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Getting Fit For Dressage

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017

To a person who has no idea about Dressage training in Crawley, do you notice that if we take a look at Dressage riders they look like they are doing nothing on the horse? It looks like they are just sitting there and that it is the horse that must be fit. Only when you have ridden a horse that you start to understand the fitness, strength and stamina it takes to ride well and in order to ride that well, the skill comes in making it look easy.

As a dressage rider we are making hundreds of isometric movements every time the horse moves. Our aim is to make it look like we are not moving, like we are one with the horse, thus, this requires strength, stamina and fitness.

Strength Training
For you to get fit for your dressage, you need first to know that training is all about creating the right balance of exercise into your week. There is no point in running every single day as this is not going to create a stronger more efficient rider. We need a combination of strength training alongside cardio interval training. Then when you combine this with riding you have the recipe for success.

When I talk about strength training you shouldn’t be scared. In order to remain strong, to keep our bones tough, and for optimal hormone function, we need to lift heavy things. We are designed to do it and our body needs us to make it. Don’t freak out and think that lifting heavy objects is going to make you bulky, it won’t. The training required for that is huge and because females don’t have high levels of testosterone it won’t happen unless you take drugs….which I doubt a dressage rider would even consider, right? Lifting weights is also important not only for riding but to keep you mobile and strong into your older days.

When you pass the age of 30, your body starts to lose some muscle especially if it is not used so it makes it even more important to stimulate the muscle to keep it there. It only takes 7 days for your body to start making physiological decreases in strength and fitness if it is not stimulated. That is the reason why, it’s definitely easier to keep fit for Dressage Training in Guilford.

HIITS – High Intensity Training
Alongside strength training is high intensity interval training (hiits). These are without doubt the most efficient and best way to get your fitness up. Training in this way gets you fit both anaerobically and aerobically. Whereas just running along only gets you aerobically fit. As riders we need to be fit, our horses are getting fitter and stronger so we need to keep up with them. Hiits are short and can be done in around 12 minutes, some even as short as 8 minutes. They are a combination of functional, dynamic movement that challenge you and you do them circuit style, so one exercise after the next with little to no rest. The aim is to push your limit and work to your edge within 12 minutes and reap the benefits and efficient training. The gold in this sort of training is recovery; you will work hard in the session, but recover fast and have still energy to ride. Then while riding, resting and sleeping your body is doing all the hard work such as burning body fat, creating lean toned muscle and developing strength because you worked hard in that short time frame.

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