Whatever discipline you do, adopting a correct, progressive and methodical training system that instils confidence in both horse and rider will bring you the most success and pleasure.
This ethos is something that event coach Caroline Moore FBHS firmly believes in.
Over years of coaching many event riders, Caroline has developed a unique training system. The best testimonial to her training is the career of the horse she co-owned with Ros Canter, Allstar B.
We were excited to announce that we hosted a Conference 2023 Gala Dinner with Caroline as our after-dinner speaker on Saturday 18 February 2023.
During her talk, Caroline shared some of her training secrets and the strategies she uses with the riders she coaches. It was a fascinating insight into what it takes to prepare both horse and rider to ensure they can perform at their best under pressure.
Caroline has produced and ridden horses up to 5* level, competing at Badminton, Burghley, Bramham and Blenheim. However, Caroline didn’t come from an equestrian family but her passion for coaching was something that hit her at an early age, with riding coming second. Unusual when most are a rider first and then train to be a coach.
“Alongside my coaching I ran a yard where I produced horses up the then 4 star level (now 5 star), but that was always secondary to my coaching,” explains Caroline.
Giving it your full focus
It was during this time that the long-term friendship between Caroline and Gillian Higgins started. Caroline started coaching Gillian back in 2000, also at this time Gillian had early ideas for what was to become Horses Inside Out. She and Caroline used to chat about it all and it was from there that Horses Inside Out began.
“Horses Inside Out is an ingenious idea and you have to passion for what you do to turn it into a success,” says Caroline. “Gillian has that passion! She’s always coming up with new ideas to develop the business further, always thinking forwards. That’s why Horses Inside Out is so successful.”
It’s this focus that Caroline refers to as Podium Mentality – this doesn’t necessarily just apply to competition riders, you can apply this to everything you do. Podium Mentality is about putting 100% into what you do. From this thinking Caroline has developed the PRIDE acronym - Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence. This will be discussed in a lot more detail during Caroline’s talk.
“You get out of life what you put in. If you can’t be bothered and constantly make excuses that’s when you won’t get maximum.”
Caroline explains that she has this passion and focus for coaching others and it’s something she always wants to do the best of her ability. In 2010 she took over the training of the juniors (British Eventing) for the Europeans. Caroline took this role incredibly seriously and the last thing she wanted to do was to do a poor job of riding and a mediocre job of coaching.
“I put all my effort into the coaching side of things,” explains Caroline. “I moved yards, invested in new equipment and reduced the amount of riding I did. This meant I was able to give coaching my 100% focus.”
It was during this time that Caroline started coaching Ros Canter, and she took over the ride on Allstar B in July 2013.
“We’ve always bounced off each other and developed this training system together,” Caroline says. “Ros is meticulous in everything she does – she won’t give in until the job is done properly and I’m the same. I always challenge her and expect 100%.”
Training the horse
Another important element to Caroline’s training is to consider the horse – it’s all about permanent good practice rather than practicing poor practice.
Also, you need to consider what the horse is thinking and whether he understands what he has to do.
Caroline stresses that it’s vital to listen to the horse and base your training on a building block system so you’re always instilling confidence in the horse (and the rider) as that’s the only way good performance happens.
One important element of Caroline’s training system is the three training zones
She explains that it’s her job to make sure that any rider can produce the goods in the pressure zone when training at home. When this is in place, in a competition environment you can have anything thrown at you and you’ll cope with it. Caroline will elaborate much more about this thinking and explain the importance that riders need to be able to cope with these different training zones.