By CHRISTINE RIVLIN – I will speak from a dressage rider’s perspective, as that is my background. The first things that come to mind are the words: adaptable, intelligent, and physically fit. Riding takes mental and physical discipline. The majority of my clients will ride 5-6 days/week, and are very devoted to the sport. The horses we ride are quite substantial in size and require a degree of physical fitness and stamina to be able to “stay” with their movement and ride for 45min- an hour/session. Some of the horses are quite extravagant in their movement and require strong abs, back and overall core strength to be able to move with and not inhibit the horse’s natural gaits and to further train and develop each horse athlete. As a dressage rider being adaptable and somewhat intelligent are a must! Our goal is to develop the horse’s physique and musculature. We are constantly reminded to be creative with the exercises we choose and use to develop the horses to the best of their ability. Additionally, we are often required to ride our tests in the show ring from memory; thus, we need to be able to easily remember the pattern, while still paying attention to each footfall of the horse and each movement of the test as we are always striving for more power, elasticity, harmony, and brilliance.
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