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Tuesday 4th May - Wednesday 5th May, 2021 #SSCup

Harry Meade talks Grassroots course walk approach

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This afternoon’s course walk here on day one of the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships was again a very well attended event with local International eventer and 2014 Team GBR squad member Harry Meade taking the riders through their paces ahead of tomorrow.

Harry said of this year’s course: “It’s a good course, each fence is subject to your own horses, get into the water, be clear at the corners, when you’re riding round stay in the future, what are your reference points for the next fence, don’t think about what you did at the last fence”

Leaving the start box

“Don’t wish for a second chance get it right first time”

Big event, big atmosphere
“When you are somewhere like Badminton, you need to be as aware of what is between the fences as well as the fences themselves; be very clear about where you want to go to avoid any confusion.”

“Your horse may not have seen crowds like they will here, you have to make sure they are really focused and in front of the leg; they take confidence from your confidence”

Precision planning
“If you are very precise about the line you ride on the wider fences later on it sets the precedence for the narrower fences later on.”

“Whatever you are going to do do it, be precise and be disciplined about your lines. Be definite at each fence where you are going to just to take out any questions”

 Walking in practice
“Think about the line you take between the fences, the easiest line to take is to sit on the outside it across the inside and then sit on the outside again”

“When you walk the course try and stand in front of a fence and with your hand slice what line you would ride to the fence and line up what point you want to jump on the fence and see what it lines up with in the distance”

Up hill, down hill
“Uphill it’s very easy to ride positively, a horse can jump from anywhere the important thing is to keep riding positively, keep the power and revs up”

“It is upright and down-hill, don’t underestimate these fences, sit up, be defensive in your body with your lower leg forward, if your horse leaves a knee you don’t want to end up on their head”

 Planning ahead
“Wake yourself and the horse up like you’ve had a lazy stop before you have a stop.”

“Let the horse see a corridor away from the fence and don’t jump into the rope”

Ditches and water

“They don’t see the water that clearly or the dead end, make sure the horse is in front of you, use the uphill for power not speed, get in the water the.”

“I don’t tend to ride curves, they cause drifting and it isn’t as easy for the horse to get on their line”

“If your horse is ok with ditches, imagine they’re not, get the canter strong, punchy and infront of the leg, be ready for them to down tools”

“A horse’s instinct is to stay away from it [ditches] they are not going to jump into it”