Rider requirements for successful dressage - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 04:04 PM
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You know more than I do Kayty! Yes, I imagine most high level dressage riders are training their horses as they go, but when you are first learning it, like me, I found it helpful to have a trained dressage horse to teach me how to give the correct cue. My trainer said that she purposefully did not train her gelding as high a level as her FEI level stallion so that she could use him to teach. She said that the higher level the horse is, the more difficult it is to ride for a beginner because their cues are so specific. Anyway, So I know now what the exact, correct response from the horse feels like when I give a certain cue, so now I have a better idea of how to achieve that in a lesser trained horse, whereas before, if neither of us (me or the horse) knew what exactly we were looking for, it would be a longer process, does that make sense? Again, you seem to have much more experience than me Kayty, and I agree that it gets to a point where both the horse and rider are learning together, I'm just speaking from my own limited experience!
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post #12 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 07:11 PM
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You will certainly progress faster if the horse is trained beyond your ability, but if you're not in a rush to progress through the levels and have a good trainer/instructor working with you, I think it can be very rewarding to learn while training your horse.

I've been riding 6 years and I still ride at training level. The first horse I leased had been trained/shown in dressage before (though I'm not sure what level), which was probably quite helpful for my initial learning, but she got retired and I started leasing a horse with no real dressage training, who was then retired due to navicular, and then I leased a horse with no dressage training at all (and some bad habits from jumping). I finally bought my own horse earlier this year, and I'm really looking forward to finally making it to 1st level with him, though he's still not quite solid on training level. Maybe by the end of next summer I can start showing him 1st
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post #13 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 11:20 PM
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I totally agree with the ability to take criticism. I want to add to that the ability to formulate questions to understand what your trainer/instructor is asking you to do. Everyone understands things a little bit differently. (as you can see very well if you read through this forum! Lol) Sometimes, you need to be able to get your trainer to use different imagery or ideas to help you understand what you you need to be doing. I've been riding, off and on, with my same trainer/instructor for over 8 years. It was only this weekend that she found the way to explain to me how to keep my heels down over a jump!
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post #14 of 24 Old 10-10-2012, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! I'm going to start taking dressage lessons on my gelding soon. :)
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It should be horse listening, not horse whispering
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post #15 of 24 Old 10-11-2012, 06:18 AM
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One word: masochism.
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post #16 of 24 Old 10-11-2012, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesilverspear View Post
One word: masochism.
THIS!! So true! My trainer told me many times, "if it doesn't hurt, you are probably not doing it right."
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post #17 of 24 Old 10-12-2012, 12:45 PM
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A good trainer, willingness to admit YOU don't KNOW DOOKIE, and PATIENCE - with yourself and your horse. These things will get you where you want to go.
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post #18 of 24 Old 10-12-2012, 01:12 PM
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Oh and you need to define successful, I used to think that to be successful you needed to get to the upper levels, you don't, success comes from being able to complete the dance well, even at intro or training. I don't suppose anyone has scored 100% at either, so whatever your level, there is always room for improvement
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post #19 of 24 Old 10-18-2012, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysterySparrow View Post
THIS!! So true! My trainer told me many times, "if it doesn't hurt, you are probably not doing it right."
I had a pretty eventful ride on one of my trainer's horses the other day. He spooked and ran and ran and ran and ran. We were alone in the indoor, I tried a one rein stop multiple times, he just kept spinning, and after several attempts at using the wall to stop him, finally the wall and a relaxed leg calmed him down and we regained composure. He's a Welsh Cob, enough said? Anyway, after our ride, I was telling my trainer how badly my legs hurt and she said "no pain no gain!" Then made me answer the question "why do your legs hurt? You think it could be related to why he wouldn't stop?"

Lesson learned

To be successful in any riding discipline, you HAVE to be willing to make mistakes, admit to them, and learn from them. Mistakes are a wonderful tool if you are willing to accept that you, like every one else, make them.
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post #20 of 24 Old 10-19-2012, 03:09 PM
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I think all of it has been answered here, but I find a lot of theory reading behind that 'how, what, who, when' helps too. If you understand why you do one thing to effect another, and in the long run it benefits XYZ there is more point to it. Dressage IS training.

It depends on the level on your horse to what and where you start.

I have learned so much over the past 3 months with my 3yo. You have to learn that an unfit horse WILL be doing more walk work, and a lot of walk, trot and canter on a long and low rein to develop back muscles to be able to use self carriage.

So for me, not only is it all of what has previously been mentioned, but also learning the mechanics of it ;)
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