Spring is in the air. Soon it’ll be warmer; and we’ll be able to train outdoors more often. Many of us have been working exclusively in an indoor arena for a few months; and those walls are becoming pretty boring.
Raphael’s tip for more variety in your daily training
To avoid getting indoor-sour, Aubenhausen rider Raphael Netz regularly takes his horses outdoors after a training session – whether the sun is shining or it’s wet and cold, a quick round around the field or a little trail ride through the forest are easy to do. “I think it’s very important that even if you’re training in the indoor, to not only get on and off in there as well. Instead, go take your partner outside to enjoy the weather. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it makes quite a difference!”
Eilika’s tip for the training with young horses
Eilika Boeye is responsible for the training of young horses at Aubenhausen. To ensure that the youngsters don’t get bored, she likes to play with a little bit of work in hand: “For example, when I lead them during the warm-up, I can work on preparing for the piaffe. Or after riding, it’s great to do some lateral work in hand with young horses.” Caveletti and poles can be another source of variety and motivation: either as single canter pole or a series of two or three, or some trot poles. “Every so often I set up a little mini-jump,” says Eilika. “That’s easy to integrate in the training.”
Burn excess energy while getting strengthened for dressage work
At Aubenhausen, the team also has access to a galloping track, both for conditioning and to add variety. The horses get to have fun, burn some excess energy, breathe deeply, and develop stamina. If you don’t have a track or a trail that can serve as one, you can also get into two-point at for a little hand-gallop. This also doesn’t sound like much, but it has a significant effect. In many barns, this is not nearly done enough. Hardly anything else is as effective in loosening and strengthening the horse’s back and abdominal muscles. This also develops range of motion, shoulder freedom, and the jump in the canter – all of which have a positive impact on your dressage training.
Tips for a successful start to the competition season
To make the transition from winter break to show season easy, Raphi has some advice: “After having worked on the basics over the winter and not necessarily having ridden a lot of tests, it’s quite helpful to imagine a line that’s in a test and ride that movement. That’s a great way of checking yourself after the break to see how well you’re riding at the letter.” It can also be beneficial to simulate situations to be encountered at shows for a harmonious transition into the new show season. Here are some ideas: travel to a clinic elsewhere, put flowerpots and umbrellas at the side of the ring, play music, or having a little schooling show at your own barn…
And last but not least, the start of the show season is a great time to examine your own fitness and your seat a bit more closely. Have some errors or imbalances crept in? With our DressurFit® program, you have the opportunity to check your current fitness level as a rider every four weeks. This enables you to immediately recognize blockages, restrictions in your range of motion or differences side to side and actively work on them to best prepare as a rider and optimally support your horse.
Start now with your individual training plan! Discover DressurFit® now!