Tag Archives: horsescout

How to compete using a “Class Ticket”. Tried and Tested, Job Done!

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Yesterday Horse Scout Blogger spotted that you could get a free class ticket on the British Dressage facebook page but “What are class tickets?”

By buying a class ticket, you can enter one British Dressage class without being a member or having a registered horse. You can use class tickets to compete and will be eligible to win rosettes and prize money, but will not receive BD points or qualification, except for Area Festivals and Combined Training Championships. If a rider using a class ticket wins a qualifier other than those specified above, qualification will pass to the next eligible competitor. You can buy a class ticket from the British Dressage Web site. These are also available in the competition section of this website. You will need to pay the usual class entry fee and abide by British Dressage Rules rules.

British Dressage say: Much more than just a ticket to compete!

If you are already competing in unaffiliated dressage competitions and want to get more involved in this fantastic sport then British Dressage is the place for you! Much more than just a ticket to compete, BD, the National Governing body for the sport in the UK, is a nationwide club for all things dressage, offering training, competitions, information and social opportunities for all. Your horse can earn nationally recognised BD points and you can qualify to take part in prestigious Championships or Festivals.

Most of all affiliated dressage is accessible. Complete competition schedules and lists of training days arrive on your doormat every two months as part of BD magazine. The BD website also carries this vital information (and much more!), and staff at the BD office are on hand during office hours to answer any queries you have. From where to go and what to wear, to competing internationally and representing your country – British Dressage is working to help you get the most out of your sport.

Getting Started

All affiliated shows are open to the public and the major championships are excellent opportunities to see the best at all levels and particularly the nation’s dressage celebrities competing for prestigious national titles. You may also want to go along to your local affiliated venue to check out the facilities and the competition!

You can get a taste for affiliated competition without becoming a full BD member by using class tickets available through the BD shop or by entering Prelim classes.

Class tickets cost £8 each and each ticket allows you to enter one affiliated dressage class without being a member or having your horse registered. You can win rosettes and prize money but you will not receive BD points or any qualifications. You can also use Class Tickets to gain the score sheets needed to qualify to enter an Area Festival.

More information about class tickets here

Rider Fitness Tips: 5 Top Tips to help Rider Balance and Posture

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5 Top Fitness Tips to help Rider Balance and Posture: Whatever you do off the horse, your muscles will remember when you’re on the horse. Start making a difference now!

Whatever discipline you follow with your horse: Make a difference to how you ride by improving your balance and posture.  It is as important to a top professional trainer as to the grass roots rider and will make a difference to how you ride.

Horse Scout Blogger is on the case: Being fit, independently of riding, mucking out, poo picking etc. will boost your riding and make things a whole lot easier for you and your horse. Your riding gets a boost from performing a regular exercise regimen at least twice per week, but you can also do little things in between to enhance your fitness.

  1. Walk instead:  walk just a little bit further when you are going shopping or to the office.  Park further away than usual, park your car away from the entrance and take a brisk walk to the door.
  2. Avoid the lift: Walking up even a single flight of stairs puts equestrians’ thighs and calves to work. Walk the stairs briskly and get a mini-aerobic workout, too. Doing two at a time is even better.  Lucinda Green’s top tip!
  3. A balance in life is one thing but balance is critical for success in equestrian sports. Develop balance every day by standing on one leg, then the other for 10 to 15 seconds whenever you’re brushing your teeth, having your coffee or whenever else the opportunity presents itself. Lightly grip a convenient surface (your shopping trolley in the queue for instance), until you can progress to doing this with no surface support.
  4. Don’t slouch: Good posture is critical for balance in the saddle, and for getting the long, lean look that catches judges’ eyes. But don’t just sit up straight in the saddle; do it at your desk and the dinner table, and walk with good posture, too. For those of us who are office bound there is a seat balance cushion….brilliant invention (if a bit prickly!).
  5. Your muscles have a memory and when it comes to posture and balance, whatever you do off the horse to help balance and posture, your muscles will remember when you’re on the horse.

Be a Brilliant Buyer – And your Professional Trader will find you a perfect partner.

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Be a Brilliant Buyer – And your Professional Trader will find you a perfect partner.

The advantages of buying form a professional Trader is that their reputation rides with you. Top Tips for making right decisions when buying a horse.

