Physical Therapy: An Essential Part of Your Riding Position

Unmounted exercises, working on strength, suppleness and straightness are essential to correct your rider position.

Throughout this course, Stephanie Seheult, a Physical Therapist who focuses on riders, will demonstrate and explain specific exercises to improve your seat, legs, hands, and symmetry. These important exercises will improve the effectiveness of your aids as a rider. You need to come to your ride, strong, supple and straight. When you try these exercises, please note if there are one or two that you struggle with. They would be great ones to do right before you ride. Activating those weaker muscles, will give you a leg up when you need them in the saddle. One example is the glute med. In our typical environment, the glute med is underused. As a rider, however, the glute med is super important because everything starts from your seat. Activating those muscles right before you get on your horse will help your ride.

As you go through the course, please note where you are weak and what you should focus your attention on. On the days that you do not ride, it is super helpful to do these recommended exercises. When you exercise the quality of the movement is important because using momentum or compromising your straightness will defeat the purpose. In other words, stabilize your core when you are activating your glute med as an example.

These exercises and the full body workout are designed specifically for the Dressage Rider. Working these muscles will help you ride better!

As you begin this course, please think about your body and its strengths and weaknesses. We all have innate asymmetries, old injuries and repetitive motions (like sitting at a desk, driving, and even sleeping) that influence our symmetry and affect our riding position. When we're riding, so much of our focus is on the horse that it is important to take the time to focus on our bodies when we are not in the saddle! This is not solely about strength building. Suppleness and straightness are equally important. We want you to move within your ability without compromising other parts of your body. Please note, if you have had specific injuries or are aware of important physical challenges, a private session with Stephanie will amend this program to your particularly unique issues.


Stephanie graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Bachelors of Health Science from Loma Linda University in 2008. Because she is also an equestrian she has been able to combine her passion for fitness, health, and alignment with her passion for horses.

Stephanie is part of a small group of physical therapists recognized by the USEF to treat equestrian athletes from Dressage to Western disciplines. She is currently contracted with USEF to work with all the riders who are invited to be a part of the developing dressage clinics. Stephanie attended the USEF HSSM clinic given by Andy Thomas in October 2017.  

"My hope is to be able to help riders of any level or ability improve their body awareness, balance, and strength. I want to help them be the best team they possibly could be with their horse and to achieve their goals both on and off their beloved companions!"

If you are interested in contacting Stephanie here is her contact information:

[email protected]

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