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The five things we missed most about competing

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Rider competing in showjumping

Did lockdown leave you missing trips off the yard to shows and training? We’re sure you’ll relate to more than a few of the things Team H&R has missed the most about getting out and about with our equine pals

Whatever you do with your horse – whether high-brow competition or fun hacks out with friends – it’s pretty likely that some of your best memories in the saddle involve days out competing, training or even going on beach or fun rides. With lockdown putting a stopper in many a rider’s jam-packed summer schedule, we’re sure there’s plenty you’ve missed about leaving the yard…

  1. Feeling the butterflies While there’s no doubt competing requires a good amount of preparation – and no less stress – there’s something about show day jitters that nothing we do at home can compete with. Plus, scoring your personal best and enjoying some cheesy chips after your class is a winning combo you can’t replicate anywhere else.
  2. Getting ready From plaiting up to cleaning tack, the run-up to a competition or training session is often one of the best parts of leaving the yard. With building anticipation and excitement for how your day out will go, you’re sure to feel like a kid on Christmas Eve when you go to bed before show day.
  3. The social side Even if you’re a solo competitor, there’s nothing we’ve missed more than enjoying the sport with like-minded, passionate riders – an ally who agrees that the judge must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, or echoes your argument that maybe fillers on every jump is more than a little OTT. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you’re sure to make a host of brand-new horsey mates, whether you bond over a hot chocolate while you wait for your results or catch up with another passionate group of fun ride enthusiasts on a gorgeous country estate.
  4. Happy horses Does your horse love anything more than a day off the yard? A change is as good as a rest and new scenery is sometimes the best antidote for a lacklustre schooling regime. He’s sure to enjoy getting out and about just as much as you, so cut him some slack if he’s a little fidgety while you’re bathing him – he’s probably missed getting out as much as you have!
  5. Post-competition routine You’ve jumped a double clear, your horse has had an entire packet of Polos and you’re half-way through a hot chocolate with all the trimmings – what better way to spend the day? Finishing your classes and sneaking in a few minutes to watch a couple of competitors run through their tests or fly round the showjumping course is an ideal way to end your perfect day.

As competing and training resumes around the country, we know you’ll be raring to get going and enjoy a fruitful winter of riding. Get the hard work in now and you and your horse will come into spring ready to take on the season – even if this one was one like no other (we hope).

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