Welcome to the racetrack round. We ask brilliant riders from around the world 5 questions. Our feature Equestrian is Veronika Gylthe! A talented Junior rider heading for the Big Tour.
JB: What does the first 60 minutes of your day normally look like?
V.G: I wake up and then I go eat breakfast. I also have a coffee because my day won’t work without my coffee. I brush my teeth and brush my hair. I put my pants on and then I go to the stable and start riding.
J.B: And what do you normally have for breakfast? Do you like eggs or cereal?
V.G.:– Yeah oatmeal! Oatmeal with banana.
J.B.:– Almost like the horses, they get there oats and you get your oats for breakfast.
J.B.:– Obviously you’re a coffee person. Do you check your phone first thing when you wake up?
V.G.:– No, I actually wait until I sit with my breakfast. When I’ve finished making my breakfast and I’m siting there with my breakfast and coffee then I have my cell phone time.
J.B.:– Good for you, that’s some really good self-discipline! Do you have one quick fix that we could take to the barn, after listening to this podcast that would make us a better rider today?
V.G.:– Visualisation. I think riders should use more visualisation on shows, and at home. They can visualise how their day should be like and then they can focus more on what they want to do better the next day. If there’s a show that is big that you’ve never been to, you can visualise the ground, the track and how it works.
J.B.:– How do you work that into your schedule? Say you’re at a show and you’ve got a big competition coming up, do you find a quiet place, do you just sit in the stands? How do you set yourself up? do you close your eyes? Is there a process that you set yourself up to go through with your visualisation?
V.G.:– I usually close my eyes, I get in my own little bubble. For example, at the Nordic Championship, I knew that it was a lot bigger show than I usually go to. There’s a lot more people, Norwegian flags, everybody’s cheering for each other and you have to be good every single round.
Before I go to the show, maybe in a truck on the way there, I close my eyes and I try to visualise how everything is going to be. How the team leader is going to talk to me, how everybody is putting more pressure on you than they actually know they’re doing!
Then on the show day, usually after I walk the course, more for myself, I try to see myself riding the course with my horse and make a plan on how I want to ride and how I want it to be.
J.B.:– Yeah, that’s awesome.
Is there a book you think that everyone should read?
V.G.:– There is a Norwegian book called `Bli Beste’ and if I translate it, it says “How to become best”. It’s about mental training and it’s really good. I know that Norwegian skiers have been using it and the Norwegians on skis are the best in the world so it has worked.
It’s about everyday mental training for use in competitions, and people who work 9-5 jobs. It’s really good for how to become even better than you were yesterday, every single day and how to be happy with yourself and develop every single day.
J.B.:– Could you share with us some points that struck you or stood out for you in that book? Could you share with us some of those ideas?
V.G.:– The visualisation I actually started with after reading this book and also how I can control my own mind. If I’m sad you can see it on my body language. If I’m on a show I want to be happy, I want to be ready and I want to be focused. If I control my own body language and thoughts I will get the feelings that I want. So I make the feelings I want by thinking of them.
J.B.:– So when you’re feeling sad you consciously make the decision to be happy?
V.G.:– Yeah, because you can’t control your feelings but your thoughts lead to feelings. That’s why I try to control my thoughts and mind as much as possible.
J.B.:– What is one thing about riding that you wished learned earlier?
V.G.:– Flatwork, good flatwork.
J.B.:– What do you feel is an important aspect of the flat work?
V.G.:– I feel, to have the horse flexible and well-ridden at the flat work. The gas is working; the brakes are working and riding with more riding with small cavaletti’s. The horse should be in the right place and there are so many faults that I’ve had in my career because my horse had not been well enough ridden at the flatwork.
J.B.:– For our last question imagine you wake up one morning and you were a 17 year old working student. You have a place to live; your food and basic needs are all met. You have all the knowledge you have now, but you don’t have a horse. You don’t know anybody and you only have $500. How would you start your new life?
V.G.:– I would start with getting to know people, getting contacts. Then try to set up some auditions for some riders or some horse owners and try to talk them into knowing me, and me knowing them. Just try to make friends and contacts, maybe some horse owners and just show them what I’ve got.
J.B.:– Where would you meet those contacts and people? Where would you go to find them?
V.G.:– I would go to the stables around and maybe find my way to the shows that are close by. One person knows another, and maybe he knows another and getting more and more friends and contacts.
J.B.:– Excellent! Thank you so much V.G.:for joining us today on the Jaxson and Berry podcast. Is there a best way for our audience to get a hold of you or to follow you?
V.G.:– I have an Instagram account @veronikagylthe and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I also have a Facebook page that is, Stall V.