Lucinda Fredericks is one of the world’s leading horsewomen. With Headley Britannia, together they won three of the world’s total top events; Burghley, Badminton and Kentucky. As well as being a three time 4* winner, Lucinda is an Olympic team silver medallist and one of the most successful eventers of the modern era. Here she share’s here top tips for winter training.
During the winter I do a huge amount of canter and trot poles – anything from a single pole to rows of up to 10; raised and unraised.
I love challenging myself and my pupils to practice different approaches, turns, speeds and hopefully ending up with more consistent distances to jumps. It also helps with straightness, rhythm, accuracy, improves quality of the paces and balance.
Poles can help in so many ways if used correctly and imaginatively. Plus it’s fun! I play with shorter and longer distances and this pushes the riders to train their horses to increase and decrease the length of stride in all three paces but mainly canter.
You need to use the gears within the pace. It’s so easy to jump a lot to improve but that can be detrimental to your horse. So practice your poles and the jumping improves with less stress. This is exactly what you have to do when jumping different fences, in both show Jumping and cross country.
I do like to have the horses and riders trained to jump confidently and happily at a level above the level they are going to compete at. There is nothing worse than going into an arena where the jumps look huge and way bigger than you are both used to. Give yourself a chance to jump outside over training courses that are a hole higher than you will jump at competition so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming when you get there!
To improve your horse’s scope then do it at the end of a grid where you are guaranteed a consistent, fair take off point.
Lucinda’s Top Tips for Winter Training
· Watching training videos is brilliant.
· Get as much help as you can afford and develop good communication with your trainer.
· Be inventive and use your initiative!