In this series, I’ve been digging deeper into the best ways to strategize our rides. When should we chase the clear – but maybe not so pretty – round, and when should we be aiming for a technically perfect trip? In the previous installment of this series, I explored the competitive mindset – knowing when it’s time to throw ‘perfection’ to the wind and ride to win.
Now, I’m diving deeper into the art of riding the ‘perfect’ round, and why ultimately, it’s not about perfection at all. Obviously, we are always aiming to ride as well as possible, even in a fast jump off, but there is an important difference between riding to be competitive and riding to improve ourselves and our horses. Let’s explore the ups and downs of chasing perfection, as well as how to truly set yourself up for success.
The fundamental aim of showjumping
In my opinion, the most important goal for any rider is to become one with the horse and to work on becoming the best possible rider you can be. For that, we need to train ourselves and our horses to communicate and execute as a team. Perhaps the most important, and at the same time, the most difficult, element to riding in the showjumping arena is mastering that effortless, smooth round. However, that beautiful round where horse and rider become one, where every obstacle is taken effortlessly and where the same rhythm flows from start to finish, comes down to great attention to detail and extensive practice. Training and aiming for this harmony is what makes us better riders and should always be our goal.
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