Sugar Grove 4-H Group Learns About Sport Psychology

The Sugar Grove Ruff Riders met March 4 at Serenity Equine Center for a clinic led by Linnea Clark Campbell.

Abagail Downs led the members in the 4-H pledge. She then read an introduction on Campbell’s history of growing up in the Starbrick Stablemates 4-H club and her experiences of showing throughout the years. Her endurance and hard work gave her many years of achievements. She is now owner of the brand-new facility, Serenity Equine Center.

Campbell presented an excellent clinic on sport psychology to the club members. She gave the kids positive thoughts and self-talk suggestions that they could use during stressful shows or nervous jitters when showing. She also discussed the importance of balance and riding with their horse. She encouraged each member to check to see if they are centered correctly on their horse while riding. Being off center can create many problems with their ability to ride as well as the horse’s ability to move correctly. Then Campbell pulled out her stable balance board and let each member take a turn at learning to feel balanced and understand the challenge and the need to practice this ability. She also encouraged the use of an exercise ball for improvement on this skill. She stated that muscle memory is very important when riding, if you practice your riding correctly and work your muscles hard, when you show, your muscles will just recall how to do the riding.

Linnea then demonstrated her jumping ability with her horse Radar. She asked each member to evaluate her riding as she moved around the arena. She wanted to know, “how she was doing and what she could do to improve her ride?”

The club will meet next month on April 1 at Mission Covenant Church.