Here are my secrets to handling a major competition.

I have always found that after a major competition it is vital to wind down, have a great laugh with friends and family and just generally relax and kick back.  That brings some balance back into life. All this familiar to all of you who compete.  After the training, concentration and preparation for the Dressage Olympic Qualifier in Mannheim – plus the stress of a big event, especially travelling miles on autobahns (scary!), getting to the venue, settling Jaybee Alabaster and ourselves in new surroundings……. and then the build up to the ride………..we managed to find the best place ever to have fun.

We spent the day at KETTELER HOF kids fun park in Haltern am See. There are twelve acres of pure big kid (and little kid) heaven!

Here are some pics!

What are the ways you wind down after a comp?  Leave a reply I would love to hear………….

Ride well and most of all have fun!


16 thoughts on “Here are my secrets to handling a major competition.

  1. I also find it very hard to unwind! My main focus is making sure my horse is happy in his box and then it’s time to jump on the phone and organise a great girls dinner night out! I think I might have to find one of those fun parks though! Looks like great fun!

  2. I usually go to the bar with friends and clients and have a couple beer. We laugh about the funny moments during the competition and enjoy the fact that we made it through another long weekend of mucking, braiding, tack cleaning, and shoe polishing… Not to mention gmriding through all those tests!!

    • Hi Emily, That first beer is soooooo… goooooood isn’t it? It’s always the funny moments that we remember too. My most lasting memory of the Sydney Olympics was not the actual test (can hardly remember that at all!), or the sheer hard work preparing for it, or even the stress of the selection process to get on the team, but the fact that Abbie bit the toe of my boot at G right in front of the judges!
      Go well!

  3. A night of pizza and champagne – irrespective of the days results, usually reviewing videos of the day, reflecting and looking for all the positives :o) often followed by a day off!

  4. haha usually after a big comp I spend the next week washing, cleaning, sorting and repacking ready for the next competition! But then Anal is my middle name…

  5. The thing I love most about winding down from a competition is making my horse comfortable after competing. Giving him a treat and snack, taking my time taking his plaits out and usually going through the test we just rode in my head and breaking it down, trying to guess my score before it goes up. Being chuffed about the parts that felt just as good as at home and remembering where I need to be better and planning for the next weeks training. Then after my neddy is all happy and relaxed, I grab myself a coffee and some yummy food and watch my friends compete as well. Im still working on ways to wind down, it’s not always easy to do!

      • Coffee is the greatest! I was really lucky to compete small tour FEI on a wonderful horse before he was retired but now I’m back on other people’s young ones in Prelim and Novice. My own horse was (difficult, but) showing some talent but at the ripe old age of six is being retired with an old paddock injury. So back on a breaker at the end of the year. I keep telling my rising 3yo that she’d ‘better not break!’ It sure is a long time between drinks for the higher levels!

      • Congratulations on your small tour FEI Ally. I know how you are feeling – as you know it’s just how the sport is. The only way is to keep focussed on your goals and don’t ever give up on your dream! Too many people do if they don’t have immediate results. Stay with it and you will get there again for sure….
        Best wishes for the future and keep drinking coffee!
        Love you to keep me posted on how you are going.

  6. I like to give Rev a massive grooming session as a thank you for him working so hard for me at the comp. even if we didn’t do well that’s mostly due to my riding…

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