Preparing for the 2023 season – show jumping style!

New year, new season, goals to be set and shows to plan!

Preparing for the season ahead is something I actually really enjoy. I usually give the horses and myself some time off over Christmas and the new year and sometimes find it challenging to get back to reality so for me, planning the season ahead is something that sets me up and motivates me giving me that kick start to get back to it. 

The horses normally get a nice relaxed December month. When I take my Christmas break, I spend a bit of time hacking out, trimming them up, might take them to the beach for a play, just generally spend time to enjoy them a lot more without being under any amount of pressure or time frame. 

When planning for shows, I tend to usually look back at what we accomplished the previous year, what went well, what worked for my horses better, what venues we really enjoyed and had the most fun etc etc. I then look at setting myself a goal for the end of the year, whether that be competing in a certain championship or jumping double clears at 1.20, I like to set something realistic to minimise putting any pressure on myself and my horses rather than setting something unrealistic that could potentially set us back.

Once that end of year goal is set I look at what we’ve qualified for and once I have those dates written down I start from the end of the year goal and work backwards and from this I am able to provisionally see when I’m able to run my own clinics or my own shows and if I’m able to go away with friends or family at all, it’s important to take time out from such a physical job sometimes to give yourself time to rest.

Once the dates are done it’s time to put it all into play and start back with slightly more intense schooling sessions and some lessons and gradually I build up their fitness until they’re ready for their first show. 

I reflect on the first show and from here am able to plan what’s next. Not everything always goes to plan so despite have an organised show calendar, sometimes we have to compromise. I like to take the positive out of every show and not dwell too much if it wasn’t our day, I take it in, learn from it and move forward, it’s the best way to be“.

Follow Georgie on Instagram @gemsportshorses