All dressed up and nowhere to go? We have all been familiar with that feeling over the past 12 months as the weather put paid to competitions of all types around the country.
To ensure that not a single wet weekend is wasted this year we’ve come up with some ideas to weatherproof your competition season.
Go eventing on a surface
More and more venues have cottoned on to the fact that there is a demand for eventing-type competitions on all-weather surfaces throughout the year — not just in preparation for the new season.
David Sheerin, a three-star event rider and chief instructor at Wellington Riding in Hampshire, says: “We are running combined training classes with eventing dressage tests in March, but there also seems to be the need for arena eventing throughout the season, so we will be looking into hosting some of those, too.”
Grass roots eventer Jo Murphy found arena eventing a useful stopgap last summer, but warns that it is important to do your homework before entering.
“I’d never really considered it for the older horses, but then I went to Bovington — as a last resort because of all the eventing cancellations — and changed my mind. They had a full set of portable fences with skinnies and some tight lines.
“It really made you concentrate and was brilliant practice.
“Conversely, I went to another venue which had advertised an eventer trial. The course consisted of pieces of piping and random fillers scattered in the arena — fine for young horses, but not what I was looking for. It is worth doing your research.”
For more great ideas on how to weatherproof your competition season see 21 February issue of H&H