and store information, as everyone does this a little differently.
Learning dressage tests, and show jumping rounds etc will no longer be a problem, leaving your litle people plenty of head space to concentrate on the performance rather than the direction.
These are skills that will help you children greatly in school as they will be able to retain information so much better. Smart kids are actually smarter, they are simply better able to recall information and I can teach you how to do that too!
These are only some examples of the many topics that will be covered during the day, and all can be tailored to best suit the needs of the parents and little people that are attending.
Sessions during the day will include theory sessions as well as practical sessions where I will work with each parent and child individually to help package together the most important things that will really help "Your Bubble" flourish!
Below is an article referring to the learning styles of horses. I will include some of this content in the workshops so you can have an idea of where you child's horse stands in relation to the color model.
A Chameleon Mindset for your horse
Working with horses can be a hugely rewarding experience. They cause us to move out of our comfort zone, be courageous, teach us the art of compassion, and give us life lessons in humility, and trust.Horses give us more than we can possibly imagine, so how can we make sure we are giving back to our horses by being just the right sort of leader at the right time needed for him?I like to think of it as being a bit of a Chameleon. Asking the question, how is he “being”, and reacting to stimulus at the time, so what do I need to adapt in my behaviour, and response to be just the right sort of partner for him.It is important to understand what is important to your horse, what things he values most and how he likes to live his life. A horse that is motivated by curiosity and play, will feel and respond very differently to a horse that is motivated by comfort and security. Our job as a rider is to match our actions, and energy to what he needs at any given time, it is up to us to rise to the occasion!There are four dominant learning/behaviour styles in horses, however not all horses are conﬁned to the responses in one quadrant, they may lean towards two quadrants, or some will bounce around in all four, so it is important not to put them into boxes, simply understand where that behaviour lies in that moment, and then respond in a manner that will bring out the best in him. Left Brained Extrovert - (BLUE) Values: Appreciation and Play These are your conﬁdant and dominant horses. They're smart, athletic and brave! Many of the best equine athletes will be LBE, however they are harder to manage as they are inclined to be herd leaders, so if you are challenging that, you had better be a worthy leader. Beware, a good leader is not a “boss”, a good leader is someone who you can trust, trust’s you, had integrity and inspires you to do your best through modelling and …….Blue horses are at their best when they are allowed to be ﬂamboyant, and energetic with few rules, but very clear boundaries. Blue horses hate to be nitpicked, and will get frustrated and challenge those rules if they feel they are micro managed. When ridden by a rider who is dominating without understanding his need to interact, will become dull or shut down to keep their dignity. They act like a robot, and lose that spark which is one of the best attributes of a Blue horse.Saying that, if ridden by a rider who is unsure of themselves, or seen as “boring” the blue horse will take advantage of that immediately and dominate the rider. This may be seen as a horse bucking, but without emotion or fear. He simply see’s that the rider is not being a leader, so he might as well be, and have some fun in the process. Blue horses will also rear, but rarely go over backwards. They are too smart for that, and know exactly where their balance point is. The rear will be slow, calm and calculated.Blue horses can handle mistakes. For example if you were to jump a fence and get the distance wrong, and crashed through the fence, he would more than likely come around a second time and jump it quite calmly, however if you were to do them same to a “Red” horse they would be more inclined to stop, or panic.Blue horses beneﬁt most from a rider who is conﬁdant but doesn’t need to play boss all the time. Be a team player, pick your battles, and make sure when you do, you are ready to follow through until the end. Keep the sessions interesting and fun. Ride with self assurance, and ahead of the game. Give him something else to do before he has worked out the pattern. Keep him interested, and keep him active. Staying one step ahead is always a good place to be.BE: Willing to respect his individuality. Let him work “with you” as opposed to “for you”DO: Challenging and interesting sessions, keep it fun.HAVE: A super athlete and willing partner who is in this together.
Left Brained Introvert - (Green) Values: Respect and Food!!! These horses are easily spotted, as they have a whole lot more “whoa” then “go”. They are the ones who tend to put their ears back when being asked to go forwards, and will pop up into a go nowhere canter when asked to offer a bigger trot.Green horses are very food orientated, and often misread as being slow thinkers, or dumb which is quite the opposite to how they really are. Green horses are super smart, and often end up causing the rider to work harder than themselves during a ride. They love being taught tricks, and are great trail riding or conﬁdence building horses.To get the best out of your green horse, you will need to ask less and reward more. When you can create situations where the green horse gets a “win” in the positive sense, meaning a reward for doing something right, they will offer you more the next time. Be careful, the harder you push a green horse, the harder they will push back so motivating a green horse is more about the carrot than the stick. Let him know what is in it for him. Keep sessions short but interesting, with challenges and successes. Your green horse will start offering you more and more of his energy and inspiration.BE: Creative, and inspiringDO: Ask for small efforts, and reward positive efforts early.HAVE: A motivated horse, who is wanting to offer you more.
Right Brained Introvert - (Red) Values: Trust and Connection Red horses are wanting to know they can trust you before they will truly relax. They can be difﬁcult to read, and need time to think and process things. A rule of thumb for a red horse is to go slow, and look after their conﬁdence. Red horses with a calm, dependable and patient rider will be soft and responsive. Red horses want to do the right thing, and value being allowed to ask questions.It takes hours to develop trust in a Red horse, and millisecond to loose it. Red horses will react with more emotion than a left brained horse, meaning a kick, or strike with a front foot will be lightning fast and deadly.Inexperienced handlers get injured when starting young horses, as they will tend to stand still and look as though they are accepting of everything, and then completely blow up with all four feet 2 metres above the ground and snorting like a dragon. On the ﬂip side, if you take your time, let them accept things slowly, you will have a best friend who will go to war for you. A rule of thumb for a Red horse is, they haven't accepted anything fully until they are accepting it whilst moving their feet.
Annyka is a Life, Mindset and Equestrian Coach who has worked within the education industry, in both Primary and Secondary Schools for over 15 years. Previously Head Equestrian Coach at New England Girls School (NEGS) Annyka has worked with riders from the young and fearful to International level as Chef de'quip and Coach of the Australian Team at the Penang International Horse Show in 2015.
Annyka works with a wide range of clients, from High Performance Rugby Referee's, CEO's of large companies, highly functional individuals coping with anxiety, trauma and addiction issues and elite athletes.
One of Annyka's many passions, is working with young children and their families on the spectrum of Autism and ADHD, helping provide an inspirational and educational role in the creative design of strategies to help these beautiful people cope with daily life. Understanding the various needs and emotional boundries of different learners offers an often entertaining and quirky way of looking at learning, where many years of working with difficuilt horses has given her understanding and compassion for those who are struggling.
As a trainer and competitor of Eventers and Show Jumpers, her experience in competition has provided a sound grounding on the need to develop focus, drive and grit in order to move towards peak performance.