If you make enough small improvements to your overall performance, you soon gain a big competitive advantage. That’s true whether you are a top rider or serious amateur seeking to make the next step with your horse.

In October, Horse & Hound took three riders and 12 experts to a special training camp at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire. There, every aspect of performance was examined and the resulting series provides guidance and secret tips all riders need to improve their results.

The featured riders are:

  • Eventer Louise Skelton, 31 who gained the Laurence Rook trophy for best British debut at Badminton this year
  • Show jumper Michael Potter, 22 who is aiming at Nations Cup teams
  • Dressage rider Matt Hicks, 31 who is aiming to take his top horse grand prix in the next 12 months

The riders are helped by top trainers Bettina Hoy, Di Lampard and Spencer Wilton.

In addition, the riders and their horses are given access to professionals in the following areas:

  • Sports psychology: to produce a winning mindset
  • Riding strength and conditioning: to ensure riders are at their peak of physical performance
  • Rider physiotherapy: to investigate and strengthen the body’s weaknesses and imbalances
  • Equine osteopathy: to assess, assist and improve the horse’s range of movement
  • Rider nutrition: to check they are getting the all-round nutritition their lifestyle demands
  • Equine nutrition: to ensure the horses are fed for fitness
  • Saddlery and bits: to check if the tack is suitable for the needs of both horse and rider
  • Gait analysis: to identify the horse’s weaknesses and prevent them from causing future problems.

View “The Winning Edge” photo gallery

To read the first part of Getting the “Winning Edge” don’t miss Horse & Hound on sale Thursday 15 November.