Jessica Leroy, Equo's south-east brand ambassador, shares her top winter training tips and must-have yard items to make winter that little bit easier.

Top winter training tips

When time is limited, try and focus on a small handful of things when schooling. Sometimes I only have 20 minutes schooling time per horse before work, I just try and focus on only one or two things – sharper transitions, flexions, lateral work. I feel a short, sharp, sweet school can sometimes be more beneficial than a longer session.

Plan your session! I always try and pre-plan my schooling session, that way by the time you’ve got to the yard you can hop on and you already have an idea of what you would like to work on.

On the topic of planning your session I also plan what each horse is doing on each day of the month in an excel sheet. Call me super organised but with two horses to juggle and a tight schedule it makes life a lot easier, trust me!

Use the eventing off season to get as much training in as possible like clinics and lessons. It breaks up the winter and gives you lots of things to work on whilst you’re dreaming about getting out and going XC again – check out Equo for some venues near you….

If you can, try and set out some poles exercises the night before. Then when you ride in the morning you’re all set and ready, you can just get on and go.

Must-have items around the yard in winter

My Winter Elite eGloves! I Would not be without them. Superduper warm gloves and touch screen tips, meaning I can Tweet and Facebook wherever I go without taking my gloves off!!! No more cold hands here…

Helmet Ears – they attach to your riding hat and stop the wind whipping around your ears on the frosty morning schools. These are also brilliant out hacking.

A good non freeze/non flood sandschool surface – I’m very lucky to have the horses at my parents but it’s tough with a full time job, therefore I’m hugely grateful for our outdoor sandschool which doesn’t freeze or flood – it means I can school whatever hour, whatever weather!

On the topic of a great school surface, good lights! We’ve recently put up some plug in moveable halogen spotlights and they are brilliant! A great alternative to fixed lights, and cheaper too.

A flask of milky sugary coffee! Wouldn’t be without it when I’m frozen and scrubbing stable stains and plaiting manes for a day’s dressage at 5:30am….

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