Like most riders I have been riding since I was a kid. Unlike other sports where I have little natural ability, riding came naturally to me. Riding is my passion and it’s now my profession. While riding came easy, it is hard to turn that fun and passion into being a strong and successful dressage rider.
In riding, as in every aspect of life, there are obstacles and challenges along the way, all accompanied by countless experiences. Let’s not forget the ruts in the road either. I’ve hit some deep, steep and slippery ones.... So much so that all I wanted to do was quit.
But then, I came across a sign that read:
I went down this road with my eyes wide open, because I had nothing to lose! I was new to biomechanics. I was pleasantly surprised that it started at the VERY beginning. It assumed I knew nothing. I had to spend time reestablishing the basic role each part of my body needed to play, along with the interaction among parts and the combined effect on the horse. Then I was able to take all that prior riding experience and analyze why it went well or why not and how to make it even better.
Biomechanics Road has become quite a busy avenue these days. Some people approve of it and begin to travel on it; some people think it has far too many non-traditional signals and won't venture down it.
What does biomechanics mean? To me, it’s learning how your body works, and how it should work in connection with good riding and successful dressage riding and knowing the "hows" and "whys" behind it. And for that, I couldn’t be happier!
Katie Robicheaux is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist. She and her husband Vincent Bailleul run their dressage and jumper training business, L'Acadiane Equine, at the beautiful Cutler Farm in Medfield, MA. Katie trains regularly under her mentors Mary Wanless and Heather Blitz and is committed to continually furthering her education as a rider and a trainer. She enjoys teaching riders of all levels and specializes in building rider confidence and helping to “demystify” the building blocks of proper dressage riding and training. Katie is currently competing her 11 year old gelding, Avignon, on the CDI small tour circuit in Florida and New England.