Explanation of the training pyramid...help??? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-10-2013, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Explanation of the training pyramid...help???

I am interested in switching over to dressage and I was wondering if you guys could explain the training pyramid in your own words and give tips on how to successfully train in it. Also common mistakes would be helpful to add so I know what NOT to do.

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post #2 of 3 Old 11-10-2013, 05:50 PM
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The training scale are touch stones to use in checking where errors are in training, placing value in steps. They are NOT linear, and all interact. For more information read the german FN book.

RHYTHM refers to sustaining/developing PURITY of the gaits (4 beat walk/2beat trot/3 beat canter), but it also refers to have the appropriate tempo which allows for that. And the appropriate tempo allows for a swinging back which is also known as relaxation.

SUPPLENESS refers to the use of lateral flexibility which in turn develops longitudinal balance.

CONTACT is a steady connection appropriate for the level of training. For the young horse it is acceptance of the bit, for the younger-middle level horse it is being steadily on the bit (with appropriate degrees of flexion), for the middle-upper level horse it is the development of self carriage.

IMPULSION is elastic lifting and placing of the hind legs, the development of thrust.

STRAIGHTNESS is a topic always addressed. First it is merely going straight ahead with even contact in both reins, then it becomes the horse learning to 'stand on the outside rein' and being effected by that containment (since the horse is wider behind than in front), and gradually it is the placing of the forehand in front of the quarters (i.e. in shoulder in/renvers).
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-14-2013, 03:25 PM
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"Tips on how to successfully train in it"

Well, the first step is to, of course, get a knowledgeable instructor. Find someone who treats their horses/students well and is able to correctly answer your questions.

Almost any horse is capable of dressage at the lower levels, so I wouldn't worry too much about that starting out. But as you continue, make sure you have a capable horse.

Personally, I think that watching clinics/lessons/shows is great. You can pick up so much just by watching and listening. Bring notebooks to the clinics, some charge an auditing fee but it's totally worth it.

Reading books on classical dressage is very helpful for understanding concepts, so that in your lessons/riding you can get a better grasp of what is happening exactly. I recommend anything by Alois Podhajsky but seriously go online and poke around.

Good luck!
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