For those of you that don’t know me I will quickly introduce myself, I am Georgie and am currently riding and eventing full time alongside Freelance riding teaching. I have grown up with horses thanks to my Mum and Aunt, I have been in love with the horses and the outdoors ever since I can remember. I was a member of the Surrey Union Pony Club growing up and they gave me a fantastic grounding across all disciplines from Tetrathlon to Eventing and Mounted Games to Show Jumping. I did my first season of BE in 2007 and have been hooked ever since, competing up to Advanced and 2* level competitions. I also really enjoy my show jumping and have jumped up to 1.30m level successfully.Me on a horse of Mums at 6 months
Since the eventing season all the horses have had a different plan of action. Hudson (Greenlanes Hudson) who will be 6 this year had a month off in the field to have a think about his season and grow. I am hoping that giving him the time now will pay off in the future, as so far he is showing all the talent and the attitude to go to the top. He came back into work mid November and has done some show jumping and arena eventing since, jumping double clears and being placed. We are working towards starting his season at Tweseldown BE100 and going from there.
Joey (War Horse II) has been kept in work as he didn’t do many events and had a month off in March last year as he had a spot under the saddle which was really irritated by putting anything on it. He is 7 this year but is a very late foal, being born in September. He has been out show jumping and has picked up all his Discovery double clears and started jumping Newcomers successfully. He is for me to show jump more than event, but he will do some unaffiliated eventing as he loves it.Where I caught the eventing bug! Riding Pickles – Age 9
Lily (Symmetry) is 13 this year and I have owned her since the May of her 5yo year. She is rather quirky and does what she likes now, having had a series of unlucky injuries she is now barefoot, lives out 24/7 and has never been happier. She has been out show jumping and arena eventing this winter and has picked up a lot of wins. She owes me nothing so we just pick and choose fun things to do. She might do a few unaffiliated events this year if it fits in and she feels good.
Last but not least is the superstar and legend that is Sjapo Le Sursaut (Coco to his friends). He is 19 this year but not showing any signs of slowing down at all. In fact he is feeling fitter and stronger than ever. He has been kept in work all winter as I didn’t want him to lose too much fitness, as horses get older it is much harder work to get them back to full fitness after a holiday. He has been show jumping and has got all his Foxhunter double clears for this year. He will be aimed at Open Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate events this year, but picking and choosing the events for the ground and suitability. If at any time he feels like he is struggling or doesn’t want to do it, he will stop but judging by the fact he squeals every time he jumps and I can’t stop him out hacking I think this season will be just fine!
It has been very wet this winter and I am sure I am not the only one tired of sliding through the mud! However, we are well on our way to spring now with the days getting longer and the evenings lighter. It doesn’t seem possible that the eventing season gets underway in just over 3 weeks’ time! What is the best way to get ready you may wonder…
Where we are now, loving flying across the country on Sjapo Le Sursaut (Photo Credit Lorraine Porter)
Getting ready for eventing season
Get your plans in early. With horses the plans change all the time and you need a plan A, B, C and probably D! In fact, by August you will have got through the whole alphabet and be starting on Roman Numerals!! I have a family wall planner, except the 5 columns are for me and the four horses, not my family. Here I fill in what the horses will do each day and when they are competing. Then if there is something I am working towards, I can work backwards from the day and make sure I have got my training done in the right amount of time. I love timetables and colour coding, so it does make me very happy!
Listen to your horse, they will tell you when something is not quite right and you need to back off the work, or in fact if they are feeling particularly well and need to do more. Notice the small changes as the small changes add up to big ones and that is when the problems start.
Remember it is fun. It doesn’t do the horses any harm to have a couple of days off every so often. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t want to ride in horizontal, icy rain. To be honest your horse will probably be grateful too! However, at this time of year make the most of any good weather we do have to get a really decent hack in – you will feel better for it!
So that is all from me, I hope you enjoy reading about my plans and some of my hints and tips to make sure you kick off your season with your horse in the best possible shape.
Read more about Georgie in her previous Q&A blog!
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