"If you're someone who is stuck in a rut, or just needs a good kick up the butt, I would highly recommend you organise something similar": brand ambassador Leanne Ehren takes on 'Barry's Bootcamp' in her latest blog.

Five intense training sessions to focus body and mind is exactly what I needed – and I’m pretty damn lucky local trainer Barry Meningen was on Equo Events to sign me up to one of his bootcamps!

I can sometimes lose focus when schooling at home and since getting back on the showjumping wagon, never has this been more true. On occasions it is because I’m tired after a long week at work, or my mind is elsewhere with the daily stresses that balancing a career, horse and “life” brings, other times though, you just need a fresh set of eyes to give you some perspective and spice up those schooling sessions.

Barry’s Bootcamp was a brilliant experience and if you are someone who is stuck in a rut, or just need a good kick up the butt – especially when enduring the British winter – I would highly recommend you organise something similar with a local trainer.

So, how did it work? I booked five training-at-home sessions with Barry, who is an event rider and BE accredited coach, and then discussed with him where we were currently working and what I wanted to achieve. From this he built me a programme of coaching sessions and we planned what I would do with Buddy on the in-between days.

It was total bliss not having to think every day “what am I going to do with Buddy?” Instead, everything was planned and because I was training with Barry every three days or so, it kept me focussed. We mixed up our sessions between flat and grid work, which kept both horse and rider interested, and also kept me on my toes having to think about not just my horse’s way of going but also my position.


Barry explained a lot about the conscious and subconscious actions of a rider and about how it takes hard work and dedication to undo some of the bad habits we’ve learned over the years. I found it hugely beneficial for one entire session just concentrating on my position, particularly my hands and shoulder position, as this is something we don’t do enough of as riders. We’re often so concerned about our horse’s way of going, that we lose sight of the whole picture.

Over the two-week bootcamp I picked up countless new exercises, focussed on a range of aspects of Buddy’s way of going and had the golden opportunity to really hone my position. It was a brilliant way to focus my mind and crack on with setting our goals for 2016. Not to mention I ached for days afterwards! Looking for events to enter near you? 

At the end of the coaching I sat down with the gang at the stables and had “Vision Board Night” – a night of good food, giggles and goal setting. It was about encouraging each other to benchmark where they wanted to be, things they wanted to do during the year – whether it be a dressage test, ride on the beach, or complete a BE event – and most importantly, do all this in a supportive environment.


I am now totally ready for the season ahead…!


Catch up with what else Leanne and Buddy have been up to in her other brand ambassador blogs