Confessions of a sand princess

My Riding Ambitions

My Riding Ambitions

This is a tricky post; I feel a bit vulnerable about sharing these things because 1. It requires more talent than I could hope to possess and 2. I’ll feel a bit stupid when it doesn’t eventuate.
But, as the saying goes, ‘shoot for the moon and if you fall you’ll land on the stars’ and you guys are going to help me feel accountable.

So here we go…
1. Ride like Charlotte

The Queen. Photo credit Animal Therapeutics

Yeh Valegro was good (great!), but since him, she has consistently racked up super performances with all of her young team. Charlotte consistently scores high 70s on every horse she competes. Her test presentation is impeccable and her horses are flawlessly correct. That’s good training.
How do I get closer to this? I watch every YouTube video of her, I look at her horse’s way of working, her aids. I search ‘Charlotte Dujardin’, filter the videos by date and work backwards. I watch her tests, her clinics and videos of her warmup. I also watch all I can of Carl Hester because he is the one who taught her.

2. Make sure my horses are correct and happy

I try and analyze every test sheet I get, rather than being bitter about a crappy mark or a miserable comment I try and take steps to improve the movement to hopefully improve it for the next time and to identify weaknesses in my training. Nothing annoys me more than people who whinge about judges ‘picking on them’ being ‘unfair’ etc., judges are trained and have nothing to gain from being negative. They are there to help you with constructive advice.
This may be a little hypocritical as I do have a decent selection of nice tack, but I try to pay for lessons before I pay for pretty gear. I’d rather see my horses working to the best of their ability than looking nice in matchy. This is no criticism of people who do have an amazing selection of colours for their horse as everyone has their own motivators and personal circumstances. But rather than paying out for an expensive wardrobe that I will only use once in a blue moon I have signed up for a clinic with an international coach. Knowledge is power!
I do my best to keep my horses fit and in appropriate condition for their age and stage of training so I myself or my owners can have many years of enjoyment. I try to keep my training consistent and as minimally confronting as possible to keep a sound mind.

3. Milestones
In opposite order of achievability

  • Represent Australia internationally at GP
  • Represent Australia internationally at anything
  • Get to GP
  • Get Fleur as high as possible
  • Have fleur consistent in all medium movements at the end of the year
  • Top 10 at nationals in October
  • Two scores over 70 at the Boneo winter CDI

4. Last but not least is

to do my owner’s gorgeous horses the justice they deserve – to get the scores they deserve and make sure they are suitable for what their owners need. I also hope to be an effective assistance as a coach and provide advice that will be achievable when clients are training on their own so they may get the most out of their horses and their riding.

Felix – one of my wonderful rides

Goals of varying levels of achievability are so important to keep you on the right track and are a great way of putting things into perspective. Everyone has highs and lows in their equestrian pursuits so keeping a clear view of your goal will help you get through those tough days.

Do you have any goals? I’d love to hear them


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