Riding Out

Strategies for Training Outside the Arena to Improve Horse Health and Performance

Ingrid Klimke



A decorated Olympian shares her tips for incorporating training outside the arena and on the trail for happier, healthier equine athletes.

Gold medalist Ingrid Klimke has long encouraged competitive equestrians to spend time riding outside the arena or typical fenced or covered training area. Klimke learned to love trail riding and working outside the ring from her father, the admired dressage master Reiner Klimke, who insisted it be a regular part of their weekly schedule.

While Klimke notes that the most important part of “riding out” is for horse and rider to enjoy it, there are also many training and conditioning benefits for the horse. It:

  • Promotes relaxation in mind and body.
  • Provides variety to everyday training.
  • Boosts motivation when under saddle.
  • Builds fitness in diverse ways.

In these pages, Klimke provides top-level guidance to making riding outside a regular and rewarding experience for you and your horse. She discusses:

  • Equipment considerations when moving from arena to trail.
  • Riding with others and best group formations.
  • How to stay safe on the trail and in open spaces.
  • Riding through water.
  • Jumping small obstacles.
  • Making specific improvements in a horse's fitness, stamina, and strength.

Klimke strongly advocates for regularly riding dressage horses out on the trail and in open spaces, outside the “sandbox.” Here she provides ideas for safely making use of the energy a horse gains when schooled in open country. Readers will discover suppling exercises to improve forwardness and focus in the arena, and techniques to help horses develop a calm and unflappable frame of mind.

Chock full of gorgeous photographs of Klimke's world-class horses demonstrating their own love for being ridden outside the arena, Riding Out is for every horse person in search of ways to increase their connection with their athletic partner while improving the ridden horse's general welfare. This is professional guidance in a fundamental way to make training more enjoyable and more well-rounded—Klimke's own astounding successes in international competition prove its incredible value.

Additional Information

Author: Ingrid Klimke

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 128

Illustrations: 130 color photos

ISBN: 9781646012213

By Ingrid Klimke

Ingrid Klimke is an international trainer of dressage, show jumping, and event horses, and currently competes for Germany as a dressage rider and eventer. She had always been able to call on her father Reiner Klimke's experience but has also been greatly influenced by Fritz Ligges, Ian Miller, and Anne Kursinski. She's appeared at five Olympics, from 2000 to 2016 and won two gold medals in team eventing, in 2008 and 2012. She won a team silver medal the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She has top placings in numerous World Equestrian Games, European Championships, and German Championships. Klimke lives and trains in Münster, Germany, where she has been named “Sportswoman of the Year” eleven times. In 2020 she was named Peden Bloodstock FEI Award “Best Athlete of the Decade” (Ingrid-klimke.de).

Catskill Horse Magazine Says:

"Approachable and very ‘to the point’ writing makes for easy assimilation of key notes.... A recommended read."

Northwest Horse Source Says:

"For every horse person in search of ways to increase their connection with their athletic partner."