As a dressage rider and an ex show jumper, I know we do a very unique sport. It’s the only Olympic sport which involves animals. It’s the only Olympic sport where men and women compete against each other. So we are very different and sometimes people struggle to understand that. And this is something that can be frustrating for us.

Dressage rider Susanna Halonen

But here’s something to help you: a list you can give to your friends and share on your social networks. A list of things of what not to say to a (dressage) rider and why.

What not to say to a dressage rider

  1. It is just a horse, get over it. It’s not just a horse. It’s our being, our life, our passion.
  2. You cannot do it. Give up. There’s no such thing. Persistence, determination, patience and hard work are what make you succeed in the equestrian sport.
  3. It is not a sport. Actually, when riding correctly, it’s one of the only sports that uses every muscle in your body. I know people tend to fight this one so why don’t you tell them to have a 1 hour training session for them to see for themselves?
  4. You just sit there. Easy. I wouldn’t classify getting a 600kg animal to do exactly what you want through your body language easy…

This was inspired by a cool pin I saw on pinterest (follow my SH Dressage board if you don’t already!).

Is there something else you wouldn’t like to hear as a dressage rider? Comment below!