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Spring Into Fitness: Conditioning for Riders and Their Horses

Hey, young champions! As we gear up for the thrilling IEA Hunt Seat and Dressage Finals, this is the perfect time to set your mind and body for success. Remember, riding isn't only about the physical skills, techniques and abilities; it's also about the harmony between you and the horse you’re catching-riding at that moment. Start by taking a moment to breathe deeply for a minute or two before each ride. Close your eyes, inhale courage, and exhale the jitters. It’s your job to communicate effectively with the horse you draw to have your best ride. During your ride, focus on being present in the moment. Don’t just count your strides, feel the rhythm of your horse's hoofbeats. Be thankful for the opportunity to ride at finals while maintaining the connection with the horse through the reins.

Now, let's talk about envisioning your success and keeping your energy up. Visualization is a powerful tool; mentally practice your ride from the beginning of the course to the end of the test, seeing every jump cleared, and each dressage done with grace. This approach boosts your confidence, but can truly turn your dreams into reality. Don't forget, a mindful rider not only fuels their horse but also nourishes their body. Fuel up with healthy snacks and make sure to hydrate well to keep your mind sharp to remember the course, stay calm and get your body ready for action.

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