Variety on Open Terrain - Dressage Work Done Differently

We'll show you how to make the most of the terrain to help your horse relax outdoors while doing gymnastics.

I. Gymnastic work is essential for every riding horse

The days are getting longer and significantly warmer. Some people lose their will to train consistently in the hall or on the field. The weather invites you to ride in the terrain, nevertheless, short training units can be practiced and strengthened during this excurse. Especially in terms of condition, the training in terrain offers: forest trails, rivers, scattered trees or bushes which are ideal.

Tendons, ligaments, and muscles are gently stretched during gymnastic work and remain active and flexible to be able to carry the rider's weight in a healthy way. Usually, straight dressage lessons are practiced primarily on the quadrilateral, but tact, detachment, leaning, momentum, straightening, and collection can just as well be developed or consolidated in the field. The terrain training proves its multitude of possibilities. Almost every path, mountain, tree or river can have a positive effect on the gymnastics of the horse. In addition, the terrain offers a welcome change - the horse is more motivated and often more concentrated. However, it depends on the character of the horse: Is it easy to distract or is it fearful? Then the terrain change is better suited only as a relaxation unit. Especially during summer one can escape the heat quite well on forest roads while the horse works in short units. The top priority in the terrain is relaxation: sufficient rest, as well as pauses, are important for the well-being and fun of riding.

- Posture and Bend

One of the most important criteria for a gymnastic horse is the correct and supple posture and bending. In the terrain, isolated bushes or trees are particularly well suited. Those can be walked, trotted or even galloped ride around with a particular focus on the correct position and bending. Just like vaulting or riding in a circle. The tree or bush marks the center of the circle. Once the horse stands well in the aids and lets the neck fall, the rider can begin to enlarge the circle and reduce it again. Also, a change of direction in the form of an 'S' brings variety into the training. A few laps are enough and you can continue your round relaxed.

- Back and Forth

Long forest or dirt roads are ideal for training if your horse gets hotter and harder to control in the terrain. The first goal should be the control of the horse and the maintenance of the tact. The longer the way, the better. First, the way should be ridden in a trot. It is important that the rider finds his own rhythm and does not disturb the horse. After two kilometers, at the latest, even the most overbearing horse will be calmer and the rider can begin to take care of the horse. Once the horse is more relaxed the rider can bring in small speed differences. The horse has to put more weight on the hindquarters when the rider retrieves and forwards the horse. Especially for horses that are difficult with the three-stroke gallop, the field work is particularly good. It is easier for most horses to jump through reasonably, because neither a disturbing band is in the way, nor the rider can restrict the horse too much. The frame extension can also be trained particularly well in the terrain. However, this work only brings with it a gymnastic advantage if the horse does not hurry, but gets bigger in the room grip.


- Strengthen the Hindquarters and Build Condition

When it comes to the condition training on the court or the hall, most horses and riders quickly lose the pleasure of work. The road is tedious - especially when the horse is struggling to actively take the hindquarters or if it is to be rebuilt after a long-standing time. Since most horses are much more motivated and active in the field, the training outside is particularly good. Hills or mountains can contribute wonderfully to the hindquarter activities and to the bulge of the back. It is only important that the rider does not overstrain the horse: Riding up and down a Mountain gets very exhausting and require a lot of physical effort. Both in step, trot and gallop the horse's thrust is improved and the hindquarters are activated. Advanced riders can now start with a tempo changes on the mountain. The rider should pay attention to a balanced seat and disturb the horse as little as possible in his mouth - this is especially true in downhill riding, during which the horse must also increasingly balance.

- Water Treading on a Horseback

Those who enjoy the benefit of a river or creek in the immediate region of the barn should use it accordingly - especially during summer. After strenuous exercise, the flowing water provides a nice respite for the strained horse legs and stimulates the metabolism. Many horses like to play in the water, therefore, their well-being is also enhanced - and it's also great fun. If the river is close and clear, some sections can be walked in on the horses back. Just like an aqua-trainer, the water acts as an optimal bodybuilding, rehabilitation, and wellness program. The horse has to raise his legs higher, increasingly undermined the water and at the same time balanced more frequently. If the ground is clearly visible and even, short sections can be trotted. The pace is not crucial when training in the water, but rather the regularity.