1 tempis, 1 tempis…I’m going to be skipping in my sleep any night now. That has been the main focus in training lately – trying to get the 1 tempis solid. But I am getting so mad at my legs. I feel when I should react, but my right leg is just not responding. Sometimes I just want to look down and shout at it… HELLO!

On good days, I am getting a solid 8, so it’s coming along slowly, but surely. The nice thing is Vitall is no longer galloping away from it, he is starting to get it now. We are learning together. I like to say we are the blind leading the blind down this path to GP, both figuring it out along the way, but the nice thing is that it is creating a strong bond between us and when we get there, it is going to be one of the best feelings in the world.

Anky has been really helpful with us, but she is also giving me the space to be able to figure it out alone as well because it is all to do with timing. She can tell me what to do, but it’s all up to me to get the timing, so it’s nice she gives me the space to make the mistakes and just keep going till I get it right. She just teases me about my lazy legs…. and I give her a small GROWL back. I am having a love/hate relationship at the moment with my legs and 1 tempis.

I have started working with a new physio/mental trainer. Ricus works with some of the top football players (aka soccer players) and speed skaters in Holland. He has been really helpful fixing up my knee from when I got kicked at Young Riders’ in 2006. But the most interesting thing he has been teaching me is this new breathing technique. They call it EKO-Doping here in Holland. You can check the website out at www. Eko-doping.ni It’s all in Dutch, but it is possible to translate it. It is a breathing technique called diaphragmatic breathing.

Wiki definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaphragmatic_breathing

This breathing technique is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. The amount of oxygen you breath in is amazing… I fell asleep for 20 minutes after my first session. This breathing helps with focus, with awareness and enhances senses, control and coordination – all key ingredients in competition. It also helps with focus. Focus plays a huge role. It is a deep state of mediation. In this technique, focus is everything we need as riders for training and shows. I am just starting to learn, had my first session last week. I will be sure to keep you informed on my progress and how it has helped me. I will also be adding a small video clip to show you how it works, so check in again in a few weeks I should have it ready for you then.

This coming weekend I am off to London for a weekend getaway for Easter.