MEDINA, Minn. (WCCO) — About 120 horses from around the region are expected to be in Medina this weekend for the Alpine Farms Equestrian Fest.

There are many ways and reasons to ride a horse, and riding is a sport for all ages. Alpine Farms in Medina has a full schooling program for people to learn to ride.

They teach two riding disciplines: hunter-jumpers and dressage, a style sometimes called horse ballet.

Professional horse trainer Stewert Underhill offered to give Natalie Nyhus a lesson in dressage, and you can see the results of their lesson in the video above.

“The hard part about riding, especially in dressage, is you have to have core muscle tension. But at the same point, you want your hips loose, your shoulder soft so you’re not tense on the horse, because they pick up on that. Then they get nervous,” Underhill said. “It’s all about body awareness and body control.”

After a few swift kicks to Wyntre, Nyhus got to trotting … kind of. Round two was much better, but said she found riding was best left to the experts.

“It’s such a great sport,” said equestrian Kurt Erickson. “You have those who love golf and those that love team sports like basketball and football. But this is a ‘one with your animal’ sport.”

Equestrian Fest runs through Monday, and it’s free to the public.


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