Tag Archives: Jane Savoie

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

A new fellow moved into the barn this week. His barn name is Joe, though his registered name is a mile long and beyond my ability to pronounce. We’ve had some interesting conversations. Joe’s been around. He’s very smart and worldly, and a really nice fellow.

Joe and I watched the barn’s farrier working on one of the young horses, and started talking about our experiences with farriers. He told me about a guy who was so sure he knew everything there was to know about feet, that he wouldn’t listen to anyone else. This farrier told the horse owners that HE was the trained professional, and they had to agree with anything and everything he decided to do with their horses’ feet, no questions asked, or they had to find another farrier.

I remembered a saying I once heard, that the dumbest people are the ones who think they know everything. When I shared it with Joe, he started to laugh. He said his owner told the guy the same thing, and then immediately hired a different farrier. While Joe’s person respected the man’s training and experience, she also has a great deal of horse knowledge and experience of her own. She was not about to ignore her responsibility of making sure that her horse had the best care possible. She would not blindly give complete control of her horse’s care over to anyone, no matter how much they claimed to know.

There are two lessons here. One: don’t give your personal power over to anyone, especially if they demand it. The very fact that someone demands blind obedience should make you suspect. Only those who are insecure about their own knowledge or abilities would demand that you follow them without question. Someone who really does know what they are doing would welcome questions as an opportunity to explain.

The second lesson is to remember to always remain the student no matter how accomplished you may be. There is always more to learn. As soon as you think you know it all, your mind closes. Remember: learning, like life, is a process and a journey, not a destination. The mind is like a parachute. To function property, it must be open!

I’m so glad my own farrier is always learning. He’s kept my feet feeling good for a long time. And, when he learns about new techniques or reads the latest research, he’s willing to share it with Jane. That gives her the opportunity to learn as well, and helps her make good decisions regarding my care.

Are you still learning? How could you attain some new information today? Make it your goal to learn something new in the next 24 hours, and then share it with me. Okay? I want to learn too!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

All those things make you feel good right? I used to think so. I used to compliment all the other horses in the barn, thinking I would be helping their self-esteem by reminding them how great they are. But new studies indicate that this may not be the case.

An article by Po Bronson, posted in New York Magazine, states that certain types of praise can have a negative effect on the behavior of people. (For the entire article, go here: http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/.)

A study was done that indicated that if children are constantly told they are “smart” or “talented” or “the best,” it can create a situation in their minds that makes them “risk averse.” They become so sensitive to any task that isn’t immediately easy, that they stop trying. They won’t take risks that might prove to their parents or teachers that they don’t have the natural talent or brains with which they’ve been labeled. In equestrian terms, it takes away their “try.”

So, what should you do instead? Acknowledgement is important and you still want to acknowledge success and effort. However, you can change the way you “praise” by simply stating (with a positive tone in your voice) what action was actually completed, without the qualitative words like “good,” “best,” “smart,” or “talented.”

What’s the difference? Instead of saying something like “You’re really good at lead changes,” you simply state with a happy voice, “You did three lead changes!” It may sound like the same thing, but it’s NOT! To say “good lead changes” makes the statement qualitative and about YOU, the observer, and what the observer has just observed… indicating that the action has now been judged as “good.” But to say “you did three lead changes” acknowledges a FACT about what the person (or horse) factually DID. It’s only about the person who just completed the task. There is no judgement, no opinion, just the facts about what was done. And such a statement will automatically cause the subject to look back at his or herself, and say inside with pride, “Yes! I did three lead changes!” It feels so good to acknowledge the self without first seeing it through the observer’s point of view, that the behavior will most likely be repeated!

This subtle difference is very powerful. And it’s a bit confusing at first. Practice acknowledging your students, children (if you have them), and friends (both two and four legged), and see if you can just state the FACTS in a happy, appreciative voice. Then watch how they react. You may be able to see their attention switching to their inner self with a smile and a straightening of their posture. It’s very interesting to observe.

It is important that you acknowledge yourself this way, too. Rather than saying “I rode well today,” say “I rode my horse today, and we ran through First Level, test two, four times.” Or, “I went to the barn and brushed my horse today.” State what you DID, without a qualifying or judgment word. Notice how acknowledging the FACTS about what you did, changes how you feel inside.

I completed eleven one tempis in a row today! I practiced pirouettes for ten minutes today. I slept in the sun for two hours this afternoon. I dictated this message to you today. Acknowledging these facts gives me a great sense of accomplishment!

What have YOU done today? Just the facts, ma’am. Just the FACTS….

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

A friend of mine in Australia wrote to me this week, expressing her excitement about learning dressage after a career on the race track. She had been a bit discouraged at her progress because she was used to being successful on the track mostly by her strong will and a strong hand. Neither are very conducive to an artful picture of riding. Once she realized that she could break dressage down into small, understandable pieces that fit together like an elegant puzzle, her sense of self-worth soared. She didn’t have to force her way into success; she could gently finesse her way to success!

