Reiner April 2013 : Page 50

NON PRO INFO Worldly Winning Working with what you have to achieve success. BY WENDY LIND Carol Brookshaw Carol Brookshaw has won over $49,000 in NRHA competition in addition to her three world championships. She and her husband of 46 years, Gary, live in Seale, Alabama. Showing perform-ance horses runs deep in the Brookshaw lineage; Gary trained and showed all-around horses, as did their daughter, Shawn, who won two national titles in western riding, and granddaughter Brooke is attending college on a rodeo scholarship. Retired after 34 years as a Health Edu-cator at the Department of Public Health for the State of Georgia, Brookshaw is ex-cited about the newly-minted masters non pro class for riders 60 and over. “I be-lieve it will be one of the fastest growing classes in NRHA history because more and more of us are continuing to be active and competitive into our 60s, and 70s,” she said. “I’ve been retired since 2005 and never had a bored moment or a dull day, and it’s because of my involvement with Reining. I keep my horse at home and do all of the work myself. I’d encourage any-one who has ever thought about trying A T THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF A friend, Carol Brookshaw gave Reining a try in 2001, instant-ly falling in love with the sport. The Alabama non pro hasn’t looked back since, winning the 2011 NRHA Non Pro World Champion titles in Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 and Lev-el 2 riding Not Just Dreamin and the 2012 Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 World Champion title on Shining Tag. Behind that success was a dedicated and disci-plined methodology; not to mention a team approach. When it comes to a winning team, Brookshaw puts her horse and coach at the top of the list. “If you’re thinking about go-ing for a world title, I think it’s very im-portant to find a willing partner,” she said. “To be shown that much, a horse has to love its job and have the right kind of mind and heart to be called on—it’s week after week. Horses have good days and bad days just like we do. We can’t expect 100 per-cent every time.” On the coaching side, Brookshaw has had the good fortune to team up with one of the industry’s best, Charles Smith. The NRHA Hall of Fame inductee has coached and trained a mul-titude of open and non pro world cham-pions. Brookshaw labeled his coaching skills as integral to her winning record. “You want a coach that supports and teaches you, understands your goals, and has a motivating personality. A coach should recognize your strengths and weakness and be realistic about what you can achieve because everyone has flaws. We’d all like to be tall with long, elegant legs, but we have to work with what we have,” she pointed out, while noting that a good non pro coach knows how to push a rider’s limits while paying attention to the details. “Remember the adage, ‘Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves?’ This is cer-tainly true in a reining pattern.” A mutual responsibility, she said, rests on non pros when it comes to respecting their coach’s direction. “If you don’t, you’ll likely resent all of the hard work in-stead of appreciating how it can help you. So really listen to your coach and be will-ing to give 100 percent. And hopefully your coach can still make it fun and en-joyable. Sometimes when we get up at 3 a.m. to ride, it is hard to remember that we’re doing this for fun!” Input from another winning non pro also played a role in Brookshaw’s world title runs. She said hauling with multiple NRHA World Champion Bonnie Hippen-steel in 2010 was an invaluable learning op-portunity. “Bonnie is adamant about not over-schooling because when you contin-ually drill, drill, drill on a maneuver, the horse gets tired of it. The constant drilling will eventually destroy a horse’s enthusiasm and lead to bad habits because they start to dread that particular maneuver,” she said. It’s for that reason that Brookshaw spends a lot of time riding her horse outside the arena, often over obstacles and through ditches. She and Hippensteel also planned out their schedules to minimize time in the trailer and the total numbers of miles the horses were hauled. “Instead of driving to a show and coming home every weekend, we went from show to show, putting a lot less stress on the horses and people.” The Challenge: Focus Hauling for a world title is an art in and of itself. The challenge: focus on one ma-neuver at time while prioritizing sustain-able success over the course of an entire year. “I always remember one of Charlie’s basic reminders: ‘Think one maneuver at a time,’” said Brookshaw. “And remember that there’s always another show. So instead of telling yourself ‘I have to win,’ focus on ‘I need to get a check.’ Using that tactic, Brookshaw concen-trated on controlling her nerves, and slowing her mind to achieve that maneu-ver-by-maneuver approach. “It’s important to know and be realistic about your own abilities and your horse’s abilities. Accen-tuate the strengths and minimize the weaknesses,” she noted. Some stress, however, can be a good thing. “’Eustress’ is a good type of stress that stems from the challenge of taking part in something that you enjoy but have to work hard for. It’s something that can pump you up, providing a healthy spark.” On a final note, Brookshaw said watch-ing videos of her runs was very beneficial, but she was careful to not only make note of what she needed to better, but also what she did well. “Staying positive is sometimes a hard thing to do but it’s really important,” she said. “We need to remember it’s a con-tinual learning process and that self-con-fidence is a fragile thing. So key-in on the good parts instead of only focusing on what went wrong. To quote Les Brown: ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.’” ✦ 50 NRHA REINER APRIL 2013 www.nrha.com

