With showjumping competitions now starting to move their shows indoors, it’s time to prepare yourselves for the change in scenery, from the spacious outdoors to the tighter confines of an indoor arena.
Here, top showjumper Louise Pavitt, who competes up to five-star level and also has pony and junior European medals to her name, shares her advice on how to give you and your horse the best possible chance of succeeding on the indoor jumping circuit.
1. When jumping indoors you will have a higher frequency of short related distances i.e. more three or four stride combinations compared to outdoors being seven or eight. The tip is to build these distances at home to help familiarise yourself and your horse with them.
2. When indoors, space will be tighter and you will be jumping into the wall and the corners. You can still practise this in your outdoor school though — position the jumps near the edge of the arena and close together so your horse learns to focus on the jump and not what’s behind it.
3. Most people don’t have the luxury of their own indoor school, but it is important to practise in one. I would suggest hiring one before an important event to get the feel of it.
4. At indoor shows there is often a more intense atmosphere with music, banners and crowds. We at DLS Showjumping [Louise’s business with fellow showjumper David Simpson] try to replicate this at home. For example we play the radio loudly and put banners and signs all around to prepare the horse for this situation.
5. Make sure you use all corners — there will be less room to take a wide turn, so you need to utilise the space you have been given. When walking the course, make sure you see all the areas where you can use the space if you need to.
Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these showjumping competitions available to enter where you can show off what you’ve learnt…
Date: 13 October
Venue: Forest Edge Arena, Swaffham
Details: “This unaffiliated show features classes ranging between clear round and 60cm and 1.05m.”
Date: 14 October
Venue: Holmside Hall Equestrian, Durham
Details: “This affiliated competition has classes from clear round and 75cm up to 1.10m with amateur championship qualifiers.”
Date: 21 October
Venue: Moulton College, Northampton
Details: “This unaffiliated competition features classes ranging between 50cm and 90cm.”
Date: 27 October
Venue: Barleylands Equestrian Centre, Basildon
Details: “This affiliated competition for juniors and schools features classes ranging between clear round and 70cm up to foxhunter.”
Date: 27 October
Venue: Moreton Equestrian Centre, Dorchester
Details: “This unaffiliated competition for horses and ponies has a huge range of classes between 50cm and 1.20m.”
Date: 3 November
Venue: Keysoe, Bedford
Details: “This senior competition includes classes from clear round and British novice up to 1.40m open.”
Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings