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Strategies for Training Outside the Arena

By Ingrid Klimke

Olympic gold medalist Ingrid Klimke has long encouraged competitive equestrians to spend time riding outside the arena. Klimke learned to love trail riding and working outside the ring from her father, the admired dressage master Reiner Klimke, who insisted it be a regular part of their weekly schedule.

While Klimke notes that the most important part of riding out is for horse and rider to enjoy it, there are also many training and conditioning benefits for the horse such as promoting relaxation in mind and body, providing variety to everyday training, building fitness, and boosting motivation.

In these pages, Klimke provides top-level guidance to make riding outside a regular and rewarding experience for you and your horse. She discusses equipment considerations, riding with others and best group formations, how to stay safe on the trail and in open spaces, riding through water, jumping small obstacles, and making specific improvements in a horse’s fitness, stamina, and strength.

Klimke strongly advocates for riding dressage horses out on the trail and provides ideas for safely making use of the energy a horse gains when schooled in open country, and techniques to help horses develop a calm and unflappable frame of mind.

Riding Out is for every horse person in search of ways to increase their connection with their athletic partner while improving the ridden horse’s general welfare. 

Published by Trafalgar Square Books. Purchase at or wherever books are sold. 

See this article in the May 2024 online edition:

May 2024

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