Colleen Rutledge: Develop a Strong Galloping Position, PLUS Joint Health

A five-star rider explains her key to success—riding in balance. BONUS: Advice to manage joint disease to keep your horse moving freely.

What does five-star eventer Colleen Rutledge do at the beginning of every year to be the best rider she can be? She reviews her galloping position and determines where improvements can be made. Why? Because, “The easier you are to carry, the happier your horse is,” Colleen says. “A happy horse does his job much better. My goal as a rider is to make myself the easiest possible package for my horse to carry, and that’s also my goal for my students.”

In this Practical Horseman Extra, Colleen shares the system she uses to teach students how to strengthen their position. She explains:

• the most common position errors she sees and how they affect your riding,

• the position that enables you to stay in balance with your horse and makes you an effective rider in all three phases of eventing—dressage, cross-country and jumping

• how to test that this new balanced position is solid, and

• how to replace the muscle memory of an ineffective position and motion with one that works.


Two top veterinarians explain how careful management of degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, can help keep your horse moving freely and happily doing his job.

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