Ipos Technology is working together with former Dutch Olympic Showjumper, Piet Raijmakers Senior, on developing optimal training schedules for Show Jumpers. Piet has many specific techniques for keeping his horses and riders happy and engaged. As part of his collaboration with Ipos Technology, he has explained his methods of training in detail We would like to share with you our top three tips that we have gathered insight on from him:
"Our horses leave their box at least four times a day."
Piet's horses leave their box at least four times, every day. In the morning, they go into the treadmill. Then they are trained for approximately 45 minutes. Later that day, they will be walked outside again, or lunged. In addition, the horses go out into the paddock every day.
In this way, the horses get enough exercise during the day, to ensure that their muscles recover well after a workout, and the waste biochemical products that are produced in the horse's leg muscles during training are cleared appropriately. This reduces the chances of leg injuries.
"We check the boxes of our horses every day."
Every morning, at the first feeding round, all boxes are checked. We can see if the horses have finished their food from the previous evening, and assess what state their stable is in. In addition, you can see if the horses are in good shape during the first check.
When something is wrong with a horse, you may notice this by the fact that the horse has not eaten their food - lack of appetite can indicate that the horse could be unwell.
The manner of defecation can also be used to determine how a horse feels. A happy horse will defecate as much as possible, often in one place, and keep its 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 the same every day. 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 the wrong leg on purpose. It keeps you sharp and with this you also train the horse's coordination and symmetry.
Piet Raijmakers Senior
Petrus Josephus 'Piet' Raijmakers is a former Dutch Show Jumper. He won Gold in the Show Jumping Team event at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and Silver in the Individual Jumping competition. In 2006, he won Team Gold with Jeroen Dubbeldam, Gerco Schroder and Albert Zoer at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, The Netherlands.
His spring career ended in 2010 and he then became a coach, particularly for his two sons, Piet Raijmakers Junior and Joep Raijmakers.
Piet also trains young Show Jumpers and is involved in the purchase and sale of horses and breeding mares.