Have you ever wished you could get just a few minutes in the arena in a 'warm up' situation? How often have you been delighted with your horse in the warm up arena only to find that everything changes the minute you are in front of a judge in the confines of those white dressage boards?
This is something that affects competitors at all levels at one time or another, you are not alone! Not one to shy away from innovation Sarah Payne, owner, organiser and resident trainer of the renowned Lincolnshire equestrian venue Sheepgate, has decided to include some 'arena time' at the shows regularly held there. Whilst it is not uncommon to have an 'arena walk' at some of the more high profile shows this is exactly what it says – a 'walk' and usually around the perimeter of the arena area, no schooling is allowed.
"I often take my clients out onto the arenas during their lessons, especially in the run-up to competitions so that they can get the 'feel' of the arena and run through parts of their tests. The positive feedback I have had from this exercise has prompted me to extend this opportunity to those competitors visiting Sheepgate. It can be quite daunting for riders going into a test and there are certainly some horses who naughtily take advantage of their riders when in a test arena".
Not everybody is equipped with a full sized dressage arena, and if they are they cannot replicate the atmosphere of a busy show etc, so even for those riders who are lucky enough to have great facilities at home it is still a very good opportunity.
Times for the
ARENA FREE TIME will be issued prior to each show alongside the dressage times when listed online.
.......Well worth the journey!