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Editorial Thoughts: Don't Forget to Draw Inspiration from Other Disciplines

In the equestrian sports world, we are undoubtedly very different across disciplines, which only means there's much we can learn from each other. Photo: Archive.

As is well known, there are many different disciplines within the equestrian world. It's easy to stick to your own discipline and forget to broaden your horizon. But why not learn from other riders who focus on something different in their riding than you do? For Malgré Tout, the diversity in equestrian sports is important, and therefore, we here focus on how we, with our various training interests, can inspire and learn from each other.


There's so much we can learn from one another—not only from those within the same discipline but also from those in entirely different ones. For instance, a dressage rider can gain plenty of inspiration from an Icelandic horse rider.

It's undeniably advantageous to draw upon other disciplines and train your horse (and yourself) to perform a variety of different activities. This can inspire other interesting forms of training, but also influence your approach to horse ownership and how you train your horse.

There are significant benefits for both you and your horse if you diversify your training rather than repeating the same dressage exercises every day of the week. It can be beneficial to adopt ideas from other disciplines and experiment with, for example, jumping exercises or riding with a light rein.

Read also: 6 useful groundwork exercises


There are many differences between dressage and Icelandic riding, and these worlds are quite distinct. Despite this, there is much these two disciplines can learn from each other:


  • Gait training
  • Incorporating nature into training
  • Relaxed relationship with horses
  • Varied training and happy horses


  • Dressage exercises
  • Training structure
  • Focus on different muscle groups and their training
  • Flexibility
Icelandic horse tölt in nature. Photo: Archive.
Dressage horse on the track. Photo: Archive.

For example, when riding Icelandic horses, it's still important to master the basic dressage exercises, and you can certainly train your Icelandic horse to perform some of the more challenging dressage exercises. This can challenge their minds, improve their movements, and facilitate your partnership. Additionally, training for flexibility, which is more emphasized in dressage, can only benefit the horse's gaits and increase the likelihood of correctly performing exercises.

Conversely, dressage riders could benefit from adopting a more relaxed approach to their horses, similar to what Icelandic horse riders might often exhibit. Dressage riders could also incorporate elements of riding in nature and making it a part of their training. This could be riding out but could also involve taking your dressage exercises outside to the field for practice. This also challenges your horse to walk on different terrains and be mindful of them.

Read also: Dare to Let Go and Receive a 'No' from Your Horse?


You can, of course, learn from all other disciplines and draw inspiration from, for example, show jumping, Western riding, or something entirely different. As long as you're open to inspiration, there are plenty of interesting ways you and your horse can train.

Lunging is one of the activities you can do with your horse during groundwork. Photo: Archive.

Read also: Editorial thoughts: can i have a horse, dad?


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