Many of Horse Scouts Professional Trainers and riders also sell horses. Generally they buy in or breed horses which they train and compete before selling on. Sometimes they do the same with horses owned by sponsors or clients. This is true across all disciplines, Eventing, Showjumping, Dressage, Showing and Endurance etc. This is part of their business.   Their skill is in being able to make the most of a horse, to optimise its potential at whatever level. You can be sure that a young horse will have had the best start to its training, a horse with competitive potential will have been carefully progressed and given the right opportunities and in the case of rehabilitation or retraining a horse will be back on track and ready to go on to lead a happy useful life.

When horses do well in their competitive arena (or, if they are new to the discipline or young, they will be gaining experience at grass roots level) with a top trainer on board, their successes are a reflection of the trainers skill and reputation. Horses which are bought to the market fit for purpose help a professional trader build a reputation and repeat custom. It is not in the interest of a professional rider to produce horses which are going to fail to support their business by being suitable for purpose.   Professional riders have the skill and experience to ride all sorts of different horses and know how to ensure that each horse is given a prgramme which is right for them.

However as a buyer you also have responsibilities to ensure that a Professional Trader can help you make the right choice when buying a horse.

When you look through the Horses for Sale listings on a site like Horse Scout you certainly have a lot of good horses to choose from.

However, it is fair to say that buyers have an obligation to honestly represent their skill level, the accommodations they can offer a horse, and their intentions to the seller they are contacting.

There are certainly an infinite number of tales that illustrate less than ideal partnerships but to be fair to the sellers it can come down to the failure of the buyers to asses their own situation or communicate honestly with the seller. Remember that no horse is ever “finished.” They are sensitive creatures that continue to learn new behaviors throughout their lives. A novice horse person can inadvertently “undo” professional training faster than a terrier will snatch and swallow the family hamster. Here are some thoughts about buyers responsibilities.

  1. If you make an appointment to go look at a horse, don’t leave the seller hanging by not turning up. If you can’t make it for some reason, or will be later than scheduled, call your seller. It’s the polite thing to do, after all.
  2. If the horse’s price is more than you want to spend, ask the seller whether it’s negotiable before you make an appointment. If the seller says no, you won’t be wasting your time or his.
  3. Bring your hard hat, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear for riding. Do not assume to wear spur of to carry a whip.
  4. You can ask if it’s okay to bring your own saddle. A seller would need to be sure your saddle is in good repair (intact tree, leather not weak or rotten, etc), and that it fits the horse you are trying. This provides two advantages. You’ll be using tack that’s familiar, and you’ll know whether your saddle fits the horse you’re considering.
  5. Turn your cell phone off while you are trying a horse. It’s rude to take the seller’s time with personal calls and a suddenly ringing phone may frighten the horse.
  6. Do not bring your dog. Many farms have their own dogs, and the sellers won’t appreciate the disruption of yours running around. Also, your dog may chase or injure the seller’s horses, or other animals.
  7. If you have small children and plan to include them, bring along someone to mind the kids while you concentrate on the horse. Unattended children with horses can be extremely dangerous.
  8. Be honest about your abilities and level of riding. If you have an ethical seller, he will want to sell you a suitable horse. If your seller is an experienced horse person, he’ll know pretty quickly how adept you are by watching you with his horse, so don’t fudge; it’s not worth it.
  9. A horse is an individual and frequently develops a relationship with the person who rides it most often. If your seller rides the horse first and the horse seems very well trained, don’t be disappointed if the horse doesn’t perform quite as well when you get on. Even subtle differences in riding technique can produce very different responses from the horse. It may just be a matter of time and a little professional help before you and your new horse become a team.
  10. Don’t be surprised if the seller wants you to begin in a small area, like a paddock or round pen. He may want to assess your skills, for your own safety and for that of the horse. However, be wary of a seller who doesn’t offer a larger area (a ring, arena or pasture) once he’s comfortable with your abilities. Dishonest sellers know that a horse may be fine in a round pen but will bolt for the hills in a open pasture.
  11. Ask the seller about the horse’s daily routine and feeding schedule. A horse that is turned out every day and is eating grass or a little hay could turn into an entirely different horse if you buy it, keep it in a stall and feed it grain. Ask your seller about the level of activity the horse is accustomed to; is it ridden every day, every week, once a month? If you buy a horse that has been worked regularly, but you plan to ride once a month, your horse may not be as easy to handle after a month of leisure. Conversely, if the horse goes from being ridden once a month to your enthusiastic regime of five days a week, the horse may become sore (as you probably will). You’ll go home and relax in your hot tub. Your new horse might buck, rear, kick, toss its head, or refuse to move because that’s the only way it has to indicate pain.
  12. Take note of the bridle and bit used by your seller. Consider buying something similar if the horse works well and seems relaxed.
  13. If you are shopping for a horse for your child, its looks, cosmetic blemishes and color should be the least important factors in choosing. Look for an older horse, and plan to spend more.

