I’ve been fortunate enough just at the end of summer to be able to travel to Tuscany to meet the owner and manager of Cavalleria Toscana, the clothing company kindly sponsoring me.
Not only did I meet them, but I got to spend a day with professional riders from different countries; Jens Fredricson from Sweden, Jeroen Dubbeldam from the Netherlands and Pilar Cordon from Spain. They are all showjumpers and a couple had ridden at Olympic Games.
I was the sole dressage representative and was thrilled to help as they are making fabulous clothing for dressage riders now. We all spent a day in the centre of Florence on a photo shoot for Cavalleria Toscana’s new promotion, which will be released shortly.
It was a really interesting concept wearing equestrian clothing in the centre of a beautiful city with all its famous landmarks. People stopped and stared at us, asking to take photos with me and taking videos. It was amazing; I felt like a celebrity! Taking moving images was also new for me, as being under 16 I am unable to do catwalks, so this was a chance to develop some new skills with a photographer who has worked for Gucci! I have some video footage (below) if you would like to take a look.
On the home front
Competition-wise, things are quieter for the moment as I’m busy training and building my PSG [prix st georges] work with Kaja (pictured, top) and GB squad places for the new season are being contested.
A few weeks ago, I found out I’m going to be part of the BEF Excel talent squad for 2014-2016. I feel privileged to receive this support again as the programme draws together all aspects of your partnership with your horse, including horse welfare as well as setting new goals for the season. I find the sessions stress-free as they are not competitive and the information invaluable in helping me achieve my goals for the future.
Not long after hearing from the BEF it was junior viewing day, where the selectors get to see all the different combinations who could be competitive for Great Britain internationally and for the European Championships next year at junior level, which is age 14-18 yrs .
I went to watch, as having been part of the European team the selectors didn’t require me to ride. It was exciting to see so many people being viewed and to catch up with all the girls. I look forward to seeing them all at squad training! I was really pleased to be selected again on the junior prime squad, but am determined to keep on improving.
‘There a several different ways to achieve the same aims’
On Sunday I went to watch The Dressage Convention with Carl Hester and Richard Davison (that’s me there before it got busy in the picture below). It was a unique event bringing together different dressage training techniques in a way I had never seen before. It showed that there a several different ways to achieve the same aims and different parts of each can be used with individual horses.
I had a great time watching all the different drills and techniques from Sylvia Loch, Miguel Ralão, Carl Hester and Richard Davison for the horses’ training in order to achieve the one big goal of maximising the potential movement of your horse.
It was particularly interesting for me to watch the sessions on achieving collection in the trot building to passage, which is exactly what I am currently doing with Kaja. After each demonstration they had audience participation with questions from live tweets being answered, sometimes controversially, by the speakers! Let’s hope dressage will continue to use modern technology in training and competition as part of its development as a sport. Big thanks to all concerned, especially Valegro who is always a sensation to watch!
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @Chloe_Vell