Journalling has always been important for me and my horses and I've always taken notes in folders about my horses have been. Over the last four years I've been using a variety of different diaries to help frame what I'm noting down too. Ones which help me set goals. Ones that help me keep the important details in one place. Ones that let me reflect back on the week/month. And ones that have space for competition scores and other notes.
All in all, these have been great. A really, useful resource. But how often has your instructor/trainer said to you, so what did you do to make that happen? or, How did that feel? Ultimately, we record how are horses are going. Tracking their weight, when they see the physio and their supplements - often noting only the memorable moments (ie if our horses were fresh or spooky or problematic and occasionally if something was "good"). And yet, we rarely remember to write down how our bodies are working or what finger we wiggled that helped soften the contact. In fact we focus so much on our beloved horses, that we don't take time to look after ourselves.
A diary for horse and rider
So this year I decided to focus differently on what I journal. Instead of noting what was good or bad about my ride, I've been focusing on what I've done to achieve a positive response. And it got me thinking. Why can't a diary help connect how I am doing as rider along with my horse? So, I've focused more on my health. I work with a physio and my trainer on my position and balance. And the work I'm getting from my horses is already better.
From this came the idea of a diary that could help me enjoy the journey of becoming a better equestrian. And with it a community of passionate riders who can help each other along the way. And so, with your help (thanks IG stories) Étoile was born. Let's start shining!