Sunday, May 25, 2014

Deep Practise

Courtesy Google Images
I'm often inspired by Martha Beck in many ways with her off the wall sense of humour and approach to life. She makes me laugh. I like to think I'm a lot like her. I'm inspired - what can I say?
Things like: " So I sit on this huge beast named Buddy like a fruit bat clinging to a human’s scalp, and I’m supposed to make him do what I want without reinforcing his suspicion that I’m a serial killer."  Ha. Ha. I love it! I'll have to remember that the next time I'm giving lessons!

She is one of my favorite writers.  Recently, she's trying to learn how to ride a horse. Nice. To get more laughs, please read Buddy Up and Giddy Up - Insight by Martha Beck.  (   Don't be fooled by the slapstick though 'cause along with the laughs are powerful insights to life. She's a life coach, not a self-professed serial killer :).

In this article she uses the pressure and release method to human life - much like we do to train a horse and/or rider. The pressure is the emotions we feel that tell us things are not going right like unease, discomfort, irritation. And calm, peaceful feelings are the release - letting us know we are on the right track. Brilliant! It's well worth the read.

If you are not familiar with Martha's history, Wikipedia has this to say:
    "Martha Nibley Beck (born November 29, 1962) is an American sociologist, life coach, best-selling author, and speaker who specializes in helping individuals and groups achieve personal and professional goals. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and master's and Ph.D. degrees in sociology, both from Harvard University... She received national attention after publication in 2005 of her best-seller, Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith in which she accuses her father of sexual abuse. In addition to authoring several books, Beck is a columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine." has a great write up about her.

The reason for this article....

Recently, I received my daily insights email from Martha titled Deep Practise. It's the article with the picture of a kitchen sink.
Courtesy Google Images
Humm... I thought, how appropriate for riders and horse training.  (

Courtesy Google Images
Deep practise, is mentioned in the book The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. ( It involves fine tuning the use of the right side of your brain - the creative side. The left side of your brain is for logical thinking for tasks like putting a saddle on your horse, executing your lesson plan, deciding to work on a particular maneuver on your horse. Routine tasks, just like we were taught in school. Martha comments: "Perhaps we’re overusing our left hemispheres to the point of blowout."

Deep practise goes something like this: visualize want you want to learn, try it, you'll fail (that's good), learn from your mistakes (great), try again better. Repeat as necessary. The refined attempts and fails then the diminishing mistakes will tell you, you're getting closer to mastering your new talent. Creative work at it's best.

Sounds like learning to ride to me... (Or whatever horse related activity you want to learn).  So us horse people know all about deep practise. Deliberate practise. Are you thinking about all the hard work you did to get ready to show your horse? Or learn to lope well? Or learn to ride well?

It's like getting into the zone for learning. Really focusing. Fine tuning. I would imagine every great horseman in history engaged in deep practise. I just bet you! It can't be anything else.

Putting my spin on the art of concentrated learning or deep practise.
@KISS Reiners

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