The level of worthiness we feel makes a huge difference in how we live our lives. It’s true that we can never rise above nor outperform our own self-image. So if you want to improve your life, the first order of business is to improve your view of yourself.

This is easy to say, but is much harder to do. Are you open to a suggestion? Find a couple of friends you trust and feel safe with, and ask them to write down all the things about you that they LIKE. No negatives here – just the things they LIKE about you. Then do the same about yourself. Write down all the things about you that YOU like. Read these lists three times a day for 21 days. Then watch what shows up in your life!

I like my long flowing mane and tail, my shiny black coat, and my ability to do terrific pirouettes. Jane said she is most proud of my one tempis and my strong work ethic. I’m going to concentrate on these things for the next 21 days and see what happens!

In the meantime, I’m going to help the young mare who just moved into the barn with her confidence. She’s a diamond in the rough, and I want to be there with the polish! How about you? Is there someone you could help today?

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Focus. It’s the most driving force in anyone’s success. Oh sure, occasionally there are successes that just fall into your lap. But that is incredibly rare. Focus is one of those things that creates opportunity. It creates a vibration of success. The energy of the Universe aligns with your vision, and you become unstoppable.

I decided I wanted to beat Indy in a race. He’d already beat me once, so I had some history to overcome. I could have wallowed in my failure, I could have given up and just accepted that he’s the faster fellow, or I could focus on a goal and not stop until I reached it. My desire to win wasn’t about Indy at all, it was about proving that I could change my experience though my own focus and will.

So I started dreaming. That’s right: dreaming. I imagined Indy and myself running the circle around my turnout with me in the lead the entire time. I imagined “that winning feeling” of joy I was going to feel when I reached the finish line first. I did the physical work of challenging myself each time I was turned out or ridden, pushing myself a little bit farther than I thought I could go, but always added the mental emotions of joy in success and winning with each workout.

And yes, the next time Indy and I raced, I was the winner! Indy was a good sport about it, but he informed me that he’s going to work on it and beat ME next time. We’ll see!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you think they will. The disappointment can be tough to deal with. When I first heard I was moving to America, I thought I’d be in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade someday. But instead I’m headed to another dressage show. I could be upset, but it wouldn’t help. I just have to find a way to let go of my previous expectations, and find my joy in where I am right now.

Have you ever spent a lot of time and effort working on something that didn’t pan out the way you thought it would? Hurts, doesn’t it? But that’s just part of life. We can plan, direct, effort, and push, and still not end up where we thought we should. So what do you do about it?

There is a time for wallowing in the disappointment and allowing yourself to feel the feelings. Let them be. No matter how much it hurts, let the feelings come. Don’t resist. Give the feelings a chance to be expressed and released. But also, don’t stay there. Look at the elements of what you were trying to achieve, and then make a new plan.

What are the basic elements of what you wanted? For me it was the excitement of the big crowds of people watching me march down the street. I wanted to feel the appreciation of the public as I strutted between the tall buildings showing off my high step and shiny coat. I wanted to feel adored. I wanted to be famous. I wanted my family in Holland to see me on TV so they would be proud of me.

Getting down to the most basic element, I realized that I truly wanted was to be loved and appreciated. I get that from Jane, Rhett, and Indy every day. So, while I may be appreciated as a competitor in the show ring and not the public streets of New York, I do get appreciated. So my deepest desire has actually been fulfilled! Acknowledging that made me feel so much better.

What deep desires do you have that have already been fulfilled? Can you appreciate those today? Let yourself be grateful for what you’ve already received, and make a new plan from that place. Starting from a place of gratitude, your next goal will have a running start!

Say, will you come to the dressage show and cheer for me? I just love an adoring crowd!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Honesty is an interesting concept. Most of us horses are truly honest. We don’t know how to be any other way. But people, well, not so much.

Most people believe they are honest. But often humans are simply justifying their behavior and calling it honesty. If they really looked at what was going on, they’d probably realize they were either manipulating a situation to their advantage, or ignoring the truth of their behavior.

Are you honest? I’ll bet you are, at least most of the time. Sometimes not being honest is the kindest thing… like when your grandmother asks if you like her mince pie, but you really don’t. You don’t want to hurt feelings. So, when is honesty the best policy and when is it a matter of violating values and honor? That’s a tough question that I don’t have an answer to. But perhaps just asking the question will stir the kind of thought that’s helpful.

Do you appreciate honesty? Are you a good example for your children, friends, co-workers? A reputation is an easy thing to damage, so use your good sense of honesty well.

I’m honestly hungry! Will you bring me a carrot or two? Jane’s out of town and I want my treat!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Responsibility. It’s a big part of life. Jane tells her students that their horses should be responsible for their own gaits. They shouldn’t repeatedly ask or nag at their horses, or they’ll just get tuned out and ignored. She says your horse should respond to the first request, and should maintain his or her gait until asked to do something else.

It’s pretty easy for me to get lazy about being responsible for my job. How about you? Have you ever avoided doing those things you know you should be doing? Perhaps it was because you became lazy, or because no one seemed to care one way or another if you got it done? This tendency is why we have leaders or bosses. We often need someone to keep us on track.

