Hi This may sound like an odd question but can you learn dressage if you don't know how to ride english? I have ridden western for many years but I would like to try something new. I have always been interested in dressage and since my horse rides both english and western I was thinking of taking some dressage lessons over the winter. My horse has never been trained in dressage I am sure so this would be very new to the both of us. Is this an unrealistic idea? Should I just take basic english lessons on a lesson horse?
I certainly think so, particularly if you have access to a coach who knows the discipline. I am an adult "re-rider"- got back into riding after I turned 30-I had ridden a bit of saddle seat and hunt seat as a kid, but the instructor at the barn I liked when I started riding again specialized in dressage, so I relearned riding with a dressage framework. I've loved the emphasis on my seat and body position, as well as thinking about how the horse is using her body in harmony with my body. Is my riding pretty or competition-worthy? I don't think so, but that's mostly because I don't think I'm a naturally talented rider ;) Still, I have a modest set of goals for myself and my horse, and they are all tied to dressage movements and patterns. The concepts make a lot of sense to me, and as far as I can tell, almost everyone agrees that being introduced to the basics of dressage is a good thing for horses of all types, from race horses to Western horses and everything in between.
I agree with the above post. Dressage is beneficial for almost any type of riding discipline. There is even something called 'Western Dressage' for western riders (I don't know much about it, though).
I think the rider's position on the horse in dressage is closer to how a western rider rides than to a hunt seat rider. I think you could go from western to dressage easier than from western to hunt seat.
Best of luck! Dressage is a wonderful discipline-- hope you like it as much as I do.
You and your horse would bennefit from dressage. Its all about control and finesse and lightness and working in the proper frame for the best workout and muscle tonning :) It is also really fun and different!
I learned dressage right off. I had no idea what riding really would be like, but I started off learning to be rhythmic, ride softly, and ride effectively as a dressage rider. I taught myself to be more of a hunter rider(big mistake) and am now back into hard dressage training.
I very much believe that dressage is a great thing for anyone to learn from a good instructor. If you know a good dressage trainer, I say go for it(:
Yep. I'm, at middle age, learning to ride properly (instead of hopping on and riding any-how) and I'm learning dressage from the ground up. My horse is a retired GP show jumper, he's 18, and he's learning dressage too. Having both of us learn it at once is not a very efficient way of doing things, but we're having fun. :)