Janeane Reagan helps riders find their zone of peak performance
Published 9:32 am Thursday, June 20, 2013
Janeane Reagan, PhD, gave a brief tour of the human brain and demonstrated how it can be improved while working with horses, Tuesday, June 18 at Speigel Farm. Reagan, a clinical psychologist and past assistant professor of psychology at the University of Akron, pointed out the structural differences between the brains of humans and those of horses. Reagan also demonstrated user-friendly, self-help exercises with members of an equestrian audience.
Reagan said that setting aside time to overcome stress through a series of breathing exercises and mental imagery can improve performance while on a horse and during daily life. “Understanding oneself is the key to finding the zone of peak performance,” said Reagan.
Reagan asked audience members to close their eyes and imagine certain tastes and sensations in order to demonstrate the use of imagery. Preparing for a stressful equestrian event through what Reagan called a mental rehearsal can provide a rider with a virtual, real-time warm up. “We must find ways to take charge of our attention and understand what causes us to flip-our-lid,” said Reagan.