Happy New Year!
Hi, my name is Robyn Smith I am 20 years old and come from South Lanarkshire, Scotland. I have represented Great Britain internationally for the last 8 years, including European Championship teams in 2015 and 2016 with my homebred horse Foold Uz (a.k.a. Spencer).
Over Christmas and New Year I had a really enjoyable time with family friends visiting and getting to catch up with everyone at home who I don't usually get time to see. As well as this we focused on training and fitness with the horses. I think that cross training is really important for horses of all ages so we had great fun doing pole work, jumping, hacking and in hand work as well as their normal schooling. Spencer (pictured) absolutely LOVES to jump, it is one of his favourite things to do and helps him to use his body in a different way to dressage. All of my horses are turned out as often as possible which they absolutely love and keeps them happy in the head especially my rising 2 year olds, Franz Hit Caledonia and Flamboyant Caledonia, who live out all year round.
As well as cross training for the horses I like to look at my fitness in the same way. Every morning I do yoga as a way of preparing my body and brain for the day ahead. I also do a lot of swiss ball work and more conventional cardiovascular and strength training to compliment my riding. I also include work two days a week to improve my mental focus and reaction times.
January has been a whirlwind of exams and horses, however, I didn't have time to worry about this as the week before my exams started I was off to Addington High Profile Show which marked the start of the season.
Addington was great, despite the freezing temperatures and a slight malfunction in our lorry’s electric system I had a really enjoyable time. Spencer and I competed in the Inter 1 where we were 2nd out of 41 entries with 68.33% (including a silly error of course from me) and 3rd in the PSG with 70.18%. I also took out my younger stallion Francesco 77 to compete in the Mediums, he worked really well producing some fantastic work both in the working in and in the test. Sadly our mark did not reflect our progress, but never-the-less I was really happy with him and how he has improved over winter.
After Addington it was straight back to Uni in Loughborough for me and straight into exams. I think they went quite well but will have to wait a few more weeks for my results to arrive. I hate the whole exam process, I would much rather be mucking out, cleaning tack or riding!
In the meantime it’s back to lectures and horses for me as we prepare for the Young Rider Squad training in a few week’s time in Stow-on-the-Wold. It will be great to catch up with all my friends and ride through the test again before Myerscough Premier league at the start of March.
Photos by Kevin Sparrow Photography