If you want to be successful in your chosen equestrian sport, then training is vitally important to help you and your horse fulfill your potential. While this may sound expensive, there are training opportunities which are available for free or at a subsidised rate in certain circumstances. Check out our guide below.
Training you can win
Pony Club Championships: the British Dressage Supporters Club (BDSC) gives £100 training vouchers to the highest-placed BDSC member in each arena in the open dressage section.
The Katie & Eloise Bursary is awarded to each open section winner, consisting of two days’ eventing training with Gill Watson.
Also horsemanship bursaries are given for the most competent cross-country rounds – in the open, five days training with Jane Holderness-Roddam, and intermediate, £300 to spend on training.
British Eventing’s jumping and style (JAS) series has a lesson with an elite rider or accredited trainer as the first prize in each class, with training vouchers for £500 (first), £250 (second) and £150 (third) as prizes at the final. www.britisheventing.com (select Fixtures & Results, Championships, JAS Indoor Eventing Series).
Winning riders in the grand prix classes at Pony of the Year Show win two days’ training with a British Showjumping coach (or the next highest-placed rider if the winner has already qualified). www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/training/Pony-Of-The-Year-Scholarship
Subsidised and structured training
The affiliated bodies all run a structured programme of training for riders, some of which is free, depending on your level, and other parts subsidised.
British Eventing (BE) runs its under-18 training through a regional structure. There are free course-walks at all BE fixtures hosting under-18 classes and each region organises training opportunities for under-18s. www.britisheventing.com (select our sport, youth eventing, u-18 eventing programme).
BE has recently launched an online training and education portal where riders can book a variety of courses. Some are limited to under-18s; others are open to all. www.britisheventing.com/training.
The British Young Riders Dressage Scheme (BYRDS) delivers training to all riders aged 25 and under. There are also high performance camps for the top riders and inter-regional team contests. www.britishdressage.co.uk/under_25s.
Training for all levels and ages is available through British Dressage, organised through eight regions round the country. There are also opportunities to take part in inter-regional and home international team competitions. www.britishdressage.co.uk/training.
British Showjumping (BS) delivers mounted and dismounted training across the country for riders until the year of their 21st birthday through the junior academy. Non-members can take part in their first three sessions before joining BS to continue. www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/training/Junior-Academy.
Senior riders can find training opportunities regionally through the BS website (www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/regions) and work through the NAF BS five-star performance awards programme to gain recognition for progressive achievement. A pony equivalent is currently being developed. www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/training/5-Star-Performance-.
To read the full feature about funding and training see the current issue of H&H (23 February 2012)
Read more about training