5 riding tips to start 2024 on the right foot !

Conseils d'équitation

The Antarès team wishes you a great 2024 !

Starting the New Year generally comes with a relatively lengthy list of good resolutions. Whether they focus on your riding sessions, your horse’s well-being or your riding tack, this list is still key to your own development as a rider and your horse’s health.

Check out our top 5 riding tips to start your year off on the right foot !

Horse riding tip 1: a general health-check for your horse

Your horse’s behaviour mirrors its physical and mental health.
Appetite, mood, the way it moves or the state of your horse’s hooves are some of the yardsticks to ensure it is in good health. That said, you should still check your horse’s behaviour on a daily basis.

Read our in-depth article by the IFCE (French Horse and Riding Institute) on the indicators of good health and vital signs of your horse here.

As for muscles and bones, just like us, your horse needs at least one good osteopathy session a year.
So, to start 2024 on the right foot, what better way than to visit your equine osteopath to sooth your horse’s muscles and sort out any niggles spotted during your winter workouts.

Your horse will thank you for it !

equine osteopath

For more advice on possible back aches and pains felt by your horse, read our blog post on the subject.

Horse riding tip 2: set your goals

Whether your resolutions are about workouts at home, competing or results, it’s important to set some goals. To make them attainable, it’s best to split them into sub-goals. This means you can track them step by step.

If you want to organise your ideas, why not get our 2023/2024 performance logbook to stay on top of things all year round.
The performance logbook* will be your best friend every day.
Our logbook has been jointly produced with MF Solutions consulting services.

*available only from our website (in French only).

performance logbook

Horse riding tip 3: examples of exercises geared to a winter training session

Take time to steadily warm up your horse in spring, summer and autumn but especially winter. When the temperature dips and it’s damp, your horse’s joints are delicate. That why we suggest doing a few short exercises to gently get your horse ready for action.

Back stretches

Downward stretches remain the best way to loosen up your horse’s back.
Start by walking your horse inside or outside as long as possible (according to it needs). We suggest a relaxing 10 to 20-minute walk according to the type of horse.

You can then work on your transitions while keeping your horse’s head as low as possible. Practising transitions helps you check that your horse obeys your instructions and to create impulsion.
What’s more, you can make large figures such as wide circles or diagonals to gently warm up your horse’s muscles.

Shoulder-in circles

Once you’ve varied the gaits and properly warmed up your horse’s body, it’s time for the next step.
Your horse should be more responsive to your leg aids. Continuing our gentle relaxation, now try some stretches and engaging your horse’s hindquarters.
Start by gently asking your horse to do the exercise on the track at your riding arena and/or school. Don’t forget to change rein.

dressage riding
© Cécile Sablayrolles

When you feel your is increasingly responsive to your demands, carry out the exercise in a circle using the inside and outside rein.

Your horse will feel looser and more supple to start the next session.

Antarès top tip

To step things up a bit, split your volte by riding shoulder-in and then haunches-in. Afterwards, drop your reins so your horse can stretch its back as a reward.

Horse riding tip 4: choose the right tack in 2024

A new year often rhymes with new tack, so here is a selection by Antarès for 2024 to meet you and your horse’s needs.

1) The figure-8 “comfort” anatomic noseband and Precision bridle

This bridle has an anatomically-shaped headpiece to free up the first cervical vertebra thereby minimising discomfort caused by a conventional headpiece. It comprises two ergonomically shaped pads that make a real difference to your horse’s comfort.
The noseband has broad, enhanced padding.
You should also properly adjust the noseband to ensure your horse is comfortable and happy.

Read our article on adjusting nosebands to get it right every time.

anatomic noseband and Precision bridle

Antarès top tip

Opting for an anatomical headband boosts your horse’s well-being by freeing up the first cervical vertebra. It’s really the first thing to do to look after your horse and keep it comfortable.

2) ) A fleece blanket

After a workout, when your horse is in its box or trailer, a fleece blanket will keep it warm and snug.
Weighing 280 grammes, it can be used on shorn and non-shorn horses.
It’s also timelessly stylish to pair perfectly with all coat colours.
The fleece blanket is ideal to help your horse brave the winter chill.

fleece blanket
fleece blanket

Antarès top tip

Our R&D team has developed this fleece blanket with synthetic sheepskin quilting on the withers to limit rubbing and protect the most sensitive of horses.

3) Customs saddles

custom saddle extra contact

Although a custom saddle doesn’t come cheap, we highly recommend using a saddle perfectly adapted to you and your horse’s needs.

We believe each horse and rider deserves the right saddle for them both.

Our saddles are handmade in our Saintes workshop and are entirely customised to your specifications. There are as many as 120,000 combinations in several finishes, in dual or monoflap formats, and that’s just for our show jumping range.

Fancy choosing a saddle from our dressage range ?

Discover our new custom jumping saddle here.

Our team of specialists are trained to conduct fitting sessions with equestrian health professionals.
They focus on biomechanics to create bespoke saddles perfectly adapted to the morphology of each horse and rider duo.

Antarès top tip

Book a fitting session with one of our specialists in your local area to get the best advice and guidance !

Horse riding tip 5: look after your leather tack

Did you know that all leather care products aren’t necessarily ideal for your saddle?
We’ve developed pour own Antarès leather care products specially designed for our saddle ranges.

leather care

You should regularly clean and treat your saddle to keep it in good condition.
Not doing so may run the risk of injuring your horse by a build-up of dust and dirt.

Antarès top tip

Try using a soft toothbrush to reach those tricky parts when cleaning your saddle.
Read our blog post for more details on all our tips to keep your leather tack in good shape.

We hope this post has given you all the tools and idea you need to start 2024 off on the right foot! 😉