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Ruminations on the GP work

February 14, 2012

There’s nothing like being able to go and watch riders who are expert, riding at the level you are struggling to attain. We work at something and I make a complete hash of it, so Jim sends us off to the shows to watch the top riders doing it, I see how smoothly they perform what ever it is that I struggling with and a light bulb goes off! Ah ha, that’s how it should look. One of the most beneficial aspects of the extended time in So Fl training, is that you can every weekend go to a show, in less than an hours drive, and watch really good riders doing the exercises.
And then you get to come home and work at them yourself, with such short period of time between exposure and practice there is a greater possibility that you retain the information and can actually put it to use.
Plus it helps no end that Jim is riding at GP everyday on 2 horses and there are others all at or above my level so that I get to watch better riders than I, doing what I need to learn to do. They say the best way to improve is to be the worst rider in the barn! Well it sure fits for me here!

One thing that I come to appreciate is the sheer hard work for both horse and rider in generating a performance at this level. No wonder so many do not make it this far. The sheer work load to get strong enough to carry means that some horses are just not strong enough or sound enough to be able to do this level of work day after day, and over and over.
GP horses are not always pretty, but they always have a fantastic work ethic and are so willing to put out such an effort. This is truly not an art for a weekend rider. Even a good workout leaves you drained and weak. Euphoric, but weak!

One thing you have to do is to schedule enough down time for the horses. We do trail rides and walks at least twice a week. turn out is limited and not the best, but they have to have the relaxation both mental and physical or it is to easy to burn them out. Fortunately the facility we are at has a lot of trail riding available.
MW

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