There is a phrase used in Triathlon “marginal gains”
Basically if the right tri suit, helmet, bike frame, trainers etc made you even the tiniest percentage faster you do it because that’s a marginal gain and added to all the other marginal gains will hopefully give you some big gains overall.
Riding is similar in that respect.
Dressage competitions can be won and lost on the smallest of percentage. There could be a huge difference in your placings for getting an 8 or 9 for certain movements so those little extra marks -those marginal gains can make all the difference.
Jumping is the same.If you’re against the clock the smallest second or the tiniest rattle of a fence can win or lose a competition. If being able to ride a tighter line knocks of a second thats a marginal gain that could make a difference.
Most of us are on board with the idea of making tack choices to make our horses just that tiny bit more comfortable, able to move better etc. They’ll have physio, massage pads etc all with the view to helping them perform even the tiniest bit better.
Perhaps you’ve even looked at the difference your boots, gloves breeches etc make to your performance.
What about your own personal performance?
How many marginal gains do you think you could add if your reactions where faster, if your aids where a little sharper or you were a smidge more symmetrical?
That’s where I come in.
I’m not really known for massive transformations with my clients. It really is about the marginal gains.
It’s about being a little more symmetrical in your left and right hips.
Being a little more stable in your lower leg.
Having a little more control of your upper body over a fence.
Being able to rebalance quicker if it gets a bit messy.
These are the things I help my clients with in their off horse training. We do exercises to make them aware of and improve their symmetry. We improve their reactions, stability and control with off horse training alongside some tips and tricks for in the saddle.
These things are difficult to quantify with data, and often difficult to see as a before and after. Its just chipping away making tiny improvements along the way all adding up to bigger improvements over time.
When you then take all these little improvements to a competition its a series of marginal gains that hopefully add up to marginally better score. That could be 2nd to 1st or it could be just a bit less rubbish than last time, wherever you’re at it means you’re inching forward bit by bit.
What do you struggle with that with work could be a marginal gain?