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Rider Fitness

jan brons

Success Through Simplicity in Dressage with Jan Brons

Laser-sharp focus combined with a direct approach to training are at the core of international Grand Prix dressage rider Jan Brons’ system.

Lauren Thomas and Bountiful | Photo courtesy of Lauren Thomas

Dressage Life: Straightness and Balance in the Horse

A tenacious back injury opens a dressage rider's eyes to the real meaning of developing straightness and balance in her horse.

fitness mature riders

Unmounted Fitness Exercises for Mature Dressage Riders

Rider fitness tips to improve flexibility, mobility and strength for the over-40 rider

Credit: Arnd Bronkhorst - To sit a big trot more effectively, you need to make your horse more reactive to lighter aids and teach yourself to establish the optimal tempo.

Tips to Sit a Big Trot More Effectively

USDF gold medalist Kamila Dupont offers advice and explains that addressing this issue begins with improving the horse's gaits.

rider fitness core exercises

How Dressage Riders Benefit from Developing Strong Core Muscles

USEF “S” dressage judge Debbie Rodriguez shares her thoughts on becoming a fit rider.

rider fitness weekend warrior

Fitness Tips for Weekend-Warrior Riders

Charlotte Bredahl-Baker answers this reader question, explaining what you can do to improve your ability to follow your horse's movement, especially if you aren't able to ride regularly.

ulita o lindsay paulsen

You Get More Than One Fresh Start

As we begin a new year, Dressage Today's Lindsay Paulsen shares how her 2018 had a rocky start but ended with smiles.

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Improve Rider Strength and Balance

Three exercises to get you working out like U.S. Olympian Steffen Peters.

Cross-training is good for all athletes, including horses, and there are numerous options available to add variety and reap rewards of improved flexibility, endurance and strength. Here Grand Prix rider Nicholas Fyffe rides Fiero HGF, a P.R.E. stallion.

Nicholas Fyffe: Cross-Training for Horse and Rider

A Grand Prix trainer explains how cross-training for the horse and rider can improve performance.

adriane alvord dressage ocr

A Dressage Rider Explores Obstacle-Course Racing

How FEI Rider Adriane Alvord used Obstacle- Course Racing to improve her dressage

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Learn the CrossFit Squat to Help Your Dressage Training

Dressage trainer Stacey Hastings explains the value of this cross-training exercise.


Rider Fitness: Training Reactions

Rebecca Ashton shows you how to improve your reactions to improve your riding.


How Physical Fitness Impacts Riding and Confidence

Sports psychologist Jenny Susser explains this mental aspect of dressage

Credit: Geoff Ashton Shoulder Stability in Prone

Rider Exercises to Increase Shoulder Stability and Create Soft Hands

Fitness expert Rebecca Ashton gives exercises to help you achieve a soft, independent hand while still remaining in control of your upper body.

Credit: Geoff Ashton Side-Lying Waist Setup

Exercises to Improve Rider Torso Strength

Tips from dressage rider and fitness expert, Rebecca Ashton.


The Benefits of Yoga for Dressage Riders

5 Reasons why you should hit the mat between horseback riding lessons

Credit: Patrick Varney

Upper-Body Conditioning for the Dressage Rider

Exercises to improve your posture, balance and hand position.

Credit: Richard I’Anson

Engage Your Core to Ride Better

Fitness Columnist Rebecca Ashton gives you exercises to strengthen and engage your core.

Credit: Norma Ashton

Rider Fitness: Lengthen and Loosen Your Muscles

Rebecca Ashton tells you how to get the most of out stretching.


Rider Fitness: Workout with Gliders

Try this new way of improving balance and strengthening your core muscles.

Credit: Copyright, Arnd Bronkhorst - Arena work is only about 20 percent of our entire training session. Though I may be on Parzival for an hour and a half, he gets a 20-minute walk and 20-minute cooldown. I start in the woods and warm up on the track first.

Adelinde Cornelissen: Horse and Rider Fitness for Dressage

Olympian Adelinde Cornelissen discusses horse and human fitness and shares how she goes beyond the arena to train for success in international dressage competition.

jan brons by susan j stickle

Fit and Prepared for Grand Prix Dressage with Jan Brons

Jan Brons explains his Grand Prix dressage training philosophy for the dressage horse and rider in this Q&A.

Heather Sansom

Rider Fitness Tip of the Month: Supple Your Back

This rider fitness tip from Heather Sansom shows you how to improve the suppleness of your back to help you move with your horse.

Heather Sansom

Rider Fitness Tip of the Month: Maintain Fitness Through Show Season

Heather Sansom shows you how to maintain your fitness level through show season in this rider fitness tip.