Dressage Riders? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Dressage Riders?

This post is not meant to bash the discipline at all, but I'm so curious!
So a few weeks ago me and my trainer went to a dressage show to support one of the riders at the barn. My & my trainer both know nothing about dressage, we mostly do... well everything else LOL

So I noticed the riders were very sloppy (? For lack of a better word) and they moved alot when they were up there. This was am A-rated show, so they were no beginners. So why do dressage riders move around alot? I'm used to riding hunters, which would take all that leg movement as cues LOL

Do the horses just get used to the leg movements & swaying of the body?
Thanks!

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post #2 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 11:46 AM
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At what level were they showing? Just because it's an A rated show doesn't mean they weren't showing beginner level dressage, which looks nothing like the higher levels.

I worked the dressage rings for the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals about 2 years ago and the lower level riders were boring, and some were just plain awful.

The upper level riders were the ones who took my breath away. Real dressage, done correctly, is a true thing of beauty. The riders look like they're doing absolutely nothing while the horse looks like it's dancing.

Seeing that calibre of rider made up for all the boring, horrible tests I'd seen earlier in the week.
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post #3 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 11:51 AM
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I agree with SR. Pro dressage riders are a beautiful thing to behold and they should look like they aren't moving at all.
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post #4 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 11:55 AM
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As speed racer said, that was probably a lower level. I find they do move a very little bit more then hunters when the horse is not collected because the saddles let us have a deeper seat, and when the horse moves, well, we have to move with him. Once you get to the higher levels, and the horses are more collected, the riders will probably move less because the horse is more collected, trust me, with most horses, when the horse is in front of your leg and more collected, it is soooooooo much easier to sit still. And when they get to the higher levels they are better riders as well.

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post #5 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 11:57 AM
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There are a lot of bad riders that show in all disciplines. Just putting that out there.

In dressage there's more of an emphasis on what the horse is doing than the rider, so I think this is partly what you're seeing. You didn't mention the horses at all though so I don't know if you were just surprised by the riders dressage eq (or bad eq) or by the horses responding to them. It's been awhile since I've taken a dressage test, but as I recall you're judged on each sectioned movement based on your horse, but then at the end of the test the judge will give you a score based on "effectiveness of seat" or something like that, which can play into equitation I suppose. Many higher leveled dressage trainers also teach you to use ALL parts of your leg when riding, so when you see a heel flopping around, the rider's groin could actually be doing the talking, for example. Or maybe their inner thigh, or the back of their knee. Many trainers just teach riders to use their heel and/or calf to use as leg. Is it wrong? No... but there are ways to be more effective.

It's hard to give you an answer without knowing exactly what you were seeing.

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Last edited by kerplop; 07-08-2010 at 11:59 AM.
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post #6 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerplop View Post
There are a lot of bad riders that show in all disciplines. Just putting that out there.

In dressage there's more of an emphasis on what the horse is doing than the rider, so I think this is partly what you're seeing. You didn't mention the horses at all though so I don't know if you were just surprised by the riders dressage eq (or bad eq) or by the horses responding to them. It's been awhile since I've taken a dressage test, but as I recall you're judged on each sectioned movement based on your horse, but then at the end of the test the judge will give you a score based on "effectiveness of seat" or something like that, which can play into equitation I suppose. Many higher leveled dressage trainers also teach you to use ALL parts of your leg when riding, so when you see a heel flopping around, the rider's groin could actually be doing the talking, for example. Or maybe their inner thigh, or the back of their knee. Many trainers just teach riders to use their heel and/or calf to use as leg. Is it wrong? No... but there are ways to be more effective.

It's hard to give you an answer without knowing exactly what you were seeing.
yes, at the end of each test there is a mark for the riders seat/equatation.

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post #7 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 12:15 PM
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Strange, I thought a BIG part of dressage was that you're supposed to make it look like you're doing nothing and the horse is "reading your mind" so to speak, by training the horse to pick up on the smallest, most invisible cues!! At least that's how I was taught!! :)

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post #8 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
Strange, I thought a BIG part of dressage was that you're supposed to make it look like you're doing nothing and the horse is "reading your mind" so to speak, by training the horse to pick up on the smallest, most invisible cues!! At least that's how I was taught!
You're correct, Hoofprints.

If you can see the rider move, points are taken off.

I've seen the score cards, and any 'wrong' movement by the rider is put down in the explanations.

These were world class judges, so I learned a lot of interesting things.

I don't have the patience or personal discipline to ride dressage, but I admire anyone who does it correctly. It truly is poetry in motion when done right.
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post #9 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 12:26 PM
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SR, I L-O-V-E your avatar LOL

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post #10 of 34 Old 07-08-2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
Strange, I thought a BIG part of dressage was that you're supposed to make it look like you're doing nothing and the horse is "reading your mind" so to speak, by training the horse to pick up on the smallest, most invisible cues!! At least that's how I was taught!! :)
Yes, that's the right way, But that's harder then the pros make it look! Haha.
Even some grand prix riders havetrouble doing that sometimes if the horse sees something else or is being a little `brat`

But ya, that is what every dressage rider strives for, absalute harmony between horse and rider.

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
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