OLI AND JESS SET CLEAR GOALS - Competing in a One Day Event

Ella confidence logoYOUNG RIDERS TODAY
Supporting, developing and encouraging young riders to have fun and enjoy their riding experience

The past 6 weeks has seen Oli & Jess go from strength to strength. At the beginning of this year Oli, his mum Joy and Ella sat down and brainstormed Oli’s short, mid and long term goals for 2014. Joy evented at 2* in her twenties and can really support Oli with a wealth of experience and ideas. Oli is keen to follow in his mums’ eventing footsteps and one of his goals is to compete in a One Day Event. There is no doubt that he is catching the eventing bug! 

Ella YLI Equestrian continues:
Ella  oli  xc

The importance of setting personal goals when aiming for success.

However big or small setting personal goals is a must and a very important tool to rider, coach and horse. Without knowing what we are aiming for it is difficult to remain focused and progress. 

My favourite method is to draw out a big spider gram on paper; ensuring I make the links between each of the goals, I’ll even add little doodles and pictures, I find this helps me paint a picture in my own head as to what the end goal looks like and what I need to do to get there. (I think I must be quite a visual person) 

Some of my clients prefer to just talk through their goals & aims; I always make notes and use them at a later date to help with their lesson plans. During lessons I will take photographs and videos as they are great for giving an instant visual feedback and for looking back over previous sessions to help track progress.

Goals are such a personal thing and whether you’re aiming for a competition or simply want to feel confident when out hacking, it is important that you feel and understand how to get to your end goal.

Whatever your method in setting yourself tragets and goals, remember they are a great measure and a feel good factor on how much you have really achieved. Often we get wrapped up in where we are going and forget how far we have come, especially on days when things don’t always go so well, our goals and targets allow us to reflect, make adjustments and keep working hard to achieving our end goal. With little steps come great strides!
Oli’s achievements 
Knowing that a One Day Event has all three disciplines, we aimed to get Oli and his pony Jess out experiencing as much as we could. 

Show jumping

Ella oli sj
We hired the show jumping course at Aylesford; taking the opportunity to jump different fillers and angles (the course is already set up for you.)
Jess is a real schoolmistress and gives Oli a fantastic feel over a fence. Oli worked hard on using his body to help turn the pony, something that is key when riding a jump off course with tighter turns.
After some initial uncertainty about riding the tighter turns Oli really gave it his all with brilliant results.  

Cross Country

Ella Oli jup angles
With the improvement in the weather the cross-country courses are open, so we hired Aylesford again. This is a fabulous course, with lots of different fences at inviting heights- perfect for Oli’s and Jess’s first time.

Ella Oli water steps
Despite the course being very busy (the world, his wife, and dog, were out to play) the pair had a brilliant time. I was so proud of the way Oli focused and took it all in his stride, trusting me to guide him round the different fences. We schooled over as many as we could and had a good splash in the water complex. Oli was on such a high afterwards and we chatted all the way back to the box; discussing different fences, how he felt jumping & which bits he had enjoyed the most. Job satisfaction if ever there was!!!


Ella Oli DressageIt hasn’t been all jumping… Oli has a keen sense that dressage and flat work is important too (I say a silent prayer every time, as some youngsters are hard to persuade that “stressage” is fun!!)

We had a ‘dressage boot camp’ session, doing a lot of no stirrups work- getting Oli to length his leg and deepen his seat, riding lots of different exercises; figures of 8, three loop serpentines, working on his accuracy & rhythm. 

I started off simply, building up slowly to adding transitions to the exercises, each time making it a little more challenging. The final exercise was to ride a figure of 8 in canter with a trot transition and a change of canter lead through X (this is a Novice level dressage sequence) and the pair nailed it, finishing on a very positive note!
Ella Oli test
Our most recent session saw them learning their first Pony Club- Novice Eventing dressage test. Oli had been drawing out each movement onto A4 paper to help memorise it- along with walking around the arena on foot visualising each movement and committing it to memory. I read the test for him the first time and then he rode it solo, remembering his way and riding a lovely test. Joy filmed it allowing Oli to watch it back and make any adjustments.

Time to achieve his goal
I’m pleased to report the pair have been entered in for their first One Day Event at Ropsley with The Belvoir Hunt branch of the Pony Club- I wish them the very best of luck! Go for it Oli, I know you will be fabulous!! 
Find out how they got on next time…

Experience your first dressage
Have fun and enjoy the riding experience