Helena Rose Yates – Eventing Tips & Experiences

March 10, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Equestrian Advice

Eventing Experiences & Tips on Getting Round a Difficult Cross Country.



In this blog, I will be telling you all about my top eventing experiences and training tips to get round a difficult or scary cross country course.


Eventing must be the most challenging discipline we have in the equestrian sport. However, somehow it’s what so many of us love and would not stop for anything (unless of course the typical English weather kicks in and ruins the ground which seems to be quite typical at the moment!). I have been eventing since last year and in my first proper season, me and my lovely pony Gloria came from BE80 to BE100 in less that 6 months with numerous double clears and some lovely feedback from trainers which has boosted my confidence to go and try even harder this 2017 season!

If I had to choose my favorite event, it would have to be either Wellington International, Goring Heath or Bovington. I just couldn’t decide on one! They are all run so well and everyone is so helpful whenever you have a query or just want to ask where the cross-country start is!

It all sounds rather lush and perfect from what I have described so far… but you can never have a foot perfect season and most importantly, you can never have a good day every day… I have had my fair share of bad days don’t you worry! However, whenever you don’t have your ideal day, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on! Think about what you can do better next time and be very strict with your training scheme to get you there! Getting a 7 or an 8 in one movement from a test, not sitting up enough for the last show jump, or just being that tiny bit inaccurate out on the cross country can be the difference between winning or losing. So, you as a rider must be 100% accurate and confident all the time! Never let yourself think that a little change in the rein, your leg or your body won’t make a difference… because even the smallest things can make a huge difference to your horse! Don’t let that put you off it though, because when it goes right you will feel so good!

There are also so many different things you can aim and qualify for, like the Badminton Grassroots, U18 Championships, Young Horse Championships, JAS Championships and so much more which makes you even hungrier for that golden success.


Now for my training and on course tips for getting around that difficult cross country course!


Firstly, before you head out to that event… you must be sure that you are confident in yourself that you can get around it. Coming to it half-hearted isn’t going to get you anywhere unfortunately! You must also make sure that you have all the right preparations before you go.

  • Have you been practicing out cross-country schooling doing tricky lines, skinnies, or anything your horse isn’t as confident with? 
  • Have you tried to find out from previous experiences of other people of what the event and courses are like or rides like?


One very helpful way that I use to help me decide between events is looking up videos of people going round the class you are considering entering or looking up pictures of the cross country course which you can get from this very useful website Shoestring Eventing (https://shoestringeventing.co.uk/)

You can look up every single course, past and present all for free!


Once you are sure you are confident and have everything all prepared, when you leave that start box… be sure to trust your horse and ride every fence with the same rhythm and feist.

I can give one example where I misjudged a fence and thought it was easy which led to a stop due to me not riding powerfully enough and thinking it was easy so it didn’t require as much attention…!

Treat every fence like it’s something your horse may not like as it will make you as a rider ride more effectively and will give your horse the message that they cannot mess about with you and that you are confident which is what the horse needs in order to trust that you will get them home safe!

It’s all about the partnership… your horse must know that you are the boss.  


In terms of training, there are so many things you can do to make sure you are prepared for that course!

The most obvious one is to go cross country schooling. If possible, make sure you go with a trainer so they can give you even more tips on how to improve yourself and the way the horse goes. However, for some people there are just no open schooling areas around them. So, what can you do in your arena or field? If you have a few wooden colored poles just to try and stimulate cross country fences as best as possible, you can play around with skinnies, corners, angled lines and so much more!

In every course, there is always something to try and catch you out which is usually something like a difficult line, skinny or even just a big ugly fence! Using the arena to help you with your simulated cross country can improve your accuracy especially as it is easy to put in those tight turns which catch so many people out on course!

I hope this blog has given you an insight on the eventing experience and some tips to make sure you go out ready for this season!


To keep up with my eventing, I have numerous ways that you can keep up to date!

  • My Instagram @helenaroseeventing
  • My Facebook page Helena Yates Eventing
  • My YouTube Helena Rose Eventing – where you can find videos of all my events I do and my website www.helenaroseeventing.com where you can find my newest blogs, reviews and updates!

Thank you to Find My Stable for this opportunity, I had so much fun writing it!