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New Jersey Summer Camps

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A Letter: Training a Showhorse

By Allison W.

Dear Elaine,

These first few weeks have been rough. Training with Spice has proven to be harder than I thought it would be. Spice is a good horse, he listens to commands very well. I was surprised when I first met Spice to find out he’s a Thoroughbred horse. Thoroughbred horses are known for their athletic build.

The problem is that he’s been out of training and competitions for a while. We are very slowly working him up to being as fit as he used to be. Interval training has been our number one go-to for the past week. Interval training is a mix of fast and slow sprints and it is a great way to build rhythm and muscle.

Spice and I frequently go on walks down a trail that leads into the mountains — walking him periodically is good for building muscle and keeping in shape. This trail is my favorite because of all the big rocks in the trail. Spice is slowly getting used to jumping over them and I can tell that his fear is slowly fading away, too.

Being away from the training and competitions has impacted him so much, it’s like starting all over again. He’s not fit enough, he’s afraid again, and he’s re-learning how to jump. We won’t extend his training, meaning jumping rails and fences, until he’s completely ready to, which is soon, hopefully. There is this big competition at the end of summer, it’s called The Reining Championship. It’s a funny name for an equestrian competition, but I suppose that’s the purpose of it.

The championship holds a variety of different equestrian events, including our event, showjumping. The judges, for showjumping, judge everyone based on how fast they go through the course with the least amount of faults and refusals. Faults happen when a horse touches or knocks off the rails or fences. Refusals happen when your horse is too afraid to make a jump and refuses to go near the jump. I can only hope we’re going to be ready when the time comes around to compete.

I hope everyone is well!
Hoping to hear from you soon,
your loving sister,
Nina

Student Bio

Allison W.

2021 Summer Program

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