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Rhiannon Hinton shares her New year plans with a 50 shades of Blue theme....

Rhiannon Hinton shares her New year plans with a 50 shades of Blue theme....

With "blue Monday" having  been and gone. Yes - apparently Monday 21st january is "the Monday" people feel most depressed in January", it got me thinking about my own shade of blue and how I tend to manage it at this time of year.

Juggling a young family, corporate job, my dressage coaching, and keeping on top of my own horses can feel particularly tough this time of year. I'm a very goal driven person. I like to plan, and when things don't quite go to plan, I'm easily stressed. When I'm stressed, everyone around me suffers. Sound familiar? And let's face it, how often does everything go to plan with horses?

A little trick I've learnt is to set "aspirational training goals" rather than goals that center around major competition dates. I find this so much more flexible and fun, and kinder on my well-being 🙂 The competition dates become milestones/confirmation points in-between those training goals, not the goal itself.

I also love lists, and at this time of year I find nothing more satisfying than getting "to do" stuff down on paper, and ticking these things off when I've done them. I'm talking the little things that make the bigger things possible. Keeping this in good shape helps me keep a bounce in my stride. Keeping me a "lighter" shade of blue.

So what's coming up for #RHintonStressage?

Young Bob is entered for the forthcoming BD Winter Regionals at Novice Silver, in both the straight and music classes. This will be his first big arena / regional experience, his first long haul journey (on a lorry rather than a trailer), and his first stable away competition.

So what's my expectation?

My aim is to give him a positive experience with the travel, stabling and gain big arena confidence that will stand him in good stead for the future #trainingforthefuture. If we're able to pull off two near clear rounds in our championship tests, I'll be super proud of this young lad, wherever we end up on the scoreboard! Bobs Catago FIR technology rug and head piece (courtesy of #DivineEquestrian) will play a big part in managing his wellbeing on this big occasion.

Training goals for Bob are all about body building/conditioning, suppling and straightening with what I call "moderate" cross training work (3-4 sessions a week - with the occasional week off all-together). He's already showing a change over a pole, half steps towards piaffe in-hand, and good suppleness laterally. He's a lot more "furnishing out" to do these next few years and I'm all for preserving him for his later years! He does have a talent for self-harm, including a knack for de-rugging himself (with every strap still done up!!!). All being well, medium level competitions are well within site for Bob later this year, perhaps with a summer regional / Area Festival thrown in for experience in-between.

Monthly #RHintonStressage coaching days continue in the diary, supplemented with visiting trainers Andrew Murphy and Emily J Baker. I love helping my small but perfectly formed group of friends with their own stressage journeys .

Meanwhile - George continues to enjoy his retirement from Advanced level competition - eat, sleep, repeat. It's taken longer than I had ever imagined to convert him to barefoot. Slowly but surely he's finding his feet. Well done George. Until the next blog….


Rhiannon can be followed via her #RHintonStressage group on facebook.

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