Life lessons: Dressage rider Alice Oppenheimer *H&H Plus*

The international dressage rider talks pre-test rituals, diesel engines, and what she’s learned that’s helped her climb back to the very top of her game

The warm-up is the most important part of a training session. My trainer, Erik Theilgaard, taught me this. People think you can just slop around on a loose rein but the warm-up prepares the horse for the main session.

I work hard on stretching and getting the horse on the leg and responding to my aids. The type of warm-up depends on the horse; some need a quick walk, trot and canter while some take a little more to get going — we call these the “diesel engines”.