A good leader or boss is someone who inspires you to do your best without nagging or shaming. Good leaders find ways to help their subordinates feel important and valued. A poor leader uses punishment or embarrassment to force compliance. A good leader creates a desire to do well. A poor leader makes people unhappy, and is often looking for replacements when subordinates leave or quit.

Which kind of leader are you for your horse? Do you intentionally create desire to be good, or do you inspire fear of doing poorly? What kind of leader are you with other people? Are you an uplifter or a tear downer?

I’m so glad my person is an uplifter! Jane makes me want to be the best I can be. She makes me feel good about myself. There’s nothing more important than that. I’d do anything for Jane because it feels so good to please her. She makes me feel good about ME.

How about you? Do people feel good when they’re around you? Remember, molasses horse cookies catch more flies than vinegar!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I had trouble sleeping last night. I’m about to start the new show season, and I started fretting about being ready. Now that I’m showing at Grand Prix, I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up with the up and coming younger horses. Then I realized that I had put my negative musings into a future that’s not here yet. I always pride myself at being in the present, and realized I was not doing that. I was projecting negative thoughts into my own future. I had to stop!

Awareness is the first step to changing something. Once I became aware that I was projecting negative thinking, I could stop and change where I put my intention. I decided to visualize a better future. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and created a movie in my mind of the perfect Grand Prix test with Jane. I went through the whole thing, with perfect pirouettes and perfect one-tempis, and with a satisfying pat on the neck from Jane at the end. I saw the judge write down lots of sevens and eights, and even a few nines on the test sheet. In my mind I saw the final score being written by the judge, and felt the excitement of receiving the best scores of my life!

Changing your mental focus is not hard, but you have to decide to do it. You have to put the mental energy into changing what you’re thinking about. You have to create the images you WANT, not ponder on what you don’t want. That takes some focus and discipline.

What would be your best outcome for today? What could you focus on to give energy to that? Give it a try, and see what happens! You may be in for a surprise!

Once I gave a little bit of mental time to what I do want, I went right to sleep. Now I’m rested and ready to go! When is the first show? I want to earn that terrific score!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

There’s a whole lot that goes on in this world that we never hear about. Some of it is bad, but a lot of it is good. If you could measure the bad against the good, you’d find that the good stuff far outweighs the bad stuff. How do I know? As a horse, I’m very connected to the energy of the planet. I can feel what’s going on because I am totally present. I spend little or no time in the past or future, I’m just NOW. And I can feel the positive pulse of the earth. Well-being abounds!

What if well-being isn’t showing up in YOUR life as much as you like? Then I’d ask, what are you thinking about? Where are you putting your mental energy? Are you looking for the things that are WRONG in your world, or are you looking for the things that are RIGHT? Which is it? You get MORE of whatever you put your energy into. So if things are bad, well… Think about that! Just for today, look for something that is great about you or your most pressing situation. Then spend some time feeling the wonderful feelings that thought brings to you.

I’m basking in the Florida sunshine today. It feels so good on my sleek black coat. It warms my muscles and makes me want to nap. I love the sun and the soft breeze caressing my skin. I’m looking forward to Jane showing up for our ride. It’s a great day. Are you going riding today? If it’s too cold and snowy where you are, at least take your friend a carrot. Your horse misses your voice and your soft, loving touch! It will make you both feel good to spend some time together.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Who are you? Who are you, REALLY?

Being who you really are is not an easy task. I’m a Friesian, born in Holland, and imported to the USA. I’m different from most horses in that I have feathered legs. Some of the horses at the barn tease me about it, calling me an old work horse. It used to bother me, but then I heard Jane say something really important…

Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.

When I was a youngster, I hoped that Jane would shave off my feathers so I would fit in with all the warmbloods at my barn. I’d hide my legs behind the low bushes or stand behind the water trough when new horses came in. I didn’t want them to see that I was “different.”

As I matured, I realized that being different was actually the norm. Everyone has something that’s a little out of the ordinary. It was silly for me to be shy about other horses seeing my feathers. So, I made a conscious decision to accept myself for who and what I am. I decided to show off my hairy legs instead of hide them. And you know what? It didn’t change how my friends thought of me one bit. And they’re the ones that matter to me.

Is there something about you that’s a little different from most people? Does it bother you? I know it can be really hard, but if you have it in you change how you think, spend a little time examining and embracing the very thing that you don’t like about yourself. You may find that it’s the resistance to what IS that makes you unhappy. If you can let go of the resistance, you let go of the struggle. And then you’re free.

Once I decided to enjoy my feathers and really show them off, I found that many of the horses in the barn really didn’t care one way or another that I was a little bit different. Some even liked my flashy legs. I learned that regardless of what I look like, my friends love me for what’s in my heart, not on my legs.

So, if you’d like to be happier, just remember to be good in your heart. Let go of any judgement of how you look or how you might be different. Embracing who you ARE, right NOW, is the fastest way to a satisfying and happy life.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com