Dressage a way of training?? or just a type of competition??
   

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Dressage a way of training?? or just a type of competition??

This is a discussion on Dressage a way of training?? or just a type of competition?? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Can any horse do psg dressage
  • In a dressage competition when a horse retires what does that mean

 
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    02-20-2011, 07:58 PM
  #1
Foal
Dressage a way of training?? or just a type of competition??

I always thought dressage was just a type of training you did with your horse...that any horse was capable of doing whether a QH a warmblood, OTTb or the nag next door....

Im kind of of the opinion (and I have a whole bunch of experiance to back this up) That any horse can do dressage and be trained through the grades any horse could do any of the grand prix movements...its just training after all....

Should every horse compete at GP...definantly not!

No matter how well trained, some horses arnt going to be competitive dressage horses, but it doesnt mean you shouldnt train them to learn about how to improve horses and learn about dressage your self..

But some people strongly disagree with me...

What is your opinion do you have to have a talented horse or do you just train what you have with the goal of of learning and improving the horse your on??
     
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    02-20-2011, 08:05 PM
  #2
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild horses    
I always thought dressage was just a type of training you did with your horse...that any horse was capable of doing whether a QH a warmblood, OTTb or the nag next door....

I'm kind of of the opinion (and I have a whole bunch of experience to back this up) That any horse can do dressage and be trained through the grades any horse could do any of the grand prix movements...its just training after all....

Should every horse compete at GP...defiantly not!

No matter how well trained, some horses arn't going to be competitive dressage horses, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't train them to learn about how to improve horses and learn about dressage your self..

But some people strongly disagree with me...

What is your opinion do you have to have a talented horse or do you just train what you have with the goal of of learning and improving the horse your on??

Every horse is capable of doing low level dressage that has decent conformation.

If just training is your goal and you have the patience for it ...yes you can get a decently conformed horse to GP.

But competition is what separates the talented from the " I can do the movements" type of horse.
     
    02-20-2011, 08:24 PM
  #3
slc
Weanling
No, I don't agree. You're certainly entitled to your opinion, though.

What level a horse can reach, really depends a lot - on temperament, soundness, conformation, gaits, health, many things.

I don't feel it's even just a matter of competing or not.

Most people, they will compete, at most, at first level. They may school, at most, at second level. All their life. Most horses, if reasonably sound, can do that. So for most people that ride dressage, the question is a moot point.

Most people, also, aren't so ambitious that they get carried away and start pushing a horse just for their own vanity or so they can show off and impress people. Most folks are good about that.

How about the upper levels? Then it gets tougher, I think.

A horse can't just do piaffe and passage like party tricks. They require fitness - a very high level of fitness, or they strain the animal. They can't come out and just 'do tricks' once in a while, and not be doing all the background fitness work too. Not fair, too much strain and wear on their joints. Being ridden occasionally and not in top condition and being asked to do advanced work - no, not fair.

For example, depending on the horse, it might 'park' at what amounts to second or fourth, or PSG, or I1, or I2, or doing GP at 'half power' instead of 'full power'. A better trainer may be able to surmount the training problems, but as Reiner Klimke said, you can't get out what God doesn't put in.

Imagine how angry people get when told their darling should not be pushed on to Grand Prix. Seen that, that's ugly. But in all honesty a good trainer just has to come out and be truthful or they are not serving the horse. And basically, the trainer is there to benefit the horse, not the owner. That's his job, to keep things on an even and fair keel.

The horse may be fine to do lighter work, with less impulsion. So a horse can even be a good horse at local shows, but not be able to produce the kind of energy and activity required for a tougher competition.

If it's not in the horse's best interests to do the work, I wouldn't do it.

One gets to a certain level with some horses, and can see the horse trying his heart out but really physically struggling - even with the best trainer in the world - that might be at second level, but it's usually would be higher.

Horses can have many different problems - poorly balanced body, some arthritis coming on, weak hocks, a weak back, all sorts of things. An animal with poor natural balance that is going against nature to do hard upper level dressage stuff just to please his rider and give him something to show off at the stable OR the horse show - not good.

I've seen people do this. Often because they lack the money to go out and get a new horse, so one with poor conformation/gaits gets pushed into the role. I've seen some horrible things - trying to force a horse along, screaming at the horse, the ambitious rider beating the horse...no.

There is a limit. And not just frank unsoundness. A four foot tall basketball player is going to be putting a strain on himself every single time he goes out on the court. Some kinds of conformation really are like a four foot tall guy trying to play in the NBA.

Not just to affect showing, but to how much collection the horse should do, and what movements, figures.

I used to hear some of the more traditional trainers say, 'nice second level horse' or 'nice fourth level horse'. What they meant was, you go beyond that, you're risking making that horse's retirement come a whole lot sooner and be a whole lot more painful. We have to leave the horse at a 'sustainable level'. Something he can do comfortably, naturally, without risk.
     
    02-20-2011, 08:33 PM
  #4
Started
Dressage should be about properly training a horse for adjusting himself to carry a rider without harm to himself, & to respond to the rider's guidance, in such a way that the horse's wellbeing, strength, & longevity are enhanced by the partnership.

By this definition, what riding horse doesn't need dressage/proper training. Likewise, what modern "dressage horse" fits this definition?
     
