Acclaimed dressage rider Robert Dover is famed for many things. The four Olympic team bronze medals he accumulated during his international career. His impressive track record as chef d’equipe of the U.S. dressage team that brought home the first team medal for USA in 12 years this summer in Rio. Not to mention, his charitable work with the Equestrian Aid Foundation.
But what he’s perhaps best known in equestrian’s inner circles is his disarming candor.
Dover has that unique ability to communicate riding concepts and constructive criticism in a way that is at once direct, easily digestible, and entirely inspiring. Usually, starting with the phrase, “So here’s the thing…”
Take this nugget of wisdom:
“As you are riding, you should be seeing the grandest version you can possibly imagine of you and your horse dancing along like a movie in the inner-vision of your mind. See this a fraction of a second before actually asking for it. Remember, this is your movie and you and your horse are the stars of it, because of it isn’t your’s then who’s is it?”
Some lucky young riders are going to get the benefit of his hard-earned wisdom firsthand this winter. Dover announced last month that he’s opening Romance Farm in Wellington, Florida to train the next generation of future stars—from the Pony division through U25s.
For the rest of us, stars-in-our-own-mind (and/or aged out amateurs), we have the next best thing: #Doverisms.