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Steak, chicken and chips with P's

Words and photos provided by Mim Coleman


Mim Coleman Blog



Oh gosh it’s been so long I feel like I have neglected you all. Since we last chatted so much has happened.  Those of you who have followed my journey know that my blog titles tend to have a backstory.  This one is no exception and I bet you are wondering “what on earth is she on about this time?”


Make yourself comfy and I will reveal all. Are you ready?


I shall pick up where I left off and that was me coming off a not so positive competition one month prior to the BIG ONE! The Steak Chicken and Chips (with P’s)


I will let you in on a secret. I am a worry wart.  So after the last competition my mind had projected forward to “Tiny will have to be retired”, “I have put too much pressure on Tiny, how could I do such a thing?” “What have I done wrong?”, “I’m hopeless, what was I thinking I can’t do this.”


Any of you been down this destructive path? When my logical brain finally switched on and told the emotional one to “take a Panadol and have a lie down”. I analysed all the facts and took a structured course of action.


It included: 


·      - Speaking with Tiny’s vet and my coach for advice

·      - Planning every ride up to the BIG EVENT the Steak Chicken and Chips.


In the 4 week lead up I calculated that I had exactly 14 rides left. (yes I am an accountant, I count things, it’s what I do ….. sad but true) I only have 4 riding sessions a week to work with.  Tiny had a few days off rest from the competition.  That was 2 rides. I was down to 12 rides to pull together a freestyle from scratch and fine tune our Inter A and Inter B movements.  As I have mentioned previously every step counts, and more so than ever right now.  I also had to ensure the sessions were fun and engaged Tiny’s brain – short and sharp session I wanted Tiny to be mentally willing to perform 3 difficult tests over 2 days. A big ask of a 19 year old.  The 2016 Steak Chicken and Chips had been planned 12 months prior, to the day!  Did I mention I like planning? Oh and lists and goal setting, you get the picture


Our final preparations went something like this.


Sat 20th and Sun 21st Feb – Roger Fitzhardinge clinic – We focussed on forward, balance, responsive to a light aid, positive body language, energy, even contact, transition into passage, improving the piaffe and the canter work (urgh that zig zag made an appearance  too)


Sat 27th Feb – Lesson with Lydia Jackson– We worked on better balance in the passage, ran through the Inter B and had a good hard look at our areas of weakness.  Looking in the mirror is more challenging and more rewarding than sticking your head in the sand.


Tue 1st Mar – My penultimate ride was a tune-up with Lydia with a specific focus on how the competition days should be planned out.  We discussed my competition warm-up.  I ride less positively in the warm-up, possibly due to nerves and wanting everything to be nice and calm.  The warm up is NOT for that purpose at all. I become very and I don’t tend to have a plan so I just pfaff around wasting precious time (and steps)  So Lydia taught me a warm-up that she thought would work best for us. It kept us interested, our brains were engaged, it had us focussed and it had us forward, balanced, positive, responsive, listening and waiting. It was BRILLIANT!!


Friday the 3rd Mar – Was our last ride and I it was it was our first and last practice of our freestyle. The music I chose was from the Original Black Beauty movie soundtrack. I cried every time I listened to it as I wrestled with the music mixing app on my MacBook.  With one run through I was thrilled, the choreography and music were in sync. 


That’s it, all done and dusted and everything was in place. Tiny was washed and put back into his paddock like any other day. I piled all of his gear in the back of the car to clean at home later that night. It was time to head into the office. 


Mim Coleman Blog


DAY 1 of the Steak Chicken and Chips with P’s


Today we had the Inter A and our freestyle. I woke up super excited, this was it, and I felt I had done everything I possibly could to ensure a great weekend.  Our warm-up went beautifully and it was time to enter the arena. I was so excited and pumped the crowd were there to support us – it was such a happy moment.  The test was a joy to ride and I came out of the arena knowing that we had just performed our very best. The score reflected this as we pulled off a Personal Best – whoo hoooo!


The freestyle was amazing to ride and we had a little hiccup in the left canter pirouette but again we scored another PB and I was on cloud nine. WHAT A DAY! And yes I cried during my test – I am such a sook.


Mim Coleman Blog


Day 2 of the Steak Chicken and Chips with P’s


I will admit that the Inter B and the damn zig zag has NOT been my favourite test over the past 12 months.  But when you prepare for a Steak Chicken and Chips with P’s well you can expect to enjoy some rewards.


What are the P’s you ask?


Preparation and Persistence, Prevents Poor Performance


Funny thing is that my High School maths teacher taught me this saying and it has always stuck with me. I guess maths was useful after all….


And Steak Chicken and Chips?


State Championships!


Again the warm-up went super well and we rode the best Inter B I could have hoped for.  And YES !! Another PB. Guess what? I scored a 7 for the zig zag!! 


Mim Coleman Blog


So get some P’s into your life and reap the rewards.


If you truly want to be the best that you can then you MUST be prepared to work hard, be proactive, diligent, humble, considerate, open minded, courageous, committed, tenacious, focused and grateful.  


Gather around you a team of people that share your passion and your desire to succeed. They will be your saviours when the going gets tough and they will be there to raise you up. They will be your cheer squad, your fan club, your support network and they will be there for you every step of the way. 


Thank-you, all of you who read my words, like and share them.  You are all a part of my team and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to share Tiny and my journey with you on our Road to Grand Prix.  


Please know that where ever you are on your own journey of discovery that we are also travelling with you. You are not alone and I know that when you are going through a tough patch in your training that is exactly how you feel – alone.  We are here and you know how to find us.


I will be in touch again soon as I have an important announcement to make. I think you are going to LOVE IT!! 


Mim and Tiny. xx







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