Last weekend Germany's Olympic eventing rider and international showjumping rider, Michael Jung, impressed winning the CSI4* Grand Prix at the Sentower Park. "Every day I try to learn more about our sport. I dedicate myself to understand the horses better, because every horse is different," says Jung.
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"Many riders forget horses are no machines, it are living animals. This is actually the first lesson any rider should learn. There is no instruction manual." says Jung. "That also means you learn every day. However it is also important to realize you do not only learn from your horses, but also by watching other train, compete and by listening to other trainers and riders. Our sport is no science, it's very opinionated, but that is also what makes it very interesting."
Jung is one of the most successful riders in our sport. The German rider competes at an Olympic level in eventing and at a CSI4*/5* level in showjumping. "You cannot divide our sport in disciplines. Even more, all disciplines actually tend to grow towards each other. For example take this somewhat new phenomenon, the indoor cross. This is not eventing, it's showjumping with the mindset of eventing. Actually I consider it like riding an indoor Jump-Off at a high level of showjumping."
We should focus more on dressage
"We often forget dressage is the base of our sport," Jung continues. "In fact it is a challenge to become a good dressage rider. When you succeed your horse will dance in the ring. It's a magical moment. But it requires time, that's something most (young) riders don't like to invest anymore, time to evolve and become a really good combination."