Your seller might ask you:

Details of your experience with horses

What sort of support you’ll have; for example, a trainer, a very experienced friend, riding lessons, etc

Top tips for a work out warm down for your horse

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With the competition season on track and the weather warming up (promise it will….soon) Horse Scout Blogger has been thinking about the warm down after your horse has worked. Just like you he will be warm, his heart rate and respiration rate will be elevated. No matter what the season, when horses work hard they produce heat and sweat. Properly cooling down your horse will ensure he stays sound and healthy. A daily workout for your horse probably consists of four separate periods: warm-up, active conditioning or schooling, warm-down, and cool-down.

During warm weather training, the warm-down and cool-down periods are especially important because horses may be hot from conditioning exercises. The warm-down is the steady reduction in exercise intensity and usually consists of 5 to 10 minutes of low-intensity exercise that culminates in a relaxed walk. While horses will invariably sweat less as athletic effort decreases, the importance of a warm-down is more than skin deep. Foremost is the redistribution of blood within the body. When a horse is exercising, oxygenated blood is carried to the hardworking skeletal muscles, and other organs of the body receive slightly less blood than they normally do during periods of rest. As the warm-down period extends, more blood is allocated to those organs and less to skeletal muscle.

The cool-down is distinct from the warm-down period. The warm-down, as mentioned previously, occurs when mounted and ends with a relaxed walk on a loose rein. The primary objective of the cool-down is to prevent overheating following dismounting. The horse should be untacked immediately to allow maximum heat dissipation, and should be moved to a covered or shaded area with as much air movement as possible. One of the most common methods of cooling a horse in hot and humid environments includes spraying or sponging with cool water. Body-wide application of cool water is acceptable during normal summer weather when temperatures are between 80°-100°F. The most strategic points for effective cooling include the underside of the neck and barrel, and the inside of all four legs. Drinking water can be offered to the horse once cooling has begun, which is determined by a reduction in body temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate.

Allowing a few swallows every few minutes during the cool-down helps the horse replace water lost during exercise. Horses should be encouraged to drink their fill. When your horse sweats on a daily basis, even in cold weather, it is best to provide a supplemental electrolyte. Electrolytes replace the minerals lost in sweat and encourage drinking, which reduces the risk of dehydration and muscle disorders.

Proper care of a horse following a ride signifies sound horsemanship as well as a healthy dose of respect for your horse.

 

Pure Arab Stallions – Horse Scout Stallion Listings

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Are you looking for an Arab Stallion this season?

Horse Scout has four pure bred Arab stallions on its lists.

In 2010 Silver Zenif, who stands in Badminton Gloustershire, was awarded 8.75 at The Grange, Futurity Grading Show for endurance young stock in 2010. Silver Zenif won the regional qualifier and was awarded joint 2nd nationally by Endurance GBIn 2013 Silver Zenif was awarded 2nd place at the Wales & West Arab Show qualifying for the Crabbet National Championships. He attended the National Arab Show at Malvern and came 5th out of 12 stallions in the Crabbet Championships. Silver Zenif was the top 100% Crabbet Stallion at the Show. Silver Zenif also represented the ?Hanif? family group at the World Crabbet Convention at Addington Manor in July. Zenif had a great finish to 2013 by completing the Endurance GB Cotswold Group Training Ride at Barbury Castle in December and commenced his Novice season in 2014 with Endurance GB achieving a grade 1 at his first event. Silver Zenif has started his unaffiliated dressage and SJ career and featured in the B&W Equine Stallion Parade at West Wiltshire Arena on 14/02/2015. Silver Zenif sired his first part-bred bay filly foal Golden Zarifah by AI to Advanced endurance mare Mrs Katie Doyle, whom we hope will follow Zenif’s success at the BEF Futurity grading in the future. The first 100% Crabbet foal is due in Scotland during 2015 in addition to numerous foals due in New Zealand.

