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20 Apr Meeting up with Freya Partridge
I am very lucky to have my horses at home with me during this challenging time. Their routines have changed slightly; we have reduced their fitness program instead of increasing gallop work, and our team at home have been doing lots of hacking and making time at home fun. This is not only for us as riders but the horses too, and going on little adventures to pass the time, allowing the horses to relax and chill out a little bit is a big change from the pressures of competing.
I’m using this time at home to train more than ever as ‘practice makes perfect’! As our yard is very much family oriented, we are trying to replicate, as best we can, some of the experiences the horses would gain when out competing. We are very fortunate to have a grass dressage and show jumping arena and at the moment this is coming in very useful. We have been able to practice ‘mock’ dressage tests and ride around a show jump track treating it like we were out on the circuit which helps to make sure our training programme is paying off.
Although this time is challenging in so many aspects, it is giving me time to make the transition from ponies to horse’s smoother, as it is proving much tougher than I ever imagined. ‘It’s a whole new world riding horses,’ not only is it a big jump in size but also I’m finding the thought process of a horse completely different to that of a pony. This time is allowing me to build a partnership with my new horses during both ridden work and on the ground with them. I have personally been trying to make things perfect, but a few little hic ups along the way have made me realise that things won’t always go to plan and making mistakes is allowed. You just have to pick yourself up and keep going, determination is key.
I’ve also found it hard not to watch others and get caught up in what they’re doing but instead focus on what I’m wanting to improve on. Making small improvements at home can sometimes be better than a win out competing! My aims for the near future if we are able to get back out eventing this year, will be to keep progressing on my young horse, Fable, and aim to step him up to novice/ 2* by the end of the year with the thought of under 18 teams next year, if all goes to plan!
Not forgetting about school studies completely, I still have to concentrate on my A levels as I am only in my first year of sixth form, studying biology, chemistry and geography. I have been getting up in the morning and doing the work set by teachers online, trying to stay ahead with my studies. This gives me as much time as possible to spend with the horses, and while we have theses warmer days, I’m trying to take advantage of the sun.
During this uncertain time I think it’s important to think about the positives and keep your chin up, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the drama and not look on the bright side. This gives you the time to take a step back and relax.