The Magazine April 2024

Eventing success part two: perfect prep

Posted 13th March 2024

Discover how to get your horse event fit and maximise each discipline with Piggy March’s tips


Whatever your chosen discipline, getting prepared for a competition involves hours of hard work, and, with eventing, the amount of preparation – both physical and mental – is trebled.

In the second part of my series, we’re looking at the physical side of things. From a focus on fitness to refining the tools in your training kit, I’ll share my advice to set you up for eventing success.

All the gear

Whether it’s your first-ever competition or the start of a new season, getting ready for an event isn’t just about making sure your and your horse’s mind and body are prepared, you need to have the right pieces of kit, too. Apart from anything, without it you might not be allowed to compete.

There are so many products on the market that can help improve your safety, performance and recovery, but they’re not all essential, particularly at the lower levels. The most important thing is that your safety gear is in line with the current standards.

Top tip

Make sure your tack is competition legal – there are types of bits, for example, that are prohibited.

Fitness focus

While it’s important for your horse’s health that he’s able to cope with the physical demands of the sport, don’t overthink your fitness plan. At the lower levels, you don’t need to be going on trips to the gallops on a regular basis. Instead, just make sure you’re working your horse harder twice a week – a good schooling session and a longer canter on a hack in between your usual routine will help. In these sessions, be aware of your horse’s heart rate and push him a little to increase it and gradually improve his cardiovascular fitness.

Try to have plenty of variety in your horse’s routine, too, and work him over different terrains so you’re ready to face whatever ground you meet on course.

Discover more of Piggy’s advice for getting your horse ready for his first event in April Horse&Rider. Get your copy today!


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