We were blessed with the coldest day in Cambridge for our second Wobbleberry Rally but that didn't stop our wobbleberries who came ready for action!
Our 2 instructors Sara and Frances were excellent and extremely professional in their deliveries of information and instruction.
In the classroom session, we were reminded of the importance of safety both on and off the ground. This is key as many of us, are not as limber anymore need to up to date with all equipment. Frances started her talk with this which was an incredibly important reminder. Horses are prey animals and we are asking them to do things they wouldn't normally do. To enjoy the sport for both horse and rider, it is of upmost importance we keep up to date with safety checks, helmets, all tack and body protectors and always be mindful when around horses.
One key phrase I walked away with is to have 'a fresh set of eyes' looking over your tack and horse for you. Accidents can happen when we get complacent so having a qualified coach is one small way to keep your and your horse safe.
Another reminder was to keep checking your saddle as your training progresses which wasn't something I had thought of and yet, makes total sense. As the horses get more fit their muscles will change and develop. Having a saddle that fits your woolly mammoth in the winter is different then your slick riding machine in the summer! Please stay on top of this please.
Equally important are the right feeds for your horse. Getting a feed technician can make a huge difference to your horse's behaviour and success. This goes for us Wobbleberries as well. In my facebook group, Wobbleberry Wellness, I offer health and lifestyle tips to ensure we keep vitality and strength up as we move forward with our challenge. This challenge will demand alot from us and keeping fit, well and healthy is key to success.
Another great tip about the actual competition day, is to know your course before hand. This means getting to your chosen location and having a good peek around. By making the course as familiar as possible will save one from experiencing extra stress on the day. With nerves to be already high, this is a great tip to make the day smooth sailing.
- Know your course and walk if often
- Where to park
- Where the Loo is
- Where the office is, to get your helmet check etc.
- Where your favourite tack shop vendor is if you need back-up on the day
- Where the champagne hut is after you've completed your day!!
Sara also offered some great advice over season planning. Check in every 4 months to see where you are at and make adjustments as needed, ground changes, weather etc. This is a great thing to do with a mentor or your trainer as well. She offered these SMART GOALS which can help with your plans.
S - Specific. Be specific about your goal and intention. We are aiming for 80T, not C*1, although the pressure will feel the same!
M - Measured. Plan for BE80, not Burghley.
A - Achievable. Keep the goals achievable, work within your means so you continue to succeed.
R - Realistic. Burghley, no. 80T's yes.
T - Time phase. Manage your time and keep on track.
Organization is a must. Frances made a great suggestion to use a diary. I love sitting down every Sunday and planning my week of what Frog and I will do in terms of training and exercise. I bought one specific for Frog where I write down anything and everything that has happened from his recent cut on the leg to when I clean tack. By writing a few bits down everyday, you can look back at what you did to see what worked and what didn't. This will also help your trainer continue to build your program.
Sara, during the flat session had everyone watch what was happening in the transition exercise. I love doing stuff like this because you develop not only your obversation skills but can learn alot about body language, position, movement, balance and rhythm. She also offered that it's important to look for the small successes in your sessions, not what you did wrong. This will continue to build up confidence which we wobbleberries need!
Frances had everyone crack on in the pole work session. She made sure that everyone knew this type of work did not have to be done in a designated arena and could be done in a field at home, which is great news for those that were once happy hackers and now eventers!
Our wobbleberries brought their enthusiam and a great mix of mounts. Many of the horses coming back into work, or trying new horses and also some trying new disciplines. Aside from surviving the cold temperatures, a horse losing a shoe and getting it repaired that morning, everyone did excellent and it was a great day out. Everyone who showed up are well on the way to achieving their eventing goals and hopefully having some fun along the way!
Big thanks to Georgie for organizing the rallies and to the two wonderful instructors. Sara is a BE accredited coach who will be on site and available on the eventing 80T days, so make sure to ask her if you need any help. She was very clear to everyone to take advantage of not only her, but any of the coaches that will be onsite. This will be a great help on the day so please seek them out.
We are looking to do specific discipline rallies next so stay tuned and happy wobbling!!