Suppleness

There are 4 elements of the Dressage Rider Training System:

Suppleness, Stability, Stamina & Mindset.

They combine to achieve Coalescence.

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Suppleness

Suppleness

Suppleness in your joints gives you the ability to move freely with your horses’ movement by remaining relaxed, yet fully engaged and stable in the saddle. This suppleness is what riders have when they are making riding look effortless. Improved suppleness will also allow you to ride without aches, pains and stiffness, so you can enjoy your riding more.
This is the DRT Training System, a model to help you understand the 4 elements that combine to achieve the ultimate goal of dressage, that of coalescence.

We are currently looking at the element SUPPLENESS.

Suppleness is achieved through a combination of flexibility, elasticity and strength in your muscles and ligaments that surround your joints. I sometimes refer to this as elastic strength. You need this suppleness in all your joints, but especially your vertebrae and hips because they absorb most of the movement of the horse.

Flexibility

Flexibility is the range of extended movement you have in your joint. An increased range of movement allows your body to absorb larger movements and move fluidly with less strain. If your flexibility is restricted in one area such as your hips, then your body will compensate and have to find the rest of the movement required from somewhere else. An example is tight hip flexors giving you a sore lower back. Improved flexibility comes from both the muscles and the ligaments that surround the joint.

Elasticity

Elasticity is the ability of your body to return to its neutral state quickly. Having the flexibility to extend your range of movement is great, but you also need to be able to contract back equally well. Because Dressage, and any form of horse riding, requires quick reaction speeds to adjust constantly to a horses’ movements.

Muscle, Joint & Ligament Strength

Throughout this constant expansion and contraction, you need to maintain strength throughout that range of movement. Maintaining strong and healthy strength of your muscles, joints and ligaments keeps your joints safe and reduces wear and tear over time.

It is this combination of flexibility, elasticity and strength that creates suppleness in the saddle. If you have too much strength or poor flexibility, you become stiff and rigid and cannot move freely. Likewise if you have very little strength or too much flexibility, then you won’t be stable in the saddle.

Our Dressage Rider Training program gives you the exact workouts that will improve your suppleness in the saddle. This is a 12-week online program that gives you everything you need to improve your riding. We only run this program 3 times per year, and would love you to join us on the next one.

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