Non Pro Info

Wendy Lind

Worldly Winning<br /> <br /> Carol Brookshaw explains how working with what you have can achieve success.<br /> <br /> AT THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF A friend, Carol Brookshaw gave Reining a try in 2001, instantly falling in love with the sport. The Alabama non pro hasn't looked back since, winning the 2011 NRHA Non Pro World Champion titles in Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 and Level 2 riding Not Just Dreamin and the 2012 Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 World Champion title on Shining Tag. Behind that success was a dedicated and disciplined methodology; not to mention a team approach.<br /> <br /> When it comes to a winning team, Brookshaw puts her horse and coach at the top of the list. "If you're thinking about going for a world title, I think it's very important to find a willing partner," she said. "To be shown that much, a horse has to love its job and have the right kind of mind and heart to be called on – it's week after week. Horses have good days and bad days just like we do. We can't expect 100 percent every time." On the coaching side, Brookshaw has had the good fortune to team up with one of the industry's best, Charles Smith. The NRHA Hall of Fame inductee has coached and trained a multitude of open and non pro world champions. Brookshaw labeled his coaching skills as integral to her winning record.<br /> <br /> "You want a coach that supports and teaches you, understands your goals, and has a motivating personality. A coach should recognize your strengths and weakness and be realistic about what you can achieve because everyone has flaws. We'd all like to be tall with long, elegant legs, but we have to work with what we have," she pointed out, while noting that a good non pro coach knows how to push a rider's limits while paying attention to the details. "Remember the adage, 'Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves?' This is certainly true in a reining pattern."<br /> <br /> A mutual responsibility, she said, rests on non pros when it comes to respecting their coach's direction. "If you don't, you'll likely resent all of the hard work instead of appreciating how it can help you. So really listen to your coach and be willing to give 100 percent. And hopefully your coach can still make it fun and enjoyable. Sometimes when we get up at 3 a.m. to ride, it is hard to remember that we're doing this for fun!"<br /> <br /> Input from another winning non pro also played a role in Brookshaw's world title runs. She said hauling with multiple NRHA World Champion Bonnie Hippensteel in 2010 was an invaluable learning opportunity. "Bonnie is adamant about not over-schooling because when you continually drill, drill, drill on a maneuver, the horse gets tired of it. The constant drilling will eventually destroy a horse's enthusiasm and lead to bad habits because they start to dread that particular maneuver," she said. It's for that reason that Brookshaw spends a lot of time riding her horse outside the arena, often over obstacles and through ditches. She and Hippensteel also planned out their schedules to minimize time in the trailer and the total numbers of miles the horses were hauled. "Instead of driving to a show and coming home every weekend, we went from show to show, putting a lot less stress on the horses and people."<br /> <br /> The Challenge: Focus<br /> <br /> Hauling for a world title is an art in and of itself. The challenge: focus on one maneuver at time while prioritizing sustainable success over the course of an entire year. "I always remember one of Charlie's basic reminders: 'Think one maneuver at a time,'" said Brookshaw. "And remember that there's always another show. So instead of telling yourself 'I have to win,' focus on 'I need to get a check.'<br /> <br /> Using that tactic, Brookshaw concentrated on controlling her nerves, and slowing her mind to achieve that maneuver- by-maneuver approach. "It's important to know and be realistic about your own abilities and your horse's abilities. Accentuate the strengths and minimize the weaknesses," she noted. Some stress, however, can be a good thing.<br /> <br /> "'Eustress' is a good type of stress that stems from the challenge of taking part in something that you enjoy but have to work hard for. It's something that can pump you up, providing a healthy spark."<br /> <br /> On a final note, Brookshaw said watching videos of her runs was very beneficial, but she was careful to not only make note of what she needed to better, but also what she did well. "Staying positive is sometimes a hard thing to do but it's really important," she said. "We need to remember it's a continual learning process and that self-confidence is a fragile thing. So key-in on the good parts instead of only focusing on what went wrong. To quote Les Brown: 'Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.'"<br /> <br /> Carol Brookshaw<br /> <br /> Carol Brookshaw has won over $49,000 in NRHA competition in addition to her three world championships. She and her husband of 46 years, Gary, live in Seale, Alabama. Showing performance horses runs deep in the Brookshaw lineage; Gary trained and showed all-around horses, as did their daughter, Shawn, who won two national titles in western riding, and granddaughter Brooke is attending college on a rodeo scholarship.<br /> <br /> Retired after 34 years as a Health Educator at the Department of Public Health for the State of Georgia, Brookshaw is excited about the newly-minted masters non pro class for riders 60 and over. "I believe it will be one of the fastest growing classes in NRHA history because more and more of us are continuing to be active and competitive into our 60s, and 70s," she said. "I've been retired since 2005 and never had a bored moment or a dull day, and it's because of my involvement with Reining. I keep my horse at home and do all of the work myself. I'd encourage anyone who has ever thought about trying

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