“You know,” my mother said, “I’m just starting to appreciate what hard work dressage is.”

I looked at her like she had three heads. We’ve been doing this a while; you’re only just now starting to appreciate this?

“No, I know it’s technically difficult; I know it requires great skill,” she clarified. “I mean the physical work of it all. I watch you professional riders, and it looks like you’re just sitting there. You make it look effortless. In reality, you’re working really physically hard.”

I’ve been riding for as long as I can remember, and riding dressage since I was 10, and I, too, didn’t really think about what physically demanding work it all is until my mother said that. Allison, fulfilling her role as Dressage Yoda, summed it up brilliantly: Bad riding looks like bad riding. But good riding looks like no riding.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!