Meet #TeamDiO Member Cara Oprea
I'm 24 years old and have lived in Northwest Indiana my whole life. I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Radiological Sciences with specialization in Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Indiana University and currently work in Chicago. My equestrian career started at a young age when I begged my parents to sign me up for horse camp and am still horse crazy 17 years later. I quickly knew I wanted to compete in the Hunter/Jumper discipline and began training with different barns over the years throughout the Midwest to learn as much as I could and become the best horsewoman I could be. I competed on different Hunter/Jumper rated circuits for several years with my Wesphalian Warmblood mare Bree who was the best possible teammate a rider could ask for. We were named Grand Champions in our respective Jumper Divisions: Low Training and Training Jumper Divisions during one of our very successful competitions seasons and had many other accomplishments together as well. I took a small hiatus from riding and competing during my college years but soon got back into the world of equestrian show jumping after graduation. I’ve put in the time training and preparing myself for my first full comeback season in 2018. I’m excited to compete on rated circuits again this year in different Jumper and Equitation divisions and see how far I can push myself as a rider once again. I am so fortunate to have a great support system with my family, show team, and trainer at the stable I am currently with.
For me, my biggest philosophy as a rider is to be as physically fit as our teammates and to hold the same expectations for ourselves as well. We expect our horses to perform physical gymnastics and balance exercises during training and we spend so much time teaching them to use their body correctly for the best possible results, that we should expect the same thing of ourselves and train our bodies in the same manner. Equestrianism is as much of a physically demanding sport as any other and we are athletes as much as any other competitor. I believe that hard work put in at the gym has a huge impact in the saddle. When I'm riding and especially jumping, I want to be able to hold my own balance and support my body weight independently of my horse to make their job easier. When I came back from my riding hiatus I also had to come back from a minor back injury simultaneously as well. Alongside training in the saddle, I spent much of my time using various training exercises and programs at the gym to strengthen my core, back, legs, and improve my overall balance to help me get back in shape and to re-stabilize my back from my injury. This helped me get back to my top physical riding shape in much less time than I anticipated and helped me excel further than where I was before my break from riding. With riding and training, I have never felt so energized and healthy! Hard work pays off and the best feeling is to see and feel the fruits of your labor pay off in the show ring!
Why Cara Chooses DiO
The number one thing I love most about DiO liniment is their commitment to all-natural ingredients throughout their products. I feel that riders are more conscious and aware now of what goes into the products they give their horses and this the foundation that DiO prides itself on. Its perfect for a quick rub down after practice or to use the concentrate to whip up a strong spray before wrapping our horses as well. I also use DiO on myself after long days at the barn or gym and can feel it get deep into the tissues and alleviate sore muscles almost instantly, which means my horses will feel the same relief when I apply it to them as well. I want to keep my equine teammates feeling and performing their best, and I know DiO is a key to that from warm-ups to practices to show time.