NRM rider questions – Steffi Whittaker
Q – Tell us a little bit about your team for the season ahead
A - I have my junior rider of the year horse Ngahiwi Cruise that I would love to step up to some bigger classes on him. I also have 4 pony’s that will be out this season including my grand prix pony Moonlight Glow and Burma Chilli that I will be stepping up to PGP. I have Showtym Outlaw that I have been eventing over winter and will be doing mini prixs and a lovely young pony Fair Deal (Not Fair- Dunn Deal) to bring out as well. It is my last season on ponies so some will be for sale during the season unfortunately.
Q- In preparation for the season, when do your horses come into work after their winter spell?
A – They came in straight after I came back from my trip to Morocco and have been in light work as we don’t like turning them out for long periods especially the older ones. I usually will ride one and lead off and am lucky with the racetrack as it is great for their bodies not going in circles and maintains their muscles & fitness. They also get stabled when it is cold and frosty.
Q - How long is the lead up to your first show?
A - Our first show is about 7 weeks away now.
Q - What is your work plan with the horses during this time? IE- how much conditioning work, flat work, jump training happens on a weekly basis?
A - Still jogging with plenty of flat work and then working on gymnastics and jumping once/twice a week with 1 day off a week unless it is really wet. They also get Equissaged twice a week as well.
Q – Tell us about your feeding plan at this time of the year, does it change during the season?
A - Yes as in winter they aren’t doing as much but they are still getting hard fed with NRM Low GI and NRM Cool-ade, which keeps them healthy and one step ahead and you can see their coats gleam even at this time of the year. During SJ season they are getting fed a lot more but basically still the same feed.
Q – What are your goals for the coming SJ season?
A - Jump some young rider tracks and also defend my win in the FEI World Jumping Challenge again. Also jump in some Mini GPs and always improve my riding.
Q – The most useful tip or trick you have for getting prepared for the show jumping season?
A - If you love your horses, they will love you back.