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An Olympic champion to promote the value of physical preparation

3 November 2023

The conference on "Physical preparation to ensure greatest comfort for both the rider and horse" was a sell-out. The fact that Karim Laghouag – the Olympic eventing champion in Rio – was involved in the conference undoubtedly contributed to its success. 

Together with his long-standing physical and mental trainer, Guy Bessat, they presented all the benefits of physical preparation for both the rider and their horse. "In the equestrian profession, there are many activities that involve physical effort, which is why it's so important to feel comfortable in your body," emphasised Guy Bessat. Karim Laghouag further confirmed this by adding: "It's great to feel fit, it gives you energy. So, it's first and foremost a personal benefit. Secondly, we have a responsibility towards our horses because we know that they function very much according to the things they feel. So, if we don't feel comfortable in our bodies, it has repercussions on our minds and therefore on our horses."   

Multiple benefits

There are many benefits to being well-prepared physically: greater physical ease (flexibility, relaxation, endurance, coordination, etc.) and technique (control, confidence, etc.). Both speakers stressed the importance of warming up: "You shouldn't see warming up as a waste of time. It's a routine you need to get into, because there are many benefits. But above all, you have to enjoy doing it," explained Karim Laghouag, the team bronze medallist at the last European championships. The importance of breathing and rest was also highlighted: "Recovery time and rest are invaluable because they improve your ability to work. This helps you avoid injury, stay in good health and approach your job in a good state of mind in the long term", explained Guy Bessat, author of the book "Le cavalier, ce sportif qui s'ignore". 

To take things a step further, visitors can attend free workshops on Friday afternoon
And to find ideas for exercises that you can do at home, don't hesitate to check out the Mouv'S Agri app or the MSA website

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