Kilteel, Co. Kildare

Blog July 1st 2012

June was a successful month on the equestrian front. After a bit of bad luck in the first two RDS qualifiers, it was third time lucky for Penny Lane and Triomphe Kervec at the qualifier in CoilÓg, where each jumped three clear rounds to finish in second place in the 7/8 and 5 year old qualifier respectively. I was delighted with the ease they jumped the third round, which was bigger than either had jumped before; it’s a great feeling to see the results of the time and effort you’ve put into a young horse!

An interesting event I attended a few weeks ago was a talk given in Trinity College by leading sports psychologist Aidan Moran. He spoke about ‘Imagination in action: mental practice and skilled performance in sport’ and explained how important it is for an athlete to use their mind to help their physical performance. Although I think sports psychology is essential for top athletes to perform at their very best, it is unfortunately absent from many areas of equestrian sport- I hope this changes in the near future!

I recently was the lucky recipient of a pair of the award-winning Horseware Ice Vibe boots, and I quickly came to understand why they are selling like hot-cakes! They can be used without the ice packs to warm up the horse’s legs before exercise or jumping and then afterwards with the ice packs to cool them down and keep their legs in top condition. They are so effective that they instantly became a part of Puissance’s routine.

Speaking of Puissance, he is in great form and competed in one of the popular Leinster Tour 1.30(s) competitions at Boswell recently, jumping a lovely double clear to finish 5th. The younger horses had a short break after the qualifiers which were an intense few weeks, and did a couple of smaller classes this week in preparation for my upcoming trip to Europe.

I’m excited about my plans for the next few weeks- I leave very soon to compete in the CSI3* shows in Ascona (Switzerland) and Megève (France) with Puissance, Penny Lane and Astilbe B. Once we get back the younger horses will compete in Millstreet, and then on to Dublin with those and hopefully Puissance for the international classes also. I’m really looking forward to Dublin Horse Show, it really is such a special show and has an amazing atmosphere. This year ComfyBed has increased its sponsorship of the show, as has Horseware Ireland, whose very own Tom MacGuinness has qualified for the prestigious Amateur competition and also for the Riding Club teams competition alongside daughter Lorraine and coworker Emma MacCabe. I’m looking forward to cheering them on!

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