Monday, May 23, 2011

competition training and panic

Well the show season is over for another year. Now is the time when i get stuck into training, breaking in and schooling all the horses. As well as catching up on all the other farm work I have been neglecting.

In fact this week is a bit of a mad panic, someone important has asked me to train there horse. I'm thrilled it is an amazing opportunity, as the person is Olympic medalist, world champion and a bit of a big wig in the sport. As well a great horseman and trainer in his own right.

Its not my horse training skills that have got me worried, but the farm. While it works perfectly well for my own horses, its a little bit rough around the edges kind of place, even though its vastly improved from when we first arrived, we can only fix it up little by little. I mean it still doesn't have electricity, phone lines, and the driveway has a creek crossing through the middle of it. The stable while functional, are not flash, and the paddocks still have patches of gorse, not the immaculate manicured pasture you dream about. What if he takes one look at the place and takes his horse back with him??

fingers crossed it all works out, as the training i receive in exchange would help me unbelievably. Training horses from scratch and breaking them, taming wild horses etc, is a totally different ball game from competition riding.Some riders are great competition riders, but don't have the patience for training, some are great trainers but don't cope with the stress of competition. They are two very different aspects of the horse world, some riders can do both. I think the truly great riders who continuously produce horses horses to an international level are probably both. But not everyone is..

Training and taming horses, you can learn a lot just from doing it or watching people who know what they are doing, and experimenting yourself. Competition is different it gets to a level, where its not just about who can stay on a horse as it flies over jumps, or spins on a dime, or prances around a ring. Its not just natural ability that wins you ribbons, far from it. Ability gets you so far then you train, practice, learn, train and practice some more. unfortunately you cant get there on your own, you need lessons, advice and dedication. I know i can tame a wild horse, break it in, ride it and train it do jumping, do dressage,work cattle, lie down, bow or do any other trick, if i set my mind to it. I know i can train and compete a horse and be very competitive to a certain level. but the next bit if i want to get there, i will need help, if i want to be really good not just locally but nationally and above i better get the best training i can find, so i can learn what skills to practise and practise to make myself and my horse as good as i can possibly be ...

I think this is true in any sport these days. Even a sprinter doesn't just run fast, Its no good to just be able to run quickly in a straight line, you have to know all the techniques as well, so you maximise every little bit of your performance, because there are thousands of other people out there who can run just as fast. Horse sport is the same, thousands of people can sit on a horse well, thousands of horses can jump well, you got to learn the skills to perfect every aspect if you want to win the big stuff. Jumping poles in a gorse paddock at home only get you so far.....

in my round about way, I'm saying that this guy, in exchange for putting some training in his horse, is going to train me, as I'm in that point where i need that little but extra guidance just to push myself to the next level and get the most out of my performance. otherwise i might find myself years from now, still at the same level i am today, and if I'm going to do this horse thing i want to be good at it, not average. so again this week is a panic to get thing on the farm ship shape, in time for the arrival of trainer and his horse, i need this to work out....