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  • Writer's picturekmbleekman

Is your partnership 50%

You hear horsey girls say it all the time;

“Oh you just don’t get it!”

Being horsey girls we often feel misunderstood by other halves, family members as we put our absolute all into our horses. Our time, money & our efforts go into our horses in order to reap the rewards & ultimately get the best results we can & have the most enjoyment out of our hobby when competing come the weekends.

So many of us riders spend three hours at weekends travelling for clinics or lessons searching for that extra 4% performance from our horse but we never stop to think and realise how much we’re just leaving on the table from our own performance.

We’ve all heard people say;

“Horse riders do nothing” & “Horse riding is such an easy sport”

When in reality we all know how fit, strong and agile a good rider really needs to be. And that’s what I don’t get.

The one thing that never ceases to amaze me & I don’t get is why you leave so much on the table as a rider yourself?

You expect & search for that extra 4% from your horse, whether that’s in a lesson or at a competition. Maybe you’ve been working to get that sub 70% dressage mark and you’re just sticking at the 30,31 mark but you don’t even stop to consider your 50% of the partnership & how that could get you to that sub 70% goal.

You do nothing. You put all of your expectations on your horse. Leave 95% of the work up to him and completely forget yourself.

Normally this is actually quite a selfless approach as we don’t really stop to think about ourselves as riders. Part of that is we prioritise our horses of course but equally, when time is so short it’s easy to do that but you’re only going to hinder yourself.

100% of the riders I’ve worked with and coached of the past few years have said that coaching & their programmes have been the best thing for the horses and their performance as well as improving their overall quality of life.

Riders never want to stop to think about themselves or how their own performance is affecting their horse's results and way of going. You can start to use your own motivation & drive to put more effort into your 50%.

Over the winter we all know there is a lack of daylight. The one thing that does mean is that you’re going to be spending more time inside and you’re probably finishing up the yard earlier in the evenings or not riding so that time can now be used to work on your performance.

Even if you just spent twice a week training it will have a big impact on your performance come 2022.

As long as your programme is enjoyable, it’s something that fits into your life in terms of time and lifestyle so that you can stick to it, progressively moves you forward to getting stronger fitter and faster & it supports your riding movement and goals then it’s the best programme for you. It’s so important to remember there’s no one best programme or way of training! The best one is the one that hits all the above & works for you.

You’ll be surprised if you took the opportunity to work on yourself over the next 16 weeks, (that takes you into February) how much your horse's performance improves and what an impact making a slight improvement to your 50% has overall for both of you & your results together.

Start to prioritise yourself.

Start simple, identify where your weaknesses are and what you need to work on. From there you can build a programme and identify what the best form of exercise or training will be for you to do so. Just like your horse training should make sure that you’re moving from A to B progressively over time & you’re improving your own performance, strength & fitness.

Quite quickly you’ll probably notice changes in your riding and a positive impact in all areas of your life when you work on yourself.

Find your drive & stop putting so much time effort and importance on just your horse. Consider your 50% & start putting the extra little bit in over the winter. It’s a perfect time to start thinking about improving yourself ready for the new season.

You might need to be a little selfish but to start to really focus on your performance. It can make a huge difference and trust me, your 2022 season will be a lot different if you work on yourself as well as your horse over the off-season.

If you’ve no idea where to start then I highly suggest you hire a coach, even for a few weeks just to show you the basics, guide you through the ropes and then you know how to take yourself from A to B and what to work on to keep moving forwards.

Remember something is better than nothing and making sure that you’re realistic with the time that you do have is really important. Focus on having a little progress every day and in a few months time, you’ll be in a very different position.

If you’re thinking of one-to-one coaching or you need some support with your training then please click here. I have very limited availability for the remainder of 2021 but if you’re serious about winter training then this is for you!


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