We’ve picked up the pace this month working towards qualifying for Winter Championships in February. Leonie and I have been practicing both the Team and Individual tests rigorously every time I ride to drill in how to ride each movement accurately, so that it reflects in the best way during competition.
I remember when I was on World Class Squad talking to the physiologist about different stages you need to go through to be able to perform the best in competition. The ultimate goal is ‘unconscious competence’ where you can ride through the test accurately without even thinking about it, because your brain automatically knows how and where to make little corrections as an when they need to be made.
At the other end of the scale is ‘unconscious incompetence ‘ where you are riding through the test inaccurately and you don’t even know it. At the moment, I would say I’m somewhere in between ‘consciously incompetent ‘ and ‘consciously competent’ as I am now aware when I’ve ridden a movement inaccurately or accurately, but I’m really having to work at it to get it accurate all the time, which is only going to improve with practice but my aim is to get that in competition as well as at home.
I said in last months blog that I felt like I’ve lost some cardio fitness, due to rehabilitation work on my hip. Over the past month, I’ve been working a lot more in the gym with Katie to develop this, and I think it’s made a major improvement to my stamina when riding. Another thing that I personally think the test riding has improved after evaluating what we’ve been doing this month, is my cardio fitness.
If you think about it, most of the time when your riding at home, your only focusing on one or two movements at a time. I’ve always found it difficult to ride through a whole test in one go until recently, and I honestly think repetitively going through my tests has drastically improved my ability to be proactive in each and every movement, as I have far more energy to carry on rather than struggling and gasping for breath half way through.
On Friday 20th October, we went to Allen’s Hill to gain qualifying points for Winter Championship, and scored 67% and 69% in the Team and Individual tests. Leonie and I were really happy with the score and the way Prince and I performed after evaluating, because we’ve made a clear improvement to our test riding since the last competition in September, which obviously shows what we are working on at home is having a positive effect with improving my ‘conscious competence’ in competition.
Prince is feeling fresh, and better than ever lately…. I’m finding it really difficult to sit to his trot again because it’s becoming far more bouncy as we are now looking to improve collection to develop impulsion and cadence! This only can be achieved by Prince being able to take more weight on his hocks, which is where our brilliant sponsors at Parmaquin come in to help to ensure that Prince’s joints are loose enough to be able to take that weight, and enable him to do what is asked of him.
We’re well on our way working towards the next set of competitions next month and seeing what November brings
BETTALife® Brand Ambassador & Sponsored Rider