For the last seven weeks I’ve been based in Tubbergen, Holland training with Ben Schröder. It’s been a fantastic experience and I feel as though my horses and I have progressed massively in a short period of time. I’ve been working really hard to improve my horses’ rideability, making them more responsive to my aids in flatwork training. Each horse has his own training programme and regularly we practice different pole exercises depending on their weaknesses. For instance, a day we may work on straightness with one horse, whilst the focus may be on collection with another horse. I’ve got five horses with me, so we alternate the horses Ben helps me with. This system allows me to think for myself a little when working the horses on my own and reflect on what we did the day before. I hope having this balance will make it easier to apply all knowledge I’ve learnt, in the future. We’ve also been to a few training-shows to keep the horses jumping fit. Hopefully, we will all be in great shape when we get back in the ring at the Sunshine Tour in a few weeks.
Although Ben is my main coach here, it has been invaluable to receive input from Wim and Gerco as well; not only was the training itself fantastic but watching the entire operation on a daily basis was truly constructive and fascinating.
With Wim focused on the sales side of the business and Gerco still competing with himself, watching them produce horses, deal with customers and teach their children has been extremely educational. What I learned the most from being here is that attention to detail, consistency and daily work are key indeed. I am very grateful to the Young Riders Academy, the entire Schröder family and the entire BWG team for welcoming me and making the experience so enjoyable. Can't wait to be back soon!