There are 4 elements of the Dressage Rider Training System:

Suppleness, Stability, Stamina & Mindset.

They combine to achieve Coalescence.





When you tire your reactions slow and your judgement becomes impaired. Improved stamina allows you to ride for longer, maintain mental clarity and not make mistakes. Studies have also shown a correlation that being fitter and stronger in the saddle decreases your risk of falling from your horse. This is reason alone to want to improve it!
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 STAMINA.

Stamina is achieved through the following 3 elements:


In dressage, or any form of riding, there is never a moment where any muscle in your body is fully relaxed. Your whole body is working together as a system. This requires full body functional strength, not just core strength.

You might already have a good base of strength if you are caring for your horse, working on the land or lifting feed bags around. However overall strength can always be improved, and


Strength on it’s own is not helpful if you cannot sustain it for a weekend clinic or a day of competing. This is why you also need the Endurance element. Endurance is the ability of your cardiovascular system to sustain movement over an extended period of time. When you start breathing heavily, this is your body trying to get more oxygen into your muscles via your blood so they can keep going. More blood goes to your muscles, and less blood goes to your head. This is why your thinking and reactions get slower as you tire. The more efficient your body becomes at giving your muscles oxygen, the fitter you become.


Energy comes from the food that you eat, giving your body the fuel it needs to function properly. If you give your body poor nutrition, it won’t last as long as it could because it runs out of energy needed to keep your muscles moving. If you feel tired or lethargic, it is likely because you are not getting the energy you need through good nutrition.

It is this combination of strength, endurance and energy that creates the stamina you need for riding. Strength on it’s own is not helpful if you cannot sustain it over an extended period of time with endurance and energy.

If you improve your stamina, you will reduce the risk of falling, you will make less mistakes, and you will enjoy your riding more.