Competing a Stallion – with Lara Dyson

Here Cyden Stallions owner and dressage rider Lara Dyson offers advice on introducing a young stallion to the competition arena. 

Lara and Body GuardDressage rider Lara Dyson is the first to admit that she never imaged herself owning and competing a stallion.

But now, as the proud owner of four stunning stallions, including a gorgeous pony stallion, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lara feels that here in the UK people are more concerned about the idea of competing a stallion than they are on the continent in countries such as Holland where stallions in the competition arena are much more common place.

“Stallions are no different to any other horses if they are managed and cared for in the correct way,” explains Lara.

All Lara’s stallions understand there is a clear difference between her as their rider and the person who is responsible for handling them at breeding time and for this reason the stallions go away to stud, therefore not associating Lara or home with stallion like behaviour.

When it comes to competing a stallion ensuring both you and your stallion are prepared for the competition environment is essential to allow getting out and about with your stallion an enjoyable experience.

Lara Dyson Riding Cyden Bodyguard MoorlandLara starts preparing her young breeding stallions for competitions by replicating a scenario at home that will expose them to being worked in a confined arena with other horses around, including, other stallions, mares, geldings and ponies.

“I begin by lunging my stallions at a young age in the arena at home whilst another horse is being ridden in the arena at the same time, to encourage him to concentrate on himself and ignore what is going on around him.

“Then, I will swap and ride the stallion around the outside of the horse that is being lunged, this helps to get him used to being ridden in close proximity to horses being led around a warm up area without a rider on,” said Lara.

Some stallions see a difference between another horse with a rider on board and one without, associating a rider less horse to a phantom that is used during breeding.

Once you feel he is settled enough to concentrate on you as his rider and is able to happily work in a calm and relaxed manner around other horses at home, it is time to put all your efforts into practice at your first show.

When riding a stallion in the warm up area care must be taken to respect other rider’s space and make every effort not to get too close, particularly if your horse is quite sharp and spooky. Like any other mare or gelding, a stallion attending his first show will have a surge of excited energy.

“For me the fantastic thing about competing a stallion is their ability to make the most of the occasion.

“If your preparation and training has been correct and your stallion is ready for competition, the atmosphere in the show ring will make a stallion even more impressive, bringing out an extra extravagance in their paces, compared with other horses that will become tense making their paces short and choppy,” said Lara.

Frozen semen is now available from all three Cyden stallions; Cyden Cadans M, Cyden Bodyguard Moorland and Cyden Oostings Amigo.

For further information contact Lara Dyson on 07920 452739 or visit

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