On the 8th November we welcomed the new cohort of young riders, along with some of the shortlisted candidates and outgoing riders, to Gatton Manor in Surrey for three days of education session, to kick start the Young Eventer’s Programme. Here Kristina Hall-Jackson recaps what they covered and what they learnt as part of the three day event.
“I was extremely excited to be selected onto the Windrush Young Eventer’s Programme. After record applications it was a huge surprise.
I was a little apprehensive to sit down for the educational classroom sessions, as being an eventer and doing horses 24/7 as soon as I sit down in a warm room, I can fall asleep in the blink of an eye. However, the sessions were very interesting and interactive. We covered so much over a variety of topics I now need to put it into practice. We learnt how to breathe efficiently, and this is through your nose. The science behind this has proved it reduces dehydration rates and how breathing effects our emotions. There were many other gems like this that I picked up over the 3 days.
Over the first two days we covered media training, social media, breathing workshop, mental health and psychology, legal pitfalls, Pilates, and riders’ nutrition. One session I found extremely useful was the psychology session with Poppy Blandford. Over the course of the two days, it has really showed how valuable the Windrush programme is going to be for me and all the help available.
The final day was an insight to a course builders mind and reasons behind certain cross-country fences and how they use terrain to their advantage with Eric Winter. It was very useful to see questions and fences through a course builders mind as we tend to walk courses and make decisions on lines and approaches depending on the horse, we are riding but never step back and ask ourselves what is this course builder asking here?
We finished off the day with a riding session at Pippa’s which I will admit we were all terrified for! The last Windrush graduates told us their stories of their falls they had had so we were slightly apprehensive as no one wants to fall off in front of Pippa. We had an amazing session riding horses completely alien to us and we all stayed on board part from one near miss. It was extremely kind of Pippa to let us ride her horses and personally I found it very beneficial riding something I didn’t know as we really focused on ourselves as a rider.
If I can retain and put into practice at least 10% of what I learnt over the last 3 days, it will help me immensely. I cannot stress anymore how good the Windrush program is and I’m looking forward to the next 2 years on the program.”