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Equestrian workshop in the beautiful Swan Valley
29 March 2015
Equestrian WA, Foundation Core workshop, Sunday 29 March 2015
Story by Rhys Mainstone, Swimming Australia
 Developing champions with Equestrian WA on a beautiful Sunday in the Swan Valley was a great opportunity to get an insight to being an elite athlete and having a great school/work balance to progress to the elite level of equestrian.
I thought as a distance swimmer that my schedule was full with training/recovery and balancing work as well. I could give advice on finding the balance to develop into the elite side of sport, but I soon found out how busy and organised the equestrian riders are and didn't realise that they start their day at 5am and finish by 8pm.
We planned a weekly schedule to have an understanding of how to balance social life, school, and training within the week and every athlete filled the document to perfection knowing when to eat, watch TV and have some down time. I was very impressed with the development skills of the younger athletes.
In equestrian I only thought of 3 disciplines involved: Dressage, Eventing and Jumping but was told of another called Vaulting which is gymnastics on horseback and combines both skills of gymnastics and horsemanship. It provides for both individual and also team participation in the event.
I was in such amazement of this event and I just cannot get my mind around it and will certainly be looking for this event on TV as it takes so much skill, training and understanding between horse and athlete. All disciplines are extremely impressive, that’s for sure!
The athletes had a great time on the course and we finished the day off with my 2011 World Championship silver medal in Shanghai which was passed through the group to hopefully inspire them to achieve their goals and having an understanding in the balance but also dedication it takes to be an elite athlete.

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