Nothing quite as nerve wracking for a coach when someone brings their lovely horse to you for a few brush up lessons for the first time, and they announce they have less than 3 weeks to a big qualifier. Especially when that person is a friend, a very talented rider and also a highly renowned coach themselves! Plus the final they want to qualify for is at Badminton Horse Trials!
How much do you dare change, if anything. Overdo it and you might confuse the established partnership, don’t change enough and those few extra marks they need to qualify won’t happen. Stress levels are rising for both you and the rider as the day gets closer and you start to wake up at 1 am wondering how to improve that canter transition further and if it’s even possible within the given time scale! By 2 am I am still overthinking it and even life in general seems impossible and I wonder even why people are coming to me for help, they must be crazy!!
This has been my dilemma for the last couple of weeks, luckily in the light of day it turns out everything I was worrying about is actually possible and the talented, very hardworking rider pulled it off and won her qualifier yesterday at Dauntsey.
So relieved that I didn’t over cook the coaching and I am thrilled to say I have coached my 5th rider to qualify for the final of the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton Horse Trials.
Very exciting and huge thanks to all the riders over the years who have put their trust in me to help them achieve their Grassroots Championships goal.
Past clients who qualified in previous years were
Sarah Dixon Smith – Mr Muddle – 2006 (final held at Aston)
Camilla Esling – Just Jake – 2011
Jen Clements – Mowgli – 2013
Annabel McCourt – Vainquer II – 2015 (WD from champs)
Victoria Gregg – Langston Governor – 2018
Well done to them all, so many amazing memories, all I need to do now is convince a few more clients that they can do it too!
Photo is Camilla Esling and Just Jake 2011