Our March training camp in Bulgaria has just come to end and looking back on the three days we can see that some great learning and experience has been gained by all.
“This past week we started the first of four clinics in Bulgaria. This is an organized attempt to improve Young Riders from eastern countries with the very competent help of Jean-Maurice Bonneau and for the mental fitness Poppy Blandford. The goal is to assist talented athletes for future YRA selections. Jean-Maurice is a well know figure as international top trainer and Poppy is a highly educated mental coach with already a vast experience of equestrian coaching. We worked with fourteen riders from four different countries, Bulgaria, Rumania, Serbia and Turkey; team trainers from each country attended the clinic as well to make sure to properly followed up the work at home” commented Sven Holmberg.
The mental coach approach had been highly valued because it gave the opportunity to individually exercise on specific issues faced by riders. Jean Maurice focused on technical skills for both riders and horses with flatwork and gymnastic exercises to improve balance and control. It was an interesting exercise to observe how closely technical and mental training were aligned. “ We had athletes who attended clinics from the previous years and we can perceive a clear improvement”. Stated Jean Maurice Bonneau “ We have good expectations for the newcomers” continues , “however I do believe that the support of the local trainers is central if they really want to succeed in the short term. It has been key to have them on site for the week so that we could share our knowledge” concluded Bonneau.
Poppy Blandford “It was a pleasure to work to with this group of riders who were so enthusiastic in learning and also sharing their experiences. All of these riders are ambitious and hungry for the sport and many have progressed up the levels very quickly. It is important they strive to create consistency in their performances, not only creating a system for the horses but also with their own heads. I look forward to followin their progress”.