So we’ve gong back to basics this month and really made the most of the time we’ve had for training ready to start the new competition season on a positive note, showing clear improvement from the two internationals back in July.
Despite the fact that at times it’s felt like I’ve gone backwards because we’ve worked on the same thing over and over again, this time has really enabled me to look at the bigger picture, and although we are working on the simplest of things again, it’s in far more depth in comparison to a few months ago even, as we are now exploring the technicalities of each and every movement in the test.
This is far more interesting than it actually sounds, because it’s given Leonie and I the opportunity to break everything into stages and trial and error different ways to improve our performance.
To help with the lateral work and turn on the haunches Leonie has stripped things right back and we have done things really slowly to refine what aid I can actually give, and give Prince time to understand the different aid, to help with this Leonie has been doing a lot of the exercises via ground work with Prince
Another thing we have played with is riding without stirrups again, you may have seen me mention in previous blogs that my left hip is always hurting due to overload to compensate for my right side being weaker. That pain has been getting worse when riding, which creates tension and tone throughout my body, so we’ve decided to trial no stirrups to see if that makes me feel any better.
Although I’m in less pain, I have never realised just how bouncy Princes trot is, and how much effort it takes to sit to without stirrups! That revelation had also made us realise how much cardio fitness I’ve lost in the past few months while we were focusing on rehabilitation for my hip which will be a new focus in terms of improvement.
The gym had also undergone a lot of changes in the past month or so, as David has now left to join the police, This change has been a little difficult for me due to the fact I’ve been working with David for the past 5 years, so we have really got to know each other well, and he’s managed to develop a really good understanding of my disability in training, as well as what motivates me.
I would just like to say a massive thank you to David for playing such an important part of my home team over the past few years! You have turned me from a gym hater to a gym lover, and without your support and commitment to helping me with my training I wouldn’t be where I am today! Thank you!
This all makes me feel a little awkward, in the sense that I don’t like change that much, especially when it comes to my team, as I tend to feel uneasy to begin with in case everything goes wrong, but one thing I’ve learned over the past few month working with Katie is the fact that change can sometimes really be a good thing! Maybe after 5 years of working with David, it’s now time to have a bit of a mix up to start working towards the next level! So I’ve really hit the gym and I’m really excited to see what is to come for the month ahead as Katie has already given me some interesting exercises!
At the end of September we had our first winter qualifier at Windmill Equestrian in Buckinghamshire, we were pleased with our performance, but we got scores of 65% in the team and Individual test which we were a little disappointed with after scoring in excess of that at 3* International level. I think the score was a little on the harsh side in places, where I got a 4 for the rein back because he went a little low in the neck, but unfortunately that is the name of this game, and perhaps we will have to take a few lower scores on he chin while we play around with things in training sometimes thing seem to go backwards just before making a leap forwards.