Performing
Under
Pressure

09 May 2018

Yu Xuan Su, one of Asia’s up-and-coming stars, gives us his top tips for how to perform to your full potential...

Yu Xuan Su is juggling his studies as an undergraduate philosophy student at King’s College London with developing his skills on a horse, thousands of miles from his native Hong Kong.

 

In December, he finished third on a bay mare, Diva De Lux, at the FEI Asian Eventing Championship 2017 in Pattaya, Thailand.

 

He has already qualified for this year’s Asian Games in Indonesia and he harbours ambitions of performing at the Olympic Games in the future. Below he gives his advice on preparation, calming nerves and finding the right coach…

"Develop
a routine for
each time
you compete"

"There are plenty of opportunities..."

In terms of advice for those growing up with a love for horses in Hong Kong, he says: “The equestrian community in Hong Kong is relatively small and friendly, so make sure you make the effort to get involved and get to know everyone.

 

“As a junior and young rider, there are plenty of opportunities that can help with your riding and competing, such as seminars and workshops run by the equestrian federation, and junior development programmes.

 

“Also, Hong Kong’s equestrian scene is unique in that it has an abundance of horses available that are retired racehorses. When I was based there, I was sure to make the most out of the amount of horses we had and found that re-trained racehorses made for great jumpers and eventers, given the time and training.”

 

As one of eventing’s up-and-coming stars, he offered us some other top tips on how an individual can perform to his or her potential at a competition.

 

1. Find a good coach

“You need to be able to learn from them, so they should ideally be someone with plenty of experience with whom you can communicate well. In this sport, if you are in the right hands, you can learn something every day, and I know that my coach played a massive role in my success at the FEI Asian Eventing Championship 2017 and all the work building up to it.”

 

 

2. Prepare well in advance

“It’s very important for me to be prepared well before the actual event. If you put in the work at home for the Dressage and Jumping before the event, then you don’t have to treat the warm-up like a schooling session.

“That also extends to being as organised and prepared as you can with everything before the event. I find that I get the most stressed when my gear isn’t organised when it’s busy and hectic at the show.

“Make sure everything is where you want it to be and develop a routine each time you compete.”

 

3. Stick to your plan

“You should have a clear and detailed plan that you can stick to at an event. At a three-day event, where there’s so much time between each phase, you can really focus on each day individually.

“I also like to take notes about every obstacle and line whilst I walk the cross-country course, so I can keep looking back at it and visualising it before the actual round.

letters-1005-xuan

4. Keep fit!

“Finally, don’t neglect your fitness! I personally spend a lot of time in the gym and exercising in general, given that it’s a passion of mine away from riding.

 

“I’ve found that although there may not be a direct carry-over, better muscle control and cardiovascular fitness definitely help with riding and eventing.

 

“You want to make sure your fitness isn’t a limiting factor in developing a good connection with your ride.”

 

Keep up with equestrian events from around the world on FEI.org, and watch live action from the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ throughout 2018 on FEI.tv

 

Text by Rory Squires

Images by Yong Teck Lim

 

 


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