Young rider special: how you can make it work

  • National Schools Equestrian Association (NSEA) chairman Jill Barker advises H&H readers to:

    • Get organised. Make a timetable for riding time, study time and free time. Hours spent on phone calls and Facebook might need to be reduced
    • Learn to prioritise. Exams must come first, so decide how many subjects you can give 100% to — perhaps do fewer subjects and obtain better grades
    • Don’t neglect your revision. Cut down on competitions, or take your books with you to use the valuable hours between riding times, freeing up the evenings when you may be exhausted

    University riding club captains H&H spoke to recommend the following:

    • Choose the right uni. “I picked Edinburgh because an older Pony Club friend told me how good the teams were. Check out the equestrian club website and email them,” says Hannah Sanders. So if you want to keep your riding up at uni, be sure to do your research
    • It’s worth the sacrifices. Your performance will be boosted. “It’s brilliant to do university competitions as you have seven minutes to work in a horse that you’ve never ridden before. You have to assess what works with a horse very quickly and be sympathetic,” says Clare Walker, Newcastle
    • Don’t spread your wings. “Find a university close to home if you want to keep your own horse — and be very kind to your parents as you will need their support throughout,” adds Katy Dziedzic, Exeter
    • Are you a young rider or driver aged between 15-21 who would love to star in an H&H feature and be sponsored by Dodson & Horrell for a year? Then be sure to enter our amazing young rider bursary at www.horseandhound.co.uk/youngriderbursary2011 before 6 June, 2011

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