Top Tips

Hello and welcome to Top Tips!

The Black Horse team want you to always look your best but we also want to see you do your best, and be your best.  So we've decided to roll out a series of quick and easy to read tips to help you get an edge in your riding journey.

Some may just be reminders of what you already know, some may be things you perhaps of thought of before but didn't really do (yes, we're all guilty of that), and others may just be something totally new that could be the difference between going home empty handed or curling up in your jackpot rug.

To kick this off we've asked our Canada-based Brand Ambassador (& ex-Aussie pocket rocket), Erin Funk, to share some advice that she has accumulated over the years to get a competitive edge. 

Now over to Erin...

Hello and welcome to Top Tips!

I hope you and your four legged companions are staying safe and well during these strange times.

When the team at Black Horse asked me to create a series of top tips I was excited to bring you something that I felt was a bit different and give you some of my personal strategies and insights into competition riding.  My philosphy is based around identifying as many variables as possible and finding ways to control them, remove them or minimise them.

Negative stress is one of the biggest influences when it comes to riding.  Stress down-regulates our rational thinking and sends us into the fight or flight response.  On competition day we need to be calm, focused and prepared.  If we can manipulate our environment to give us the greatest possibility for success, we can then concentrate on the important things that can gain us those top marks and perform a winning test!

A great rule of thumb is to "delegate, delete or do":

  • If you can do it, then do it.
  • If someone else can do it better than you, delegate it.
  • If it doesn't help you, delete it. 'Do it' is pretty self explanatory.

If a 10 minute yoga flow and hot lemon tea helps you stay relaxed, then do it.  Delegation might be as simple as having someone calm and competent tack up your horse when you are super anxious about your upcoming test and your energy upsets your horse.  Delete it may be those brand new dressage boots that are so stiff you can't move your leg.  Wear your old ones until they're broken in.

How this looks for me will look different for you.  Our own unique personalities and strengths combined with those of your individual horses will lead to slightly different strategies required to create the winning environment that you need as a combination to thrive and succeed.

I hope you enjoy my series of tips in the coming weeks and that you are able to take something from them to improve your riding journey!

All tops tips so far - read now here