I like riding in fields. That’s just as well as we don’t have an arena at the barn. There is one that’s about a 10 minute hack through the woods but I’ve found that my horses are more forward and more connected when they are not surrounded by fencing.
Today I read another good reason why you should ride out in the open, even if you are a dressage rider! According to William Micklem in his blog post 4 Great Reasons to Jump your Dressage Horse,
. . . riders who are lucky enough to ride in fields rather than an arena, tend to naturally imagine an inside rather than outside line. As these riders imagine their circle line on the INSIDE, it means they automatically ride with the shoulders in a very slight position to the inside…just like a top dressage rider. MAGIC!
I’ll have to think a bit more about whether I’m riding on the inside line of the circle next time I’m out. BTW, it’s an excellent post with good points about the benefits of jumping even small fences. Worth reading!