A study of a variety of different skill-level riders recently found two major observable difference between Grand
Prix dressage riders and the rest of us.
Number One: They spend more time warming up.
On average, a novice rider spends 25 minutes warming up with their horse before a ride. A Gran Prix rider spends 34 minutes on average.
However, the reason for this is that Grand Prix tests require more preparation and effort, so it naturally requires a longer warm up than a novice test. Do the amount of warm-up that feels right for you and your horse but as you progress, remember that skilled and well-trained horses still require proper preparation on the day of a test.
Number two: They have incredibly steady hands.
When a dressage rider is keeping their hands steady, they are extremely skilled at maintaining the distance between their hand and the horse’s bit.
Here’s an amazing fact: that distance will only shift by 1.5cm during a ride. That’s pretty incredible when you consider how much the horse and rider move.
Great dressage riders learn to balance their body with their horse and counteract movements so they can keep their hands extremely steady.
This is something to focus on during training – a steady hand often leads to greater control in general.
To see some of our horse arena photos, download an EquinaBuild brochure here.
How Do Horses Communicate?
A horse’s main method of communication is through body language. They also communicate with neighs and whinnies.
Also very central to a horse;’s communication are their ears. Ear can helps horses point out areas of interest. Similarly, the direction a horse is looking is used to communicate the location of things like food.
Although things like tail movements are useful for humans when interpreting the behaviour and emotions of horses, this these kinds of signals are less important for horses when communicating with each other.
Thinking of building an indoor riding arena? Find out the cost or download a brochure here.