AQHA - question

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AQHA - question

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    01-25-2011, 03:52 PM
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AQHA - question

I was wondering if dressage lessons might help me in the AQHA ring? I would think I would be better off with those then hunt lessons because dressage would be closer to the way I ride. Do you think that is an honost assumption?

How would I go about choosing a dressage trainer? What would a fair price be? (I am not upper level or anything, probablay local level)
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    01-25-2011, 06:46 PM
Farmpony, I started dressage lessons 6 months back with my qh (mostly, although I took my paint there too), and it's unbelievable how much better she moves (including those transitions). I also took lessons with eventing trainer and jumping trainer before and those were not nearly as helpful. So I'd say go for it!

Now I don't know about your area, but in mine private 45 mins with dressage trainer ranges in $50 - 80. I'd look for someone who won USDF competitions, have years and years of riding and training, and who's students show successfully (at least on local shows). Also the trainer should be supportive and optimistic to work with ANY horse (as some don't care about "non-fancy" breeds ).
    01-25-2011, 07:21 PM
If you are taking lessons to improve your riding and are serious about show ring success, my advice would be to find someone who has ridden internationally and has students competing at a high level and doing well (ie a coach who trains other coaches). Riding with a local level dressage coach (ie someone that coaches lower level amatuers) will usually mean you get a lesson focusing on having fun with your horse. A serious dressage coach will take you and work hard on position and basics. Often the people with the most success in the dressage ring are the ones who school basics constantly and are very aware that without a very stable foundation - one cannot succeed at any level.

You would be looking for someone who is charging upwards of about $70/45min. It is a lot of bang for your buck. I find I learn ten times more per lesson from my internationally competetive coach than I learn from someone who is only nationally competetive, in general.

Good luck!
    02-01-2011, 10:22 AM
I don't think it's necessary to work with an international or national trainer, to get some help for the QH ring.

They are few and far between, anyway. There are not very many of them. And they tend to be expensive and hard to get a hold of because they are often traveling or are very, very booked up. If you were to want to focus only on dressage and want to go up all the levels, then a person who has trained a lot of his own horses (and students) up the levels would be indispensable.

That said...I can see why anabel would recommend a more experience,d, higher level dressage instructor. The experienced instructor/trainer has a far, far better grasp of the whole training process. The less experienced instructor quite often, not always, but quite often, tends to get caught up in details and not see the whole picture.

In a perfect world, we'd all be learning from the best in the business, of course. We'd roll out of bed and go down to our barn and meet the world champion trainer in our chosen sport and learn from the best.

There are a lot of 'grab bag of tricks' type dressage instructors at lower levels, that do not grasp dressage well enough to be creative, and see how it could be applied to a Western rider. Others aren't flexible enough to adapt their dressage instruction to what the QH classes want. The more experienced an instructor, the more s/he can adapt things and be creative.

And...there are dressage instructors who actually specialize in work for the western classes, or work for jumpers, or for eventers, and have a lot of experience doing that. Someone who used to be an eventer, or a show jumper or a western rider, before dressage, can have a special understanding of the jargon and methods and be able to communicate very easily, what to do.
    02-01-2011, 09:47 PM
I train with a dressage judge. My QH has been shown at Training Level for the past 4 years, this year we're finally moving up to First (finally have a competent trainer!). It's hard work for him and takes precise, ride-every-stride type riding from me, but he can do it!

It helps him in so many ways - better balance, more responsive, etc, etc.

My lessons are $55 for a 45 minute private.

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