More than just riding…

As we delve deeper into the world of dressage, or indeed any equestrian discipline, the more we realise what a mammoth task we have taken on. Our recent ‘thought for the day’ (attached) got us thinking about just how much really goes in to being successful at something you’ve set your heart on. The actual riding part barely scratches the surface.

When we started a couple of years ago, we both knew we wanted (or needed rather!) regular lessons and we both enjoy reading, so could back up what we’d learnt with our instructor through reading whenever we had a spare moment. Needless to say, our library has expanded enormously and we now boast a fantastic selection of reference books on most aspects of riding.

After about 6 months of lessons, we felt that I would benefit from having a dressage saddle, since the GP was hampering her position. Along the way came various items of bling, competition clothing etc. which although not essential, all add up.

At the beginning of this year, we investigated pilates, and discovered just how inflexible, misaligned and lacking in core strength we both are. And so the weekly pilates classes started. This has been very beneficial and we’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their riding. So much focus is on the horse in dressage, that it’s easy to forget how influential the rider is and how much the rider being slightly unbalanced affect the horse’s way of going.

Most recently I have had lessons with a second trainer in order to get a different perspective on training, and has also just started to delve into the world of sports psychology – yet another thing to consider when riding competitively. This is something that has only recently surfaced as a possible issue, following Emma being an idiot and letting negative thinking and not focusing in the present affect performance. Saf also has a physio appointment, just as an MOT and Emma is now thinking about booking a session herself, just to see if there is anything that needs loosening up which again will hopefully help performance.

It’s incredible to think that only a few years ago we were bumbling along hacking, and gradually this whole world has opened up around us! We’re both really enjoying the ride and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you everyone for following our journey!

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