R Ali Bey a (USA) Black Arabian stallion. Registered with the AHS (Arab Horse Society) Phoenix Field Arabians hold the only EU Frozen AI licence for R Ali Bey who now resides at a private stud in Spain Stud fee £400 pure bred Arab mares £300 all other breeds. His proven progeny include:

Maarhabi FEI 2* endurance gelding 2015

Ali Shamahl Open endurance gelding 2015 & BEF futurity for endurance higher first premium gelding 2010

Shahlisha Open endurance mare 2015

Ali Shaheen Novice endurance gelding 2015

Ali Shahrif BEF futurity leading endurance foal 2011,

higher first premium gelding Shahkeira BEF futurity leading endurance foal 2013

LHP Esther’s Caazino, a well bred colt 74.87% Crabbet Arab, consistently place as a yearling, and in his 2 year old season. He starts his 3 year old season in april ’15, being broken in 2015 for his début under saddle in 2016. Yearling season had a championship and reserve champion with the Wessex Arab Horse Group and many placings in the top 3. 2 year season had a reserve reserve champion of Great Britain with the international show society at there Royal London show and reserve champion 3rd generation British bred at the British Arabian championship and many placings in the top 3 will be standing at stud in Hampshire

Sisyrinchium is a Pure bred Arab stallion, the product of five generations of breeding at Biddesden, tracing in his pedigree to our two foundation mares Starilla and Dafinetta who came to Biddesden from the Crabbet Stud in the 1930s. Sisyrinchium is a son of Dhruv, a well known stallion in the Show ring and famous sire of endurance stock. He was successful in the Show Ring as a young horse and went on to a career under saddle culminating in being chosen as Champion Pure Bred Stallion under saddle at the Arab Horse Society Show at Malvern. Following the lead of his sire Sisyrinchium has had important winning progeny in Endurance. He stands in Hampshire.

Freelance? BUDGET 2015: HOW IT AFFECTS YOU

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Here are some budget smilers for all our Horse Scout Freelancers. A Budget that “works for you”,  Some measures announced by the chancellor will take effect relatively soon, so what do these announcements mean for your finances?

The key changes that are likely to affect Freelancers are:

1. Annual Tax Returns are to be abolished and be replaced with real-time online accounts – a simplified system (that will make life easier for freelancers)

2. National Insurance to be abolished for under 21’s and Apprentices as of April 5th

3. Fuel duty will be frozen – good news if you drive many miles to get to your clients

4.The Personal Tax Free Allowance to increase to £10,800 next year and £11,000 year after – this means you will not pay any tax until you reach this threshold – especially good news for low earners as it will result in more money in your pocket.

5.The National Minimum Wage will increase by 20p an hour to £6.70 from October. The statutory minimum for 18 to 20-year-olds will also go up by 3% from October, from £5.13 to £5.30, and by 2% for 16 and 17-year-olds, taking the rate to £3.87.

6.There will be a further increased focus on tax avoidance with new criminal offenses for those that avoid paying taxes.

7. And for those party grooms ….Beer duty will be cut, with 1p off a pint. Cider and spirits duty will be cut by 2%.

Horse Scout Bloggers’ Professional Profile Review: Olivia Oakeley.

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From pony club star to international success as Young Rider European Team member in 2012,13 and 14. Now an International dressage rider with 5 European Championships and a BEF World Class Squad member since 2010; Horse Scouts’ newly listed Professional Freelance trainer Olivia Oakeley was bought her fabulous 16hh Dimaggio gelding called Donna Summer, a big moving five year old who had only been backed for three months, when she was just 13. For a 13 yr old child this was a huge ask and many people doubted the purchase! Together, ‘Rio’ and I trained hard and both of us have worked together to show what we can achieve. In 2007 we became Under 21 Novice National Champions and represented BYRDS South West at Home Internationals in Scotland (Novice) and Wales (Medium) where we were Reserve Champions in both competitions. During the next couple of years, Rio and I continued to work hard alongside my school work.

on Olivias’ website bio she goes on to say:

In 2009 after I finished my GCSEs, I was lucky enough to go to Carl Hester’s yard for two weeks, working in return for lessons. Carl asked me to stay on as his working pupil and so at 16 years old having attained 7 A’s and 2 B’s in GCSEs, I left home. Rio and I continued to improve and show success by becoming Advanced Medium Regional Champions. Following that we went on to become Reserve Advanced Medium National Champions. By this point we had been noticed by the British Under 21 selectors and we were put onto the U21 Progress Squad with a view to competing at Junior level in International competitions. We continued to gain good marks in the Junior Team test and were selected to compete for Great Britain at Addington CDI in April 2010. We came 5th in the Team test and were the highest placed British combination. From there, we were sent to Moorsele, Belgium where we came 11th in the Team Test and improving to 11th in the Individual Test.

