Top Tips!

Many of our users have kindly been sending in their Top Tip's so we thought we would start sharing them with you.
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Always wear appropriate clothing which fits well when riding -If you have jod's that rise up, chaps that fall down, gloves that are too big or a hat that is too big or small - you will not be able to concentrate on your ride totally and could become a danger to yourself and others.Concentrate on your riding not what youre wearing! Jenny L Berkshire
Getting into Riding!    1. After every lesson write notes on what you learned and how you felt. 2. Read books on riding to back up each lesson, Enlightened Equitation by Heather Moffett is great. 3. See if you can help out at your riding school, time spent with the horses will  help build your confidence as you get to know them better. 4. If possible have two lessons a week. 5. Get a wobble board and a gym ball and use them at home to help improve your  balance between lessons. Need help in finding the right riding school  Read moreFollow Ricahrds real life story , it will inspire you Read more  
Richard Neale's www.horseanswerstoday.com feartured rider that gets into riding in his 30's shares his tips for finding the right riding school for you.... Find a good riding school, try and get some testimonials from people that go, and then go and watch some lessons and see if you like the instructor. Check the riding school you choose has qualified instructors, insurance and well cared for safe horses. Watch other peoples lessons, it's sometimes easier to see mistakes when you are stood safely on the ground and not sat onboard a horse. Remember you may not get it right first time, but you'll get there in the end. Riding is fun!  So don't give up if you have a bad day, all riders have them. An amazing story that will inspire you or your friends to 'Get into Riding' Read more
Volunteers are the backbone of every equine show or event, many of which would not be able to function without these amazing people giving up their time.  The number of volunteers required varies on the size and nature of the event however the duties are all as vital as each other from the organising committee to the car park steward to the litter picker.  Every organiser will be grateful for your involvement from local riding shows, Hunt shows, point-to-points to the wonderful events at championship level.  If you want to get involved contact associations for information and training days or simply ask organisers how you can help. The following positions listed are just a few examples of the many jobs required supported with a brief description of the role, however there are many other roles that are available such as crossing stewards, traffic controllers, drivers for officials, runners for odd jobs on the day and catering just to name a few..   Stewarding in collecting rings  All collecting rings for all our wonderful equestrian sports are always very busy and often tense. This responsible position is vital to keep the schedule running to time and generally involves teams of three or four; it is very rewarding and exciting to witness your equine hero's first hand.  Main Arena Maintenance  Here you will be required to help set up the jumping course and then maintain during the competition under the guidance of the course builder. This job is very important to ensure the smooth running of the classes and allows you to be close to the action.  Fence Judges/Stewards  This job is often done in pairs however more maybe required depending on the obstacle and the level of event. A thorough briefing is always given prior to the allocation of your fence and experienced judges will always be paired with newcomers. Enjoy a day in beautiful countryside and experience the action first hand.  Score Collectors  This position can cover all areas from dressage, show jumping and cross country in eventing and Hunter Trials and also from course stewards in endurance and driving trials. Depending on the area which you are controlling will depend on how you collect the scores, on foot, bike, quad/motor bike or pony. It is a wonderful way to see many parts of the competition and be truly involved in the day's activities. Scoring team All the score sheets are handed in to this team who then calculate the scores and report to the Chief Score who will operate electronic scoreboards at larger events or blackboards at local events. Needless to say this is a very important duty involving an understanding of the relevant scoring system and a good level of mathematics. Dressage Writing  The writer sits with the Dressage Judge often in a car or small room so cleanliness is essential! You will need to write down all the judges comments and marks throughout each test. A good knowledge of riding and dressage terms is very useful and if possible revising the tests before hand will help both you and the Judge. A wonderful opportunity to dressage riders to learn how a judge views and marks each movement, which will undoubtedly benefit your own test. Contact your local organisers or National groups to offer your help, it is a very worthwhile and rewarding experience.
 A pretty outline, is just a pretty outline, it looks good but isn't effective when it comes to jumping.  Getting a good jump over a fence is all about the approach and the type of canter.  Ensure that when you warm up for Show Jumping that the horse is off your leg and is actually listening to your instruction.  By asking for a bigger canter followed by a shorter canter on the short side of the arena will help your horse become more responsive.  Use plenty of transitions through the passes.  The quality of a canter is about power and balance not speed  Think about the canter before the corners and don't rush at the fences, wait for the fence to come to you Read Tamsin's story and how she reached her Show Jumping goals with the help of some advice and tips from Ben Maher.... Read more
Is your first aid kit up to scratch or is it way down the list of your priorities? Loving and caring for your horse means being prepared to give first aid as soon as it is needed.  Here are a few tips: 1. Ensure your existing kit is restocked with those essential items that are often borrowed but never replaced‚Don't get caught out! 2. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you are 'tempting fate' if you buy first aid products. 3. Be prepared for any injury your horse may suffer. Quick action is often vital in order to give your horse the best chance of healing quickly and without complication.JB Norfolk
People often forget that riding is 50% physical and 50% mental. Whether you're trying to learn something new, improve your performance as a rider, build confidence or train a horse to go better, making the best use of your mind and the horse's mind is the fast lane to getting results.  Focus on every small success Leave the negative things behind So it went wrong. So what? Good things happen to positive people Don't listen to people that put you down Start believing in yourself
If your horse is fussy about drinking whilst away from home, which can be a  worry, take water from home which is familiar or flavour with mint, apple juice or liquidised carrots.Prevent dehydartion in your horse read more 
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Everyone gets things wrong. If you never make a mistake you're probably not learning either! Try and avoid negative thoughts and don't panic - Becoming a good rider will not happen over night but if you give yourself time and patience to work on the basics, you will be laying a good foundation for progress and success.
Wash your full-seat competition breeches with care and they'll last longer. Always fasten the Velcro fastenings at the bottom of the legs, do up the zip and turn your breeches inside out before sticking them in the machine. They're expensive - look after them! Link: http://www.mountainhorse.co.uk/index.php?p=products&;id=1328282513
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