Brett Parbery’s 2023 Year in ReviewDec 31, 2023
Starting with my own training and competition year in 2023, I was really happy with both these elements this year. I was pleased to take my number one horse – Johnny (Iresias L owned by Sarah Hanslow) out for his first full season of small tour, and it was quite a successful year including a great Sydney CDI. We proved throughout the year that we are in the top two small tour combinations in Australia at the moment. From a training perspective, we made a lot of breakthroughs with him regarding some of the more difficult things that he and I have been working through.
I feel like my system, my riding system, is getting better all the time. I feel like I'm riding more accurately, and with more purpose. I'm very confident in the system. I've been doing this for a very long time, and I don't think I've ever felt more confident in a way of training.
That confidence brings a calmness in the training, that knowledge that the system is going to hold up even when horses aren't going so well. I believe in what I’m doing and I keep going. It takes away all that high and low emotional stuff that can go on with riding. The old thought that a ‘bad ride makes you have a bad day’, that all goes away.
Many of my greatest highlights for the year have been watching the penny drop, so to speak, with a lot of my riders, especially the ones that have been involved in our Performance Riders programs for a while now, and watching them develop. We're always going to have, at any one time, a combination of high performers, people who are going on a trajectory that's rising, and riders that are going through some struggles, because that's just the general way that dressage plays out. What I’m loving is watching those who stick to the system, how they navigate through the tough times with dressage, and the tough moments of the horses putting up resistances in the training, and the way those riders are sticking to their guns, sticking to their system, and getting better. A lot of the riders are developing a real clarity with their training, you can see it in their faces, they're starting to develop a confidence in having answers to their own questions. That for me, again gives me confidence that the system of training that I'm putting out there to everybody, not just myself, is working in a way where it's able to be repeated, it's consistent, and that is what makes happy horses and happy people.
Our programs, Dressage Breakthrough and the Gold Performance Program, have once again hosted some incredible talent from around the world. FEI judge Kristi Wysocki from the USA coached us on test riding and judged our tests, Olympian Lyndal Oatley generously shared so much with us including private footage of her training with Patrik Kittel, Simone Pearce opened our minds and inspired us, and we had a bumper family of experts including mindset coach Tanja Mitton, rider athlete development coach Fiona Hargraves, and of course our wonderful long term coach Emma Weinert who never fails to deliver fantastic advice.
Another thing I enjoyed in the program this year was watching some of our members thrive not only in their riding, but also in life in general. Seeing people take the information from our amazing consultants and contributors, and implement ideas and execute strategies, that really makes me just absolutely love everything we're doing.
In 2024 I’d like to grow this membership further because I believe we have a great message, we have a great group, great camaraderie, and this is a wonderful program. So I'd love to try to help more and more people out there.
For me personally, going into 2024 with my riding, it’s about getting better and better at what I'm doing, not looking for new or more things, just getting better and better at delivering the details of the system in my training.
If you’re keen on improving your training, skills, and upgrading your support network in 2024, get in touch and we’ll make sure you’re on the list to be notified about enrolment dates in January 2024.
Here’s to a fantastic year ahead, albeit full of the usual bumps and roundabouts that life and dressage throws at us!