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What I do to get ready for Affiliated Eventing next season

So as you may have noticed if you follow our page on Facebook or Instagram in 2018 we were affiliated, but as of the last quarter of the year Bailey went out of work due to personal circumstances. At the start of 2019 I brought Bailey back into work after a glorious 6 months off.

Throughout 2019 I was focusing more on getting his weight and fitness back up so affiliating was not our priority. But now we are full steam ahead to get us ready for the new season upon us. Now I know this season is already coming to an end, but you can never be too ready! And with Eventing it’s all three disciplines so I like to feel as prepared as possible both physically and mentally.

Rachel and Bailey schooling

So what are we doing this season to get us ready?

Well I am going out more, doing a lot more combined training and dressage to help improve our scores. I am also going to go out and do some Arena eventing / Eventers Challenges. I have not completed these before and this Sunday at Chilham will be our first.

Every year when we go eventing, we do focus on our fitness, as some venues the cross country is a long distance and some involve more hillwork, so I want to make sure that no matter where we end up Bailey is ready and fit enough. This fitness training, I really focus on this around 5 weeks before the event, I start increasing the fast work to ensure he is at best health, not dehydrated and well balanced. My main fitness training I do is alternating short and long, fast and slow, this is a very effective way of fattening for short format, although it will vary on each individual horse.

This is an example of the last couple of fitness sessions before the event;

1* gallop session ….. 3 gallops for 2min with a 1 min trot in-between
2* slow session….3 steady canters at 2min with a 1 min trot in-between
3* Gallop session….. 4 gallops for 2 min with a 1 min trot in-between
4* Slow session…..3 steady canters at 3min with a 1 min trot in between (with a Hill)

Outside of the training there are plenty of other items I have on my to do list before our first event. We always like to have an ‘MOT’ done, which includes getting the saddles checked, his teeth done, muscle therapist and a few other bits and bobs.

I also go through all of my tack and give it a very deep clean, but also go through for the condition to see if there are any cracks/splits or any heavy worn marks that will need replacing, as the last thing I want is something breaking when I am half way round the course.


Rachael Skinner - Eventful Eventing
Horsemart Brand Ambassador
Published on 18-09-2019
Rachael is an amateur Event rider from Kent and Bailey is a 7 year old 17hh gelding, and together they go by the name of Eventful Eventing. Rachael says "I may not be at the top of the game, doing 4 star Eventing, but I am a realist. I like to include the lows as well as the highs in training and competing, and general yard to yard activities. Although our main aim is within Eventing, I like to dabble in other disciplines too."