Coral Keen’s eventing blog: preparation is key

  • Hi everyone,

    I hope you are all well and have had a moment to breath if you have been eventing this season, now that 2019 has drawn to a close.

    When the season finishes for competing it can often bring a mix bag of emotions. For some, it may have been the most amazing run, that only in your dreams could you think of pulling off (Piggy we salute you!). But for others, it may have been more up and down or just damn right challenging.

    Whatever situation you are in, there is always a positive to be drawn and a way forwards for next season, if you have the commitment and willpower.

    November time for me sees my coaching kick into full swing. I was really pleased (and a touched relieved) to gain my UKCC Level 3 training qualification earlier in the year, which has given me a greater depth of knowledge and further skill set in terms of teaching. I won’t lie, the exams were hard work, but really rewarding and if you are looking at the coaching route, I would highly recommend this pathway.

    With significant time and energy put into gaining my Level 3, I have really tried to get myself out there as much as possible in terms of offering training days at various different training venues.

    Recently I had a great session at West Wilts, where we all kept nice and dry in their indoor arena! I was teaching three talented students on lovely horses and it was a really positive session. During the lesson we did a good warm-up and then jumped around a course. Three important rules came up during our time, which I thought might be good to share in this blog too:

    1. Engine — making sure you have quality in the canter (not necessarily faster)

    2. Straightness — on approach and landings. Finishing the turn so the horse is on two tracks and not three.

    3. Balance — nine times out of 10 if we balance ourselves, the horse becomes instantly more balanced. Using the focus of the eye being up not down really helps with this.

    With the lesson being indoors, it also highlighted how quickly things can come up during a course when moving into those smaller spaces during the winter months. Preparation is key in these instances and always making sure you are looking ahead.

    I am looking forward to going back to West Wilts on 2 December and 13 January, and I think it is really useful to have a practice indoors if you are thinking of doing some indoor winter showjumping.

    I sadly had to cancel my Saracen Horse Feeds jumping clinic over the weekend as the great British weather certainly turned against us in a big way! However, we are already looking at finding a new date. This clinic is great as it allows me to team up with my long-term feed sponsors, who offer all participants a complimentary diet review and use of their weighbridge — which, when we are moving into the colder months, is a really useful exercise.

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    Away from coaching, I am also so happy to announce a new supporter. Harcour are now my official clothing sponsor and to say I am over the moon is an understatement. I have loved their kit for a long time and am so grateful for all the wonderful clothes they have sent me. I am not just saying this, but I have never worn such comfortable, stylish and long-lasting kit. I feel very lucky to be able to be able to wear it and look forward to showcasing their brand.

    Overall, I think that is all from me for this time. I am looking forward to a busy couple of months training and look forward to sharing all my news with you all next time.

    C x

    For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

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