New times – new ways!
When Sweden was paralyzed by the pandemic and the EHV-1 virus was a fact, both riders and trainers were affected. The opportunity to travel was limited and the stables had to be kept isolated. It was a challenge for the rider Maria Haglund, from Härnösand and her trainer Charlotte Haid-Bondergaard, a prominent Swedish dressage rider who competes at elite level and a riding instructor and horse trainer based in South of Sweden. But with the help of Ridesum, they found a solution, not only for Maria’s trainings but also for conducting a dressage clinic digitally!
Maria and Charlotte met five years ago and have kept contact ever since. For over a year, Maria has trained digitally, via Ridesum, once a week with Charlotte and sees the benefits of avoiding the long journeys between Härnösand and Skåne.
“The fact that I can keep my training going and continuing to develop continuously without having to travel over 100 km one way is invaluable”, says Maria.
When the Pandemic and the EHV-1 virus struck, Maria and Charlotte had a two-day dressage clinic for riders in Härnösand planned but had to think of another way to keep the clinic going. Maria and Charlotte then took digital training one step further. Since the stables were closed and they could not travel, they decided to arrange the clinic digitally via Ridesum!
“Charlotte would have come up to us in Härnösand to teach a weekend clinic, but with the pandemic it’s not possible to travel. I then came up with the idea of using Ridesum instead”, says Maria
For many of the clinic participants, it was the first time they tried to train digitally, and the new method seemed a bit scary at first. Will the technology work, will I get the same out of my training as I do on traditional trainings?
But as soon as they were up and running, the riders thought that training digitally was better than they expected and something they absolutely want to do again!
“It worked out great, we used my account and my phone to film all weekend, so the participants only needed to bring their own phone with headphones for audio”, says Maria.
Charlotte agrees that once you dare to try, the riders will be pleasantly surprised.
“I’ve received so many positive text messages and because of this clinic, everyone now wants to train digitally on a frequent basis!Unfortunately, many people are afraid of new technology, which is very sad. It’s important to show how smooth it works so that more people dare to try it out. One of the riders who participated and trained for me this clinic, is a dressage judge and she said something that I thought a lot about: That when the pandemic struck us and there were no competitions opened the riders didn’t want to train and they became lazy and lost their motivation. To motivate her students to continue training, Charlotte decided to adjust her Ridesum offer for digital trainings.”
This is the perfect time to train and be prepared for when the competitions open again and Ridesum makes it possible to keep going!
Maria and Charlotte are already talking about arranging more digital clinics in the future. For Maria, there is no doubt about continuing with her own digital training.
“There were not many competitions last year, but the few that we participated in Ridesum was very handy. I had Charlotte with me on my warmups, digitally, and it was so helpful!”
For Charlotte, the opportunity to coach at competitions via Ridesum is super!
“It works great to help at warmups on competitions. One of my students had their best ride ever after me coaching her digitally. It’s a lot of extra costs to bring your trainer to the competitions and also very time consuming for the trainer, so this is a fantastic solution!”
Both Charlotte and Maria agree on the many benefits of digital training. You save time, it is cost-effective and creates training opportunities that would otherwise be complicated to achieve. The environmental aspect is also important to Charlotte.
“It’s great that we think more about the environment. I don’t have to fly back and forth, I can work from home. If I travel, it takes so many hours of my working time, so I think this solution is fantastic. If I have trainings digitally in the north of Sweden, as we had now, I also have time to ride my horses here at home the same day.”