With the competition season over and winter just around the corner, it’s time to turn the horses out and rest, right? Wrong!
I always like to give the horses a break after a major competition such as Nationals, and generally at the end of the competition season; a few weeks off always does everyone a world of good. However winter is the perfect time to refocus and revisit your training. Without the pressure of any upcoming competitions, now is a great time to revisit your foundation elements, work on any particular issues, perhaps introduce some new training elements and continue to progress your training. This helps you really get a head start when the next competition season comes around, and you will be that much further ahead than all those who rested over winter!
To give you an idea of the Peak Performance winter schedule, I am about to undertake the “Dressage Reset” course with Ritter dressage. This helps to identify any particular problem areas, retest and re-establish a solid foundation and ensure that our dressage training continues on the right track.
Suzie Q will be introduced to some jumping with the view to doing our first jumping competition next season, while Babylon will continue his dressage training to set him up for his first official tests next season. A few other horses we are working with will continue their training throughout winter to hold them in good stead for whatever their owners wish to do come next season.
An exciting development is going to be the introduction of a series of “desensitization” days. Plans are afoot to facilitate a regular monthly session, open to the public, where we will be introducing and working horses over and through a series of obstacles, such as bridges, tarps, streamers and the likes. The purpose of these days is twofold: First, this will help desensitize your horse to many obstacles that you may come across either out on the trail or at competitions. Second, these exercises really help to improve the communication and trust between you and your horse.
Anyone interested in attending these days should register their interest by emailing me
Winter truly is a great time to train, just make sure you have those thermals ready!
Cheers & Happy Riding