You will be able to read all about my show schedule and plans in the NEWS section, and therefore I think it is the right time to talk about how to prepare for competitions and how my training during this winter looked like.
I am training and schooling my horses most of the time on my own, but like everyone else I do need regular sessions with my trainer. So for this winter we worked out a scheme of doing 3-4 day ‘bootcamps’ (as I humorously call them) every 3 weeks. Which is a nice rhythm to keep up the fun and good vibes during work, have days of just easy jogging and a bit chill-out inbetween and keep the horses motivated but also keep them progressing and improving.
Our winter work with Keksi was doing lots of basics as we are looking forward to our first Grand Prix, hopefully this season on national level. In order to achieve this, Keksi had to become much stronger, balanced and quicker in his hind-legs, so we would improve self-carriage and a light connection to the bit too. The main focus was not only on schooling the single lections but even more so to train for example riding proper corners and small, quick transitions as things happen very fast in GP. I could not believe how hard it was, and it was one of these ‘famous’ moments you so often experience in dressage, when struggeling with yourself and feeling like an idiot because at some point you could not even manage the easiest transition anymore… But a good trainer will take you through this and guide you towards the moment, when you are finally not only able to do it but come out better than before.
As we really believe in Keksi’s potential and last season only was his very first one, we decided to take things slowly –try to compete some hopefully nice small tour rounds and only if this works out the way we want to, head towards GP.
Bofi only came to my stable beginning of November, so right now we are still in the ‘getting to know each other’ phase. Nevertheless the two of us have a good connection and he has so much potential that makes every single training with him sooo much fun. Right now we are working on his balance and strength especially of the hind legs, changing a lot from powerful engagement to loosening and stretching. I call it ‘on-off’ because as he has these huge movements it is especially important for him to learn to relax and move in some kind of ‘smaller’ gaits in order to improve his strength but also keep him healthy and happy.
With Dear Harry, who just developed breathtakingly well within the last weeks, it is as well basic young horse work: lots about building up strength, balance and rhtythmn. Harry has this huge canter which he has to learn to control, so whilst going just straight ahead is super easy and fun, I inbetween will challenge him by riding (not too small) circles, going on the diagonal and doing short passages of counter-canter but only as far as I feel he will be able to keep his balance. Lots of appreciation and switching to something easy or relaxing will keep him motivated as he always will try his heart out –he indeed is such a ‘dear’!
For Conny, who is just back to school since a few weeks, it is mainly about lunging and working in hand –he loves to piaffe more than everything… Recently we started riding again, doing lots of just easy forward in all gaits, but I guess if he keeps improving like this he will be back on track soon…
And finally if we talk about preparing for the new season, I had my first Yoga lession last week, because I felt that besides riding my horses, regular treadmill training and my beloved crossfit workouts I was lacking in stretching, slowing things down, learning to relax and breathe. I really enjoyed it and will keep you updated on how things are going 😉