Dressage riders have a reputation for being so serious and heavy.
They lightened up the freestyle music to encompass pop and even –gasp!– some vocal music, but even that hasn’t fundamentally lightened up dressage riders.
Watching a couple of kids ride sometimes feels like the antithesis of dressage riders. They often egg each other on, daring each other to try new things, to take bigger and bigger risks until their limits are reached– or they scare the adults too much!
In the midst of their games, their riding begins to take shape:
- Their seats become more secure and independent from testing their balance on the horse so frequently.
- The horses become increasingly responsive and animated as they catch on to the games.
- A partnership of mutual trust forms as risks are successfully taken.
As kids grow older, many turn their attention to eventing and jumping– natural extensions of their earlier games.
However, as a dressage rider, do you also take your inner child along for the ride?
Do you “dare” yourself and your horse to go bigger, to execute a more daring combination of moves…or do you keep it safe and “known?”
Do you lose all inhibition when you ride, or in the back of your mind, are you concerned about what others might think, might say about your riding?
Do you laugh when you ride, deep, heart-felt laughs?
When was the last time you didn’t care if you made a mistake because you were having fun?
Dressage is an expression of a feeling; let that feeling be child-like joy.
Does your inner child have a say in your riding?