The peak of our success was in 2010, when we were selected for the Junior European Team in Kronberg, Germany. We were to be the pathfinders of the team and ended up with an international personal best of 67.24% in 16th place in the team test and the 2nd highest placed British rider with the Team coming 5th. 2011 brought great news as Donna Summer and I were selected for World Class Potential Start Squad. This is huge recognition for us both and we will endeavour to keep on improving and being successful.

In 2011, I was selected for the Junior European Team and then the Young Rider European Team in 2012, 2013 and 2014 where I had three personal best scores all over 70% and finished in 5th place. My goal is to be on future Senior Teams. Alongside my competition commitments, I am a freelance rider and trainer whilst also riding for Lordswood Dressage and I still train with Carl Hester. I have been on the BEF World Class programme since 2010.The peak of our success was in 2010, when we were selected for the Junior European Team in Kronberg, Germany. We were to be the pathfinders of the team and ended up with an international personal best of 67.24% in 16th place in the team test and the 2nd highest placed British rider with the Team coming 5th. 2011 brought great news as Donna Summer and I were selected for World Class Potential Start Squad. This is huge recognition for us both and we will endeavour to keep on improving and being successful.

In 2011, I was selected for the Junior European Team and then the Young Rider European Team in 2012, 2013 and 2014 where I had three personal best scores all over 70% and finished in 5th place. My goal is to be on future Senior Teams. Alongside my competition commitments, I am a freelance rider and trainer whilst also riding for Lordswood Dressage and I still train with Carl Hester. I have been on the BEF World Class programme since 2010.

Operating ofrom her glousestershire base, Olivia Offers a freelance training programme for your horse.  Click here to make an enquiry.

Making the right shapes in the show jumping arena – 8 different approaches to perfecting your horses jumping.

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Horse Scout Blogger has been contemplating show jumps this weekend.  Each type of jumps asks for a subtly different approach and energy.  In order to feel confident in the arena it’s a good idea to understand what question each style is asking of your horse and also its important to teach your horse how to jump the different fences to improve your show jumping.

1.  Ground poles

Really boost your horse’s bascule by using ground poles to create a wider fence base – he’ll instinctively know what to do. Without a ground line a fence becomes more advanced, drawing your horse in close, making it harder for him to jump well and get his legs out of the way in time.

You can also make a V-shape with ground poles before fences to channel your horse’s energy on approach, helping produce a much better jump.

2. Cross-poles

A great warm-up and schooling fence, cross-poles help your horse start to open up and use his shoulders. The V-shape encourages him to come centrally to the fence, tuck his knees neatly up and to look at what he’s being asked to jump. The taller the cross-pole, the more it will improve his action, as he works those shoulders and really lifts up.

3. Vertical

A vertical (or upright) is made of poles in the same vertical plane, and encourages your horse to make a taller, rounder shape in his jump. The take-off and landing spots will be the same distance away from the fence, so your horse will make quite a steep shape into it, lifting his shoulders higher vertically and tucking his forelegs up and away quite quickly.

4. Fillers

Fillers are great for getting a round shape in your horse’s jump, and by creating an illusion of solid colour he’ll really look at what he’s facing. They’re great for a bold horse because they demand respect, but if he’s lacking in confidence, fillers can make a fence harder to ride.

5. Planks

Planks work the same way as a vertical, creating a tall, steep jump shape, but they’re easier to knock down as they sit on flat cups. Planks create a more solid-looking fence, so your horse may back off a bit, and even produce a bigger jump, and as they tend not to have a ground line, they’ll draw him in quite deep, so he needs a more powerful jump to clear them!

6. Triple bar

Made with three poles of ascending height, triple bars create a longer, more open jump. Your horse really has to stretch and lift his front end to clear them, and they can be challenging when linked with other fences. Because their width requires more power, your horse will come deeper into the fence before take-off and land further out than normal, so if you’re working out your strides to the next fence keep this in mind.

7. Oxer

Two parallel vertical fences form an oxer, creating a spread that gets horses up in the air, producing a rounder, more equal shape than a triple bar encourages with take-off and landing spots the same distance from the fence. Because of the power your horse uses to push himself up and over, he may run on a little on landing, or lack energy because he used it up in the air.

