Once again we are focusing our Selwood’s ‘Ask the Experts’ question and answer series on eventing. More specifically the cross country discipline. Today’s question is being answered by international 4* event rider Tim Price. Tim Price has recently been selected for the team competition at the World Equestrian Games, along with his wife Jonelle. New Zealand born Tim has been eventing for many years. He changed from world cup showjumping over to the three phase discipline of eventing.
Tim Price’s Success
Tim Price had noted success inNew Zealand before making the move to England in 2005. Now he lives in Wiltshire. He is based with wife Jonelle and their strong team of horses and dedicated staff. Tim has made headlines this year with placings at top 4* events. Badminton Horse Trials – where he finished in the top ten and a win at Luhmulen aboard Wesko. He has also secured a top 20 placing at Aachen and a second place more recently in the CIC3* at Hartpury. A seasoned professional, Tim works hard bringing his young horses on as well as competing his top horses. Tim is often seen competing all over Europe as well as more locally to his Wiltshire base.
Selwood Equine Junior Riders; Ask the Experts
Our featured rider for today’s blog is 15 year old Charlotte Saville. She is one of our new sponsored Selwood Equine juniors. Charlotte and her pony Pippa are new to pony club and cross country. She tells us that her pony is young and inexperienced, although can get a little strong at times. Although Charlotte had lots of questions to ask Tim, we narrowed it down to a great question that most probably applies to many riders of all ages! The question put forward to Tim from Charlotte was…
What is the best way to improve the stamina of your horse if you have limited galloping space?
Tim Price replied….
I bet by the end of Pony Club camp you will have lots of new friends and will have also had a lot of fun! The fun and rather addictive thing about cross country is that you and your pony grow in confidence and ability as you go. Good luck!
Now to answer your question.
You can get a horse/pony to quite a high level of fitness just through regular hacking as well as working/schooling in an arena. Its important that you set out a routine of riding. Make sure it is no less than five or six days per week if possible. Hacking is a great way to get your horse or pony fit as well as keeping them mentally fresh and alert. Hill work can build stamina nicely and riding out over varied terrain will allow you and your horse to think about moving forwards. When schooling for example, you can incorporate some poles on a curve to trot through. Start with three poles, then move up to four or even five when you’re ready. This type of ‘strengthening’ work can really help with core fitness. Canter work in the arena is also good. Make sure you keep Pippa balanced when cantering for an extended amount of time. You can also try lengthening and shortening the canter stride as you work. For example, lengthen Pippa down the long side of the arena and shorted her stride as you move around the turns.
All the best and good luck 🙂
Thanks to both Tim and to Charlotte for taking part in our ‘Ask the Experts’ series, we hope it has been useful to all our readers as well to Charlotte and Pippa!