    02-20-2011, 08:34 PM
  #5
Showing
I believe in low level dressage as a basis for [most] training. I believe it is a great way to get both horse and rider working correctly and in good posture, and they can go on to do just about any discipline with that solid base.
Those that want to go to the higher levels? Power to 'em... but I do think that lower level dressage is beneficial for most horses and riders.
     
    02-20-2011, 08:39 PM
  #6
Foal
Hmmm anyone seen the youtube video of a camel doing dressage?? I've seen a draft horse do tempis....

By using dressage as training. I mean imrpoving your horses way of going so it stays sound...that was the origanal point of dressage anyway...bad dressage will make any horse go lame regardless of conformation

I agrees some horse will never be able to do a GP test... But every horse unles is already lame can do flying changes,piaffes and pirouettes in the padock by themselves so with correct training could do it with a rider.

I mean like years of correct training by the way not just hop on one day and decide to get your donkey to piaffe

Doing the movments when your horse isnt it fit is just bad horsemanship so not arguing with that.

I just think theres a lot of people out there who would love to try and train there horse to do the upper level movements, just for fun, but are put off because there horse is the wrong breed. You don't have to compete to do this. So I don't see the harm....
     
    02-20-2011, 08:48 PM
  #7
Trained
I wouldn't say wrong breed, but I would say wrong conformation. Some horses are not built to do the sport - low levels, yes, as Spyder said, any horse can do low levels...but you are going to ask for trouble if you ask a horse to go beyond their capeabilities physically, by asking for upper level movements, when they cannot do them.
     
    02-20-2011, 09:25 PM
  #8
Green Broke
I always like to think of dressage as, you do the training at home and the competition is just a way to show off how well trained your horse is, or to see how well trained it is compared to other horses at that level.

I don't know about all horses being trained to grand prix... im sure a great great trainer can train most horses to grand prix,but there are horses out there that I personally don't think could ever dogrand prix *properly*
That's just my two cents.
     
    02-20-2011, 09:50 PM
  #9
Trained
Think of it this way - can every human climb Mt Everest? Can every human be a mathematician or rocket scientist? Can every human perform every movement in gymnastics?
Well I sure as hell can't do those things, don't know about you!

If the horse has a good basic conformation, a good brain and is sound, sure thing, you can train it to perform many of the GP movement.
However, you just cannot, physically, expect a horse that is built hugely downhill, with very straight hocks/hindlegs and so on, to perform these movements. It is not physically possible. Sure they could shuffle a 'piaffe' and fall through a few changes if really pushed, but the horse is going to break down physically or mentally, and the movements will not be 'true'. Now I don't see the point in forcing the issue with a horse's training if it is finding it too physically demanding. Why break a good horse down when it would be great doing something else?

Also think of the brain power. Some horses just do not have the mental capacity to perform these movements, they either just straight out don't get it, like asking a 4 year old to work out complicated algebraic equations, or they completely burn out their brain and lose the plot. It takes a special horse to reach GP.

If EVERY horse could get there, why are there not more GP horses out there? There is no shortage of very talented riders that have the skills to get the horses to grand prix, but if the horse is just not capable of doing it, the riders are not going to be stupid enough to force the issue.


In saying all of that, yes dressage IS training, it is not just a type of competition. The lower levels that establish the basics of having a horse working correctly off the hind legs and using it's back so as not to create soreness and stiffness, making the horse's job much more enjoyable, are possible and quite essential for any horse in almost any discipline. Even western disciplines employ dressage, albeit a different form of it, but dressage none the less. But they do not go out and ride grand Prix movements on their horses.
     
    02-21-2011, 01:04 AM
  #10
Foal
Its interesting hearing everyones opinions....I think dressage is a way of training to keep every horse sound and so every horse can be trained, do not mean you have to train every one. But you shouldnt be put off from training your horse because of its appearance.

Obviously you do not get a down hill horse in a collected frame like a warmblood. But you can teach it to collect to the best of its ability, swing through its back, you can teach it to do a string of flying changes that are balanced and with rythm. Its all about working with what you have.

I guess I think you can always improve what you have with good training. For the pure satisfaction of it.

I saw a horse called potato (15hh downhill skewbald that looked like a lumpy potato) that had absolutely nothing going for it. It made to grandprix. Did they compete it ...no it could never extend like a big warmblood and would never have gotten the marks. But it could give you the most balanced changes, and piaffed its little heart out for any rider. Its 25 and still sound as a whistle still teaching riders how to ride GP movements.

I know personally I had to train what I had, no matter what it was. I always strived to get the best out of the horse. When I finally got my own big warmblood I found it a breeze because I had learned so much about how to balance a horse, and create elasticity and supplenes in horse with no ability.

I have never found soundness to be an issue no matter what the conformation, as long as you worked them correctly and kindly.

BTW arthritis etc I would call pre exhisting lameness, and would never exspect that to be trained to do anything!

As to the 4ft basketballer...he could still shoot hoops & dribble as well as any other player you just wouldnt expect him to make the NBA...i kinda think the same with horses you can teach them to do it.....bt not everyone is going to be tortilas...dosnt mean the basketballer shouldnt enjoy playing and you shouldnt enjoy training and learning with your horse
     

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