Watch this video for an insight into Natasha Baker’s preparation for Rio 2016, brought to you by Petplan Equine.
Preparation for a Paralympics takes many hours of dedication and hard work both for Natasha Baker and her equine partner Cabral – known as JP at home. While waiting for selection to make her place on the team official, Natasha had to prepare mentally and physically to ensure they would both be ready should they receive the call up.
This video provides an exclusive insight into Natasha and JP’s routine, what they do to prepare for top level competition and what it takes to be an Equestrian Paralympian.
Natasha has found that routine is the key to JP’s preparation with a combination of schooling and hacking to keep his reactions quick and interest engaged. For the rider there’s no doubt that the fitter you are, the better you will ride. Natasha struggles with gym work because it can affect her back, so she swims which is great for overall fitness and is good cardio work.
As important as physical strength, there is the need for huge mental strength too. In preparation for London 2012, Natasha worked a lot with the team sports psychologist, who also worked with her Mum and her trainer, so they could be there for Natasha and support her mentally as well as physically. This helped her to focus on her goals.
Natasha’s team is invaluable in all aspects of preparation for any competition. She likes JP to have people around him who he knows and feels comfortable with – it helps to keep everything the same and is a system which works for everyone in the team. Think about Natasha’s show preparation before your next competition, perhaps there is something you can take away from her advice.
Congratulations and lots of luck to Natasha and the entire Para Equestrian Dressage Team GBR.