The Magazine June 2024

Eventing Success with Piggy March – stepping up to the next level

Posted 13th May 2024

Take your competition career to the next level with Piggy’s advice

Piggy March Eventing series

Understanding the difference between being more competitive and stepping up a level is essential, not only for the safety of you and your horse but for your confidence and enjoyment levels, too.

However, just as with knowing when you’re ready for your first event, there are many aspects to think about if you’re preparing to take that leap and move to the next level. Here’s what to consider.

Top tip

When stepping up a level, take away the competitive element for your first few runs and focus on completing all three phases confidently – just as you did when you first started eventing.

Where you’re at

The place to start when thinking about stepping up a level is where you’re at right now in terms of the results you’ve achieved at your current one. So, spend time reflecting on your journey so far. You should be confident in your abilities, so you’ll have completed all three phases successfully on the same day and achieved some good results on paper, regardless of placing.

It’s important to assess the situation objectively, so look at other people’s results, too. You might have had a good placing but not actually feel particularly confident or pleased with your performance because your success was more a result of other people’s downfalls on the day.

Overall, you should be having more successful outings than unsuccessful ones throughout the season and you will have built a solid partnership with your horse.

Top tip

Make sure you’re not just winging it – aim for consistency in your scores. If you’re unable to complete all three phases on the day, look to identify the issue and work on it before taking the next step.

Top tip

Try to be realistic with your expectations of your horse – is he capable of stepping up a level? It’s not worth pushing him above his potential simply to satisfy your competitive edge.

Support group

My main piece of advice when it comes to establishing your support group is to not have a yes/no person. You want people around you who have your best interests at heart and are honest, constructive and trustworthy. There are many trainers on hand for advice, but choose your team wisely, as the right people will make all the difference.

Did you know?

At BE90 level, fences on the cross-country course will be a maximum of 90cm, but the showjumping will be up to 95cm.


Read more of Piggy’s advice on when to step up a level in June Horse&Rider, out now!

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Horse&Rider magazine - June 2024

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