As dressage riders, we want to be supple and flexible enough to go with the horse and allow the movements to flow through the horse’s body from the back to the front. At the same time, you need a strong core and sufficient stability in order to withstand any of the forces acting on your body, so you can sit quietly and avoid disturbing your horse. Too much movement in your own body blocks the horse’s movements and makes it difficult for your horse to distinguish which of your movements are deliberate aids and require a response and which ones are not. The more stable and quietly you can sit as a rider the better you can communicate with your horse through – eventually – almost invisible aids.
However, just like our horses, we are not all evenly strong and flexible on both sides of our bodies. And just like we try to improve our horses’ crookedness during training, we can also make a huge difference to our riding by improving our own mobility and stability through specific exercises. This doesn’t happen overnight. However, regular exercises and little steps in the right direction will, with time, help you unfold your full potential as a rider.
So, why is it, that some riders seem to be able to sit effortlessly and perfectly on any horse, while others struggle and bounce around? Obviously, there are many different aspects you need to consider, and best results are always achieved with a personal training plan that targets your specific needs. That’s why we have developed the DressurFit® Test series, so we can offer our members personalized, corrective homework exercises to achieve optimal results in a short period of time.
If you haven’t already done so, you can take the first DressurFit® Test here for free to check your current fitness level and to find out about any imbalances or side differences you may have!
Here are three exercises we recommend for all riders
A good range of movements in the hip joints (on both sides!), a strong core and sufficient mobility and length along the entire posterior chain of muscles including the back our your calves and thighs are important for all riders, to achieve correct alignment and sit quietly and stable with long and supple legs. Try to do the following three exercises two to three times a week for a few weeks and you will quickly notice great improvements in the saddle.
Would you like to get more support and a personal training plan to improve your dressage seat? Sign up for your DressurFit® Membership by clicking here!