8. Liverpool Oxer

A Liverpool is a vertical or oxer with a ditch or large tray of water underneath. The tray makes your horse look at the fence (which can cause his head and neck to drop as he approaches) then encourages him to get up in the air, creating a large, round jump.place the tray in front of the fence and it mimics the effect of a triple bar, encouraging a wider, more open jump which rises gradually. Place the tray under the fence or out behind it and your horse will draw deep into the fence, producing a more upright take-off and more reach as he lands. If you don’t have a water tray, you can create the same effect by laying something on the ground beneath a fence such as a rug.

This great advice comes from show jumper Mia Korenika who explains how different fences and elements can help your horse become a more athletic, careful jumper.  Use this link to check out her facebook page.

 

8 TIPS TO STAYING COOL & CALM IN THE COMPETITION ARENA

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Horse Scout Blogger was speaking with a rider coming up to their first competition level hike. At home they have been performing well and are well prepared in terms of ability and focus and will do well if our rider focuses on what the horse needs from him……The BIGGEST secret to you performing at your best, when it counts the most, is learning how to keep yourself CALM and COMPOSED. If you allow yourself to get too nervous or too excited right before or during a competition, then your muscles will tighten up, you’ll lose your confidence and your riding will go right down the tubes!

This is what it means to CHOKE! The rider gets so nervous that he/she ends up performing tight and tentatively — a mere shadow of your normal self and this will affect your horses performance to as he picks up on your tension.

THE REAL CAUSE OF OUT OF CONTROL NERVOUSNESS

Runaway, pre-competition nervousness can come from a lot of different sources: how good the other contestants are; the level at which you are competing; how important a competition is; how big the crowd is (and possibly more important to you – who in it is watching you; whether you’ll ride well today and win; How will the going be; Will you remember your test/course/timings— the list goes on and on.

While there are many things about your competitions that can potentially make you nervous, the true cause of your performance-disrupting nervousness isn’t any of the things that I’ve just mentioned above. The real cause of your out-of-control nerves is you! That’s right! YOU make YOURSELF nervous!

What I’m saying here is very important — It’s not what’s happening around or outside of you that makes you nervous. It’s what’s happening INSIDE that is the real cause of stress!

So it is important to take on board: It’s not the size, skill level or reputation of the competition arena that makes you nervous. It’s what you say to yourself about them in the days, hours and minutes leading up to the competition that’s the real culprit in sending your heart rate and blood pressure through the roof! Nervousness is always caused by our inner response to the things that are going on outside of us. But here’s the good news about that: If YOU make yourself nervous, then YOU have the ability to change your inner response to calm yourself down under competitive pressure.

Most riders who get too nervous to ride well do so because of what they focus on and think about as the day approaches. They worry about how well they’ll ride, what people may think or say about them, etc. Focusing on any or all of these things will guarantee that your stress level will go through the attic and your performance will get stuck in the cellar! To stay calm under pressure, you must learn to go into competitions with a completely different headset and focus. I

 

What you need is a game plan;  a game plan is a series of little mental goals that you want to bring into the performance with you. If you follow this game plan, it will guarantee that you’ll stay calm and relaxed when you perform. Remember, being your best when it counts the most is all about being loose right before and during your competitions.

 

Leading up to your performance –

1. KEEP YOUR CONCENTRATION IN THE “NOW”

Train yourself to keep your focus in the NOW — especially during your performance! This means that leading up to the performance, you don’t want to think about and focus on the upcoming competition and its importance. If you want to stay loose and relaxed, you must learn to keep your concentration in the now. When you’re in the action, you want to focus on one present-moment play at a time.

2. RECOGNIsE WHEN YOUR FOCUS “TRAVELS” AND BRING YOURSELF BACK

Concentrating on what is happening now and reacting to that is key. Whilst you have to anticipate your next move you must live in the now in order function from a position of strength. If your focus moves to reflect on what has happened or you start imagining the future bring your focus back.

3. KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON YOU, YOUR JOB AND YOUR PLAY

Allowing your focus to drift to anyone or anything other than you and your horse will quickly make you feel nervous. Staying focused on you and your job will keep you calm and confident.

4. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS! Comparison will always make you too nervous to play at your best.

5. HAVE FUN – Enjoy your job

Enjoying your performance and appreciating what is going well is the secret ingredient to staying calm and doing your best when the heat of competition is turned up high. When fun goes, so will all of your skills.

