The British Eventing season has now officially started and I decided to bring you all a little insight into training and competing adventures of one of the riders I teach. It will hopefully be a fun, educational and maybe inspirational read for some of you who train and compete on less-than-perfect horses with text book problems…It will very much be a real life scenario of a hard working rider with big dreams, small budget and very busy days!
Who is Emma?
Slightly speed and XC obsessed tiny rider, ex-racehorse enthusiast and manager of Brackenhill Stud (click HERE to check it out)
Me on Friday: OK, so let’s have a look at the dressage test…how long is Shabby’s optimal warm up for the test?
Emma: (suspicious silence) Honestly?
Emma: Well, it depends what time he gets off the lorry, sometimes a few minutes. Also, this is the earliest I have ever practised my dressage test 😉
Me: Ok, we have some work to do 😉
I have always noticed a tendency in the UK riders to generally practice very little…better still if one could say that one rode through the test once, in one’s head, on the way to the show and got placed.
Coming from a system where if you didn’t practice you were out from the competing team without much of a second glance, such approach has been a bit of a shock to me for a long time. Some twelve years later I got used to it a little. Perhaps it has something to do with being perceived as more talented if one doesn’t practice much? Something to do with a fear of failure? If all goes badly, you can always say it will be better next time when you actually put some effort in?
What do you think? How much effort do you put into preparation for your events?
Emma’s first event of the season: Goring Heath BE100 with ex-racehorse Shahbash (more about Shabby very soon!)
Shabby’s training: a little power house, Shabby is a 12 years old Thoroughbred ex-racer. He is a tense horse with tendency to brace through the back and neck and has varied degree of bit acceptance depending on his mood which makes him volatile when it comes to many aspects of dressage. The goal of our training has been to improve Shabby’s suppleness and basic straightness as well as quality of his trot and balance in canter which we have done in the last 3 months. Still lots of work to be done.
We are now training towards improving his acceptance of the bit and overall relaxation under pressure.
Emma’s training: As far as the rider training, Emma has had a bit of a seat bootcamp in the last 3 months which is still in progress 🙂 She is a great rider to teach, always up for a challenge. I will explain what we work on as we go.
Below is a very short edit of what is yet to come.
I will try to bring you weekly training stories all the way to Goring Heath and if we all enjoy it, we will continue throughout the eventing season with both Shahbash and Merehead (and maybe a couple more horses) 🙂
Stay tuned and do let me know if this series is of your interest!