* Please follow the latest updated government information which is changing daily, since this blog was written.
With the Coronavirus affecting the British Dressage, British Eventing & British Showjumping competition calendar, our Equestrian PR Team share their top tips for helping you to keep your competition mojo when we can’t go out and compete.
Self-isolation does not mean sitting on the sofa, binge-watching Netflix, eating chocolate and drinking wine (although we admit that there may be some of that!). You might not be able to go to the gym to top up your active lifestyle, but that’s no excuse. Keep your rider fitness on track. Enjoy the empty pavements for a daily walk or run. A gym mat and Youtube will also open up plenty of opportunities to browse for a suitable exercise class to keep you motivated. We have a great selection of Rider Fitness Videos on our Youtube channel, covering developing rider core strength and rider suppleness.
Stay connected with your friends in the competition community without physically meeting up by joining a Facebook Group where chat and positivity are abundant. A Whatsapp group is another way to connect with a closer inner circle of friends. Whatever you do during this difficult time, make sure it’s a positive move for your mental health and well-being. Search for inspirational life coaches to follow on social and subscribe to any podcasts that will give you a healthier mindset, relax you or make you laugh. If nerves have always been an issue, then how about some ‘one to one’ Skype or phone sessions with a Confidence Coach?
Now is the time to sort out your kit and have a thorough tidy-up. Think about that big trunk of ‘stuff’ that you never use, but is full to the brim? Yes, that one. Devote an afternoon to sorting through all your horsey gear. Create a pile to donate to an equine charity or to sell online through the second-hand market. The same goes for tidying up the lorry, feed room and tack room. It might also be the perfect time to look for that new item of competition clothing. With many companies offering great online incentives currently, it’s an excellent time to browse!
Search the web for top training tips from the professionals, expert advice and watch some rider demo’s to brush up on your knowledge and expertise. Equetech has some great rider tips on their Youtube Channel from dressage rider, Rachael Lane. Subscribe to your favourite equestrian print titles, so you can still read them digitally on your iPad or phone, including back copies.
If your trainer can’t come to you, can you film yourself riding and share the video for a coaching review? Listening to your trainer, giving a running commentary on your schooling session can be really beneficial. Not only does your trainer know you and your horse well, but virtual coaching can also help nip any of your bad riding habits creeping back in before the competition season starts. It will also give you valuable homework you can work on. If you can’t ride, perhaps you can learn some dressage tests at home and run through them, so you have something to work on when you are able to ride your horse again.
Try Something New
If you are able to; Incorporating pole work or working your horse in-hand adds variety in the arena if you can’t venture out. Start with the basics, and as you and your horse build more confidence, you can move your training further on. As restrictions eventually become more relaxed, you can even dig out your dressage competition wear, ride a test and be judged in a dressage competition via online portals such as Dressage Anywhere. It’s not compulsory to wear your dressage competition wear but as long as your horse has boots or bandages on in the video test, you are more than welcome to ride in your dressage kit. The perfect excuse for a dress rehearsal on any new competition items you may have bought or just the chance to get some test experience and qualified feedback. If you can’t ride your horse then get some inspiration online so you have a plan in place for when you can get back onboard.