Starting Dressage

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Starting Dressage

This is a discussion on Starting Dressage within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Starting dressage
  • Starting a dressage horse

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    02-14-2010, 11:56 AM
Starting Dressage

I am hoping to enter a few more dressage classes this show season- all the very first and most basic test- and I was hoping for a bit of advice from those who, like me, may have started with no training and no clue. What do you think I should work on? Are there certain exersizes (both horse and human!) that you do for dressage? Anything that I should remember? Books I should read? Videos I should watch? Any and all advice is welcome, but please, no rude remarks. Also, please refrain from simply saying, "You should get a trainer." I don't have the money to do so. I will definitely be talking to my lesson instructor (who showed dressage) for advice as well, but at the moment, private lessons and/or trainers are too expensive. I will be going to the barn either today or tomorrow, so I will obtain videos of Rainy and I walking, trotting, and possibly cantering (if she's been good) then. If there's anything else I should get a video of, I can do that as well, just mention it. Thank you all for reading this, and hopefully replying. :)
(Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day)
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    02-14-2010, 12:44 PM
Training Strategies For Dressage Riders and The Athletic Development Of The Dressage Horse, both by arguably the premiere equitation master, Charles de Kunffy.
    02-14-2010, 01:28 PM
Thank you. I'll be sure to pick those up. :)
    02-14-2010, 03:53 PM
Anyone else?
    02-14-2010, 04:24 PM
Hard to say what to work on with your horse w/o video and or/pictures...

But, some exercises for you - if your horse is quiet enough or you can have someone lunge you:
Try to take your legs (at the thigh) off the saddle, you don't have to hold them out for long, just pull them off, put them back... both at one time, then one side at a time (w/o collapsing your rib cage or falling hard the opposite direction). This helps loosen up your thighs and hip joints.
Put one arm at a time behind your leg (this helps to sit back properly and keep your shoulders back)... you can then bring the arm up and move it to the front, then to the back to help loosen and stretch your back and shoulders.

Those are the only ones I can think of right now...

I can completely understand your situation... trainers here are around $75 an hour! I can't really afford that either.
    02-14-2010, 04:40 PM
Thanks for the advice! :) I'm going to the barn tomorrow, and I'll have videos up then. :)
    02-14-2010, 10:49 PM
Bumping this up- I'd really like advice.
    02-15-2010, 05:30 PM
And here's a video of Rainy and I walking, trotting and cantering.
    02-15-2010, 06:46 PM
From that video, I would say pick up your reins a bit more and work on inside flexion
    02-15-2010, 06:59 PM
Originally Posted by horseluver2435    
And here's a video of Rainy and I walking, trotting and cantering.
YouTube - Rainy W/T/C
Dressage is not about doing but about THINKING of what you are doing.

On your first transition into the trot your horse was not prepared.

Throughout the trot you were a nice passanger but not very effective. No use of the inside leg to control where he is going and almost ran into the post.

As stated above there was no flexion to the inside and was at least 95% of the time counter flexed. There was no contact with the mouth and little use of the leg to get him to move out.

Dressage is not just sitting on a horse with the head in the general direction of being right and doing W/T/C.

One more thing .....when you allow the horse to continue in an improper poise you ARE training it to do just that...go improper.

The books suggested are good and you can also look at various DVDs.

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