3 tips from Piet Raijmakers
On Monday, January 14th IPOS Technology visited Piet Raijmakers Senior. IPOS and Piet Raijmakers are working together on developing the optimal training schedules for show jumpers. Piet explained about his way of training. Already he gave so many useful tips about how he tries to keep his horses and riders happy. Our top three we’d like to share with you:
"Our horses leave their box at least 4 times a day."
Piet Raijmakers’ horses leave their box at least four times, every day. In the morning they go into the treadmill. Then they are trained for about 45 minutes. Later that day, they will be walked outside again or lunged. In addition, the horses go into the paddock every day.
In this way the horses get enough exercise during the day, to make sure the muscles recover well after a workout. In this way the waste products that are produced in the horse's legs during training are disposed well. This gives a smaller chance of injuries to the legs.
"We check the boxes of our horses every day."
Every morning, at the first feeding round, all boxes are checked. It is checked whether the horses have finished their food from the previous evening and whether they have kept their stable neat. During this check you can see if the horses are in good shape.
When something is wrong with a horse, you may notice this by the fact that the horse has not eaten his food. This indicates that the horse has no appetite and therefore there may be something wrong with it.
The manner of defecation can also be used to determine how a horse feels. A happy horse will defecate as much as possible in one place and keep his box as tidy as possible. “To me, if you see that a horse has defecated throughout the box, it’s a sign the horse may not feel well.”
"Sometimes we do everything wrong on purpose."
“We aim to make the training every day the same. This can sometimes become a bit monotonous for the riders. To keep it as fun as possible for the riders, they try to keep as much variety in the training as possible.”
One of the ways to do this is to do things deliberately wrong. Try riding in rising trot on the wrong diagonal or ride the wrong canter on purpose. It keeps you sharp and with this you also train your horses coordination and symmetry.
Piet Raijmakers senior is a Dutch jumping rider. In 1992, he won two Olympic medals, one individually and one in a team. In 2010 he stopped riding competitions. From that moment on, he became very active in coaching his two sons and training young jumping horses. Piet is also a trainer and he is involved in the purchase and sale of horses and breeding mares.