Out of Focus

I dunno what my deal has been lately, but I just can’t get my brain in the game. It’s like I know what I should be doing, but my brain won’t stay present long enough to let my body know what to do.  This is obviously very frustrating.

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Probably not a good idea to pick the long spot into the really angled combination… instant regret…

I had this problem at Coconino both in dressage (when I forgot my damn test) and in stadium (when I knew I should turn and just… didn’t…). Really no clue what my damn deal is lately.

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Last night’s lesson was no different. I always knew what I should do, but actually remembering to execute it was an entirely different matter. I just kept spacing out. A couple times I even totally forgot where I was going (seriously, they weren’t long courses) and turned the wrong way. Like… cantered up to the fence thinking of turning one way, and then turning the other way instead, 2 seconds later. What’s the deal, brain?

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Luckily Henny is undeterred by my stupidity

Short of swallowing an entire bottle of Adderall (kidding, obviously. Unless you can do that…), what do y’all do when it seems like your brain is just totally checking out on you? This is getting super annoying. I swear I’m not THIS dumb all the time… (shut up, Bobby).

47 thoughts on “Out of Focus

  1. ohhhh you left that door wide open for Bobby. This should be fun!

    Re: Brain. HA you arent 50 are you? Cause i am having that issue but I am (ahem) a bit older than you. LOL some days brain just DOES not work. I stress over my dressage test and i have ridden the same test for almost a year now. MY main reason for not moving up is my brain! LOL

    I think you have had a very busy summer and might need to just ease back into it all and give yourself a break 🙂 It will come back….

    Okay Bobby go for it ! LOLLOL

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  2. When this happens to me, I usually take a break and just do some really brainless ambling. And then I usually do some work with ground poles. Because at least I’m not crashing through fences, and instead I’m just missing ground poles, rofl

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  3. If you figure out what works, let me know … I think it’s called “aging.” I wish I could say that superfoods and puzzle games help, but I am starting to suspect that sitting at a desk all day is the most significant factor in making me stupid.

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  4. I’m with Tracy (above). I worry during those times that I’m doing more harm than good in my pony-human relationship, so I either go back to total basics (like… seriously basic, let’s practice stopping, let’s practice walk to trot, leg yields at the walk), or I try to do something kinda fun (horsey spa day, horsey spa week, trails, etc.). I find I come back with a whole lot more gusto, and without my horse hating my guts. Or, as also mentioned above, general anxiety?

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  5. When I get like this, 90% of the time it has something to do with other crap happening in my life. Stressed out at work = stressed in the saddle. Everything going swimmingly in my personal life, I ride like a champ. I had a month period where I SUCKED – no confidence, rode like shit, made terrible decisions that I knew were wrong (then made them anyway…). It took a lesson of my trainer being really tough on me to snap me out of it. Since that breaking point lesson, I’ve been riding better. Sometimes you just get in a funk and need to cut yourself some slack. Everything is cyclical.

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  6. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I can say this because I do the same. I have been in the same boat, just a different sea. I have been this way at work. Can I blame the heat? I think it is just too many balls being thrown in the air…by me…at once. I might try meditating and focusing on one ball at a time until I can slowly start adding them back again, one at a time.

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  7. I’m glad other people have this problem. For me it’s worse when I’m feeling pressure (can be non horse related), feeling rushed or if I forgot to eat. If I don’t pack a snack going to the barn, my brain is the first thing to quit on me.

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  8. Make sure you’re getting all the nutrients and what-not they tell you are required… My brain is no good if I don’t fuel it. Which is annoying because who has time for that? Getting old is rough.

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  9. Maybe you were so busy being focused for Coco that you spent all your brain power for the year? Kidding 🙂 Sometimes when I don’t have something to focus on – especially AFTER focusing on something huge – it is hard to make the small, mundane things matter enough to give brain power to. The other thing is silly, but are you drinking enough water? Dehydration can do funny things to your brain.

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  10. I have a focus problem in general. When I am lacking focus in one area, I usually lack focus in all other areas as well. For me it goes in waves. I am kind of at an in between stage right now, somewhere between focused and unfocused. The rainy weather isn’t helping. For me, I just try to break it down into little steps, or I get overwhelmed and end up right back where I started from.

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  11. Ugh this happens to me too! I hate it! It can be for a number of reasons.. stress/distraction/too much pressure. Last night in fact I was jumping and I, myself, decided to jump a bending line, and then I went and jumped THE WRONG SECOND FENCE. It’s not like someone else told me what to do and I forgot – I FORGOT WHAT I TOLD MYSELF. I find that repeating out loud/visualizing courses or tests a lot does help to make the thinking process a little more automatic, but it’s not a foolproof fix. Let me know if you find a magic cure.

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  12. For me it happens when I’m not 100% focused on what I’m doing (like, did I turn on the dryer? Crap, there’s wet laundry in the … whoops I was supposed to do a circle there). It’s really hard to be 100% focused all the time in a ride, and if I’ve got other stuff happening in life, it’s double challenging.

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  13. Okay… where to begin… First off, yes, you are this dumb all the time, it’s just varying degrees of how dumb you are and I don’t think any meds will help it. Secondly, I will actually take responsibility for how dumb you were yesterday because you had not seen me for THREE whole weeks. I can’t imagine how fragile your psyche was leading up to that lesson and then knowing you were about to see me within an hour? I am impressed you even were able to tack him up let alone stay ON over any jump.

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  14. Um, I cannot guide you on this. Because I have a permanent case of the dumbs. And it got incredibly worse after the Lyme Disease. So I just blame it on that. You can blame yours on Bobby Disease. Good luck curing that.

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          1. That’s an odd compliment? But really, you don’t need to name your herpes, just take some pills or use creams or something, I bet that’s much more effective than naming them.

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              1. Use them ON your herpes, not the people you named after your herpes and I bet you just might see some results! Keep the faith.

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  15. Um this is totally normal. Or what I need to tell myself because it happens to me a lot… It seems to happen when I have a lot going on. Mostly during lessons after work when I haven’t decompressed, or when I know I have something to do after the lesson that is occupying my mind. I try to just tell myself to focus. And concentrate on the task at hand. Not always easy….

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  16. This happens to me on a fairly regular basis, though fortunately mostly when I’m riding at home. It’s not uncommon for me to forget my course during a lesson, which I think has to do with focusing so hard on other things, like getting a good distance, maintaining the canter, my position over jumps, etc… sometimes I land after all of that and forget where the heck I’m going! Like others have said, my problem also has to do with the pressure my trainer puts on me to be perfect.

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