Monthly Archives: June 2014
Back on Easter bank holiday weekend I attended a dressage clinic at Toberton Lodge. Now you are probably thinking sure that’s a good while ago, and it is but I figured it made sense to work on what we covered and see how it went before I wrote about it. Our clinic was with Irelands equestrian Paralympic champion Helen Kearney. Helen is the great success story of the 2012 Paralympic Games taking home three medals across team and individual events. For me, I remember Helen from before then. I remember Helen back when she was a child and she came to ride at the yard where I ride and keep a horse. I remember her determination as she jumped her pony Robin and her will to succeed no matter what stood in her way. It was no surprise that these traits served her well at the 2012 games and when Helen returned to the yard to deliver one of her first coaching clinics in dressage I was keen to get in the ring. Read the rest of this entry
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” is one of my favourite phrases. So often in competition, especially when things go wrong, we talk about what you can buy – the best horse with the most potential, the expensive clothing, the sessions with the best coach / instructor / sports psychologist. However it is the existence of luck that levels any playing field. You cannot buy it, sell it, create it, harness it or control it. Luck can be at your back propelling you to victory or pushing against you to defeat. Luck will defy all odds and laugh in the face of assumption. Luck is the unlucky pole down that your horse barely touched, it is the lost button, the bad weather or the little spook or buck that the showing judge was looking away for.
It is almost time for the annual riding clubs festival. Times have been issued, weather apps are being consulted, child of prague statues are being plonked out on doorsteps, plans are being made and lists are being written.
You can check out what I learned at last year’s festival here. In the meantime, considering I have been going to the festival for a long as I have been in riding club I figured it made sense to compile a list of survival tips for newbies and first timers…..
- Past years would suggest that the weather will always be either scorching hot or lashing rain. This means you should be optimistic and pack shorts, suncream and sunglasses, lots of water and fly repellent. This also means you should be realistic and pack water proof trousers, a change of clothing, a waterproof sheet for your horse, wellies and anything waterproof you own.