Rider requirements for successful dressage - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 24 Old 10-07-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Rider requirements for successful dressage

I was just wondering what a rider should be able to do before (and while) doing dressage. I think that my gelding would be really good at dressage, but I'm not sure if I would be able to train him for it yet. Thanks!

It should be horse listening, not horse whispering
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post #2 of 24 Old 10-07-2012, 10:36 PM
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A rider should be able to listen to and understand what both their horse and their trainer are telling them.

They should have the temperament that allows them to enjoy the journey, rather than trying to grab the prize
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post #3 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 02:14 AM
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An independant seat and a strong core, with a good sense of feel and willingness to learn and accept criticism.
If you've got those, you'll be fine.

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post #4 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 02:29 AM
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I took my first dressage lesson today- I have been riding western for years. My personal, humble and very limited opinion is that your number one requirement will be an instructor who has DONE it! Again, IMHO, and please be quick to correct me, I also don't think you should be trying to teach a horse dressage while learning it at that same time. Just like beginner riders should not be learning to ride on green horses. Maybe you and your horse could do it, but I definitely think finding someone who has shown and trained dressage will be the key ingredient to your success! Good Luck!!
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post #5 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 03:53 AM
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Agreed, I'd add in you must you need a lot of paiteints. Takes a lot of time and hard work and sometimes a few set backs. Just like any sport but to take your time will mean hopefully more correct riding, that is with the right help and experainced people around.
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post #6 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! What is a strong core?

It should be horse listening, not horse whispering
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post #7 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 12:09 PM
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I would consider a "strong core" to be strong and developed muscles you use to keep your torso/upper body stable in saddle, so think abdominal muscles and those muscles around them (sorry, I don't know human muscle groups well at all); the muscles at the 'core' of your body basically. To strengthen those do lots of sit up, planks, etc. I hope that sort of clarifies for you!
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post #8 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 06:55 PM
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Tessa I agree to an extent re not training a horse in Dressage while learning yourself. But to what extent? Most FEI riders I know all got there on a horse that didn't know the ropes either.
I think learning the basics on a good school horse is ideal, developing the rider's seat, learning the basics of the German Training Scale and how to achieve these steps. But unless you're very lucky and have access to a Grand Prix school master that you can ride on a regular basis, there's going to be a lot of learning while training going on.

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post #9 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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By the german training scale, is that rhythm, looseness, contact, impulsion, straightness, and collection? Because at my barn, we call it the refinement pyramid, lol. I'm a bit confused by straightness, because I was told that when ever your horse's body is straight, he's building stiffness.

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post #10 of 24 Old 10-08-2012, 10:10 PM
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Yep, that's the one.
There's various names for it, but the most commonly followed scale is the German Training Scale, as it was developed by the Germans.
Straightness is not about keeping your horse's body in a straight line. Straightness involves bend and flexion as well. Say you're riding on a 20m circle, the bend (through the horse's body) and flexion (from the poll and jaw) need to match the arc of the circle. On a 10m circle, the bend and flexion are obviously going to be greater to follow the arc of the circle.
Straightness/bend/flexion is why most training particularly of green horses is done on curved lines. On a curve, you ask for bend and flexion, which helps to keep the horse soft and responsive. Straight lines are only to test your training.
Straightness is about keeping the hind legs tracking equally with the forelegs, and the body of the horse being always in line with the arc of the figure you are riding. Not about having a dead straight, ridig body ;)

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