Under pressure… dum dum dum dum dum..

Great song, sung by Queen and a great man we lost in January; David Bowie (not to be confused with Ice Ice baby!) a sad start to the year really, some all-time greats no longer with us …

But the world goes on and so do our equestrian goals, lots of my riders making plans through injury and accident, set-backs and excitement but always working towards those all important events!

The weather forecast for the first weekend of eventing was snow and heavy rain, are they mad?!! Us showjumpers enjoyed a heated café, indoor warm up and arena and by no means should anyone start the first class before 10am!

Meanwhile one of my clients will leave home at 7am travel 2hrs, compete all day and probably get home at 7pm with one horse for one class and if she is really really successful she might get a place and a prize in kind.. you’re crackers you lot!

But like all us equestrians or equestriennes we love our sport our horses and we do and should together with our coach set goals.. goal setting is an art your goals need to be SMART


So not just willy nilly wishful thinking but an actual structured method to get to where you want to go.

Of course there may be ups and downs along the way but the trick there is then to reset the goals, take a slightly curvier route but just the same get to where you want to go. Look at the words.. realistic/achievable it’s a great exercise in honesty with yourself. A good coach will help you and it’s a good lesson for life as well as your eventing season!

I have some wonderful clients who are just putting too much pressure on themselves to rush to that first event.. there will be another one if we don’t feel ready for this weekend.. if you’ve not been cross country schooling yet or safely/successfully anyway, then do we really want to go flying across a cold wet windy course feeling under prepared? I know I wouldn’t!

Then re group, reassess and change the small goals to help you still achieve that big goal.

Peparation Prevents P**s Poor Performance

.. the 5 P’s rule so true, how much more confident do you feel when arriving at an event fully prepared? All the run up has been achieved and gone to plan, I know I feel good about that and ride to the top of my game as a result.

I’m a professional it’s my world so I have time to plan and implement but a lot of my clients have the pressure of families, ‘proper’ jobs, 1 or more children and the other animals to juggle, do justice to and appease.

That means the preparation phase takes even longer, so allow yourself that time.

Good luck to all of my riders competing at their first events the very best of luck too to all of my clients that I have prepared for some more Showjumping and those that have been taking part in their dressage regionals.. We will all get to our goals and the may be the same or different, the routes we take to them certainly will be!

Please enjoy, do your best and report back afterwards to your coach or mentor who will then help you take your next steps towards that next goal.

To mention another great Queen song.. ‘We are the champions my friends!’ Plus your horses will thank you for it ☺

Mia Palles-Clark



Read Previous


Read Next

Exciting line up ready for Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event