How to tell 'good' dressage from 'bad' dressage? - Page 4

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How to tell 'good' dressage from 'bad' dressage?

This is a discussion on How to tell 'good' dressage from 'bad' dressage? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Pictures of a first level dressage horses
  • Pictures of a good dressage

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    02-28-2011, 09:31 PM
What a beautiful horse faye! It's fantastic seeing these photo's of heavier horses doing well, you very rarely see them in Australia let alone working well!
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    02-28-2011, 09:49 PM
Green Broke
Thanks Rubi was gorgeous but unfortunatly for me I never owned her, I just produced, schooled her and rode her at shows.
Her owner was a para rider who used her for Para dressage.
She was sold mid show season so that her owner could buy a higher level dressage horse. She has gone to a brill home though!
    03-01-2011, 04:47 PM
Wow! It's been two days and four pages already. Sorry I totally abandoned this thread, guys. I got SO busy all of a sudden.
Okay, let's see if I can catch up...
I've only skimmed the first page, so I could try and stay unbiased, so now what I type will be as I read.
(*Just as a note, this isn't to improve myself at dressage [username -> NOhorse! Lol] but just how to tell false from true/classical at any level. :) )

The (first) picture faye posted:
I see on the forehand, perhaps a bit behind the vertical (but that might just be the angle), poll may not be the highest point (?), and the rider is a bit chair-seated. I would also say the horse's hindquarters don't lend themselves to dressage easily, either.

Originally Posted by slc    
If I saw a lot of photos of that horse/rider, and in all of them, the reins were hanging down and the horse's head was tucked in with slack in the rein, I'd be concerned the horse was 'set' in that position.
'Set'? I thought a horse keeping the head position with the reins loose meant a) the rider isn't pulling the head back forcibly, so therefore, b) the horse is doing it voluntarily.

Faye- What's the reason for the saddle not having knee rolls? I don't know if I like it or not.

Second faye picture- Oooh! Okay, what I see: Nice upward neck/poll is the highest; good reach with the forelegs/the point of the hoof is roughly equal to the muzzle;...pretty dappling! Actually, now that I pick at the picture, and while it's definitely better that the previous picture, it doesn't scream dressage (but, of course, it's only novice/1st level). But still a nice horse/rider combo.
+ I didn't notice the parts tinyliny pointed out. :(
+ I would guess the horse's size to be 14.3? || Aw, 14?! Cute.
+ slc- Parallelograms! V's! I love having references like that.
+ faye- I just noticed you don't have a saddle pad. Is that an English thing in general or a just a show saddle thing?

Faye- Rubi is beautiful! She definitely looks like if she were of a more refined build, she would be great at dressage.

I'll go look for some pictures and videos.
    03-01-2011, 05:31 PM
NoHorse - an english type saddle should fit the horse without a pad. The intention of the pad is always to keep the saddle clean, not to make the saddle fit better. Saddles can be worn without the pad, but only do it on a squeaky clean horse
    03-01-2011, 06:41 PM
Green Broke
NoHorse, My saddle fits perfectly with no saddle pad and stan is used to no saddle pad from his showing so I don't upset the balance, he was very fussy about his back.

In the first picture, would you be suprised if I told you that Pride has a pretty perfect conformation for dressage? It is far better then stans was (the pony in the 2nd photo). Prides hind quarters are text book. However what is happening in the first picture is that Pride is well and truely on his forehand and the back end is not engaged, hence why the hind quarters look "wrong" for dressage.
TBH in that photo I've jammed him into a false outline using a pelham bit and am carrying his head for him (very very bad!!!)
    03-01-2011, 10:34 PM
NoHorse, when you see a horse going with loops in the reins continuously when sitting in a 'frame' (again for lack of better words), this is a good indiction that the horse has backed off the contact and there is no connection to the bridle from the hind legs.
In dressage, we aim to maintain a constant contact with the bit, as this is the pathway to allow energy from the hind end come up through the horse's body and up to the bridle, resulting in a horse that is over the back. Think of it like an electrical circuit board. If you remove a short piece of wire, the circuit is broken, and the electricity does not flow anymore. Think of the horse's head as a light bulb, and the hind legs as the switch. The turn the light on, there needs to be a direct path from the switch. So riding with loose reins, means that you have removed a 'wire', the energy from the switch won't connect to the light bulb, and you have a horse that is 'stuck' in a frame with a tense, tight neck. It might look pretty to someone uneducated, but it is definitely not ideal.

Yes we certainly still 'give' the reins for a few strides and would like to horse to remain where we left him with the contact, to test self carriage, but we do not ride with such a loop for the whole time.

bad, dressage, good

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