6. LEAVE YOUR GOALS AT HOME

One of the biggest tension-inducing mental mistakes that you can make as an competitor is to take your goals with you into the competition. Focusing on what you need to achieve will make you too nervous to perform well and, ironically, cause you never to reach them. Instead, leave your goals at home and keep your focus in the action, on “this” movement, this turn, this half halt.

7. KEEP YOUR MIND DISTRACTED BEFORE AND AFTER GAMES

Thinking gets most performers into trouble and makes them nervous. While you can’t really stop yourself from thinking, you can purposely distract yourself from it. So, in the days and minutes leading up to a big performance or tournament, keep busy. Do not allow yourself a lot of free time to think. If you are going through your test or riding the course in your mind. Think about HOW you re riding each movement or jump etc not how difficult its going to be.

8. KEEP YOUR FOCUS OF CONCENTRATION AWAY FROM THE “UNCONTROLLABLES”

There are a lot of things that happen in your sport that you do not have direct control over. Any time an competitor focuses on an “uncontrollable” (UC), they will get really nervous, lose their confidence and ride badly. So make a list of all of the things about this upcoming competition that you can’t directly control. For example, the officiating; the crowd; the future, such as the outcome, how well you’ll ride, winning or losing; how you are feeling that day; other people’s expectations; etc., and post the list in a highly visible. Keep in mind that these UCs are mental traps. They are lying in wait for you and every other competitor in that competition. Concentrate on the things over which you do have control.

Remember, if you really want to ride well, you have to stay loose and relaxed. To do this, focus on executing this GAME PLAN!

GoodLuck

 

Classical principals from across the pond – Dressage Clinics with Stephen Hayes this summer

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USA based Professional rider Stephen Hayes –has recently created a profile on Horse Scout.  Horse Scout Blogger noticed, on his face book page, that he is back in the UK from 25th July until 7th August and is available to run clinics for you

Stephen Hayes is a British 23 year old, who has worked and trained with some of the worlds best in dressage, he has trained with Olympic team riders and FEI judges who have judged all the way to WEG, Europeans and Olympic Games. Stephen, a well respected British rider is known for his way of riding and also his way of teaching riders. Stephen has been in extremely high demand to host Dressage clinics within the UK and with upwards of 60 clinics to date.  He is based at the spectacular world class facility in Florida and New Jersey with Piaffe Performance . Stephen rides and trains a number of horses and clients from young to highly advanced and enjoys the journey and progression more than anything else.

Stephens Bio:

I’ve always had a love and desire to one day work in the United States, ever since I first visited the country on holiday with my family back in 2001. So in December 2012 age 21, I made a huge decision to move out to the States to ride, teach and compete on one of most successful yards in America, Piaffe Performance. It’s situated in New Jersey during the summer months (45 mins from NYC) and Wellington, Florida known as the ‘Capital of the equestrian world’ during the winter show season, (10 mins from West Palm Beach). For me this move has been the best decision I’ve ever made, I work with an incredibly talented team of riders and grooms and have a wide range of enthusiastic clients which I coach on a daily basis. At Piaffe Performance I ride a range of horses from the young and uneducated all the way to Grand Prix horses. I’ve also had the opportunity to compete at many a show, one of the most recent was at ‘Dressage at Devon’ arguably the biggest show of the year in the USA, I competed one of the horses I ride daily in the higher advanced medium class, against other very high profile riders including some who had been in previous Olympics, what an incredible experience. During my time in America I’ve met and trained with some of the most respected riders, trainers and judges in the world and been to some amazing places outside the dressage world, previously I trained in Barcelona, Spain Beatrice Ferrer Salat, one of the finest dressage riders in the world, who has competed many a time in the Olympics, there I learnt how to really understand what feels correct when riding a horse and how to ride and train the upper level movements. I had the opportunity to ride amazing horses and occasionally horses like Olympic qualifiers; words can’t describe how unreal that was to be able to do that. Not only were the horses out of this world but the actual yard was the most prestige and luxurious I’ve ever seen in my life and in any magazine, the horses we’re literally treated like Kings. My experience in Spain was more than just educational, I was working hard and long days and in return had intense training from Beatrice, and I could never thank her enough for what she did for me as rider. I went on to train with Vicki Thompson-Winfield for 9 months in Surrey, a previous GB rider for the Olympics, another very valuable experience for me.

If you are interested in taking a clinic with Stephen then click through to his profile page on Horse Scout