Rowan Crosby – Training hard in August

August has been a month of hacking and training. August is usually a quiet month for us in Para dressage. The one big competition is the National Summer Championship, which we couldn’t do this year because of the change in grade.

Instead, Tiger and I have been working on our new tests with my coach Claire.

I really like the new tests but there is no place to hide in a Grade 1 walk only test, no change of pace to pick up the impulsion or make things more interesting. Riding at the right grade is making such a difference to my training though. Before I was re-graded, any trot work I did finished the training session off straight away, whereas now I am able to train in walk for a whole session without my body reacting as much to the movement so I really feel like I am able to progress again.

Tiger and I have been enjoying hacking. It is so good for both of us. It improves my core strength and movement and keeps Tiger walking out and interested. It would be very boring to only do flatwork in walk every day for Tiger. I always have to have someone with me when I hack, for safety because I am a para rider, and Tiger and I have a new hacking partner called Joey who is ridden by Chelsea.

Today I am starting to turn Tiger back from hippo to horse ready for the new competition season. She is in beautiful condition under all the mud, thanks to her Horslyx. Now I need to reveal her inner dressage pony.

The photos are definitely pre-clean up & spa treatment!