Starting Dressage Soon, Any Tips? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-01-2010, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Starting Dressage Soon, Any Tips?

So today I had a dressage lesson because there were no jumps to be found (sigh). Anyways, I actually really liked it! It was very fun to do, and my horse seemed to be pretty good at it too! There are a couple of things that we do need to work on before we do any shows though. I was wondering if I could get a few tips and bits of advice?

1. Circles. Can someone tell me the difference between a 10 meter and a 20 meter? Obviously one is bigger, but how do I know weather I'm doing a 10 meter or a 20 meter?

2. Free walk (across diagonal). How do I keep him straighter and keep his head down?

3. Pretty Headset. I'm only going to be doing lower level tests, but I would still like to see an improvement in Jerry's headset. He holds his head high with his nose in the air, and will only relax sometimes. Any tips?

AngelWithoutWings54 is offline  
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-01-2010, 10:27 PM
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1. The number before the circle indicated the diameter of the circle. So if you're doing a 20m circle, it's going to stretch across the whole short side of the arena, with a diameter of 20 m (the width of a dressage arena is 20m). A 10m circle will go from the wall to the centerline and have a diameter of 10m.

2. and 3. Look at the training scale. Rhythm, Relaxation, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness and Collection. At training level, we're really only concerned about having the first two steps down pat with "acceptance of the bridle" (ie. not tossing the head) and in first level, the first three steps should be solidified while working on the next two steps. Taking some lessons with a qualified dressage instructor will help you start working on these things correctly. In dressage we are not too worried about the "headset" as it is just a symptom of what the rest of the body is doing. We fix the training when something goes awry upfront.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-13-2010, 04:12 PM
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Follow this link

It shows each of the movement in Training Level Test 1 and where they are located in regards to a full sized dressage arena (with letters).

Step 2 starts with half of a 10 meter circle from the centerline near "C" down the long side towards "E". Then it has a 20 meter circle at E. The 2 "corners" of the circle at the centerline are 2 meters inside the S/R and V/P line at the centerline, the 3rd corner is at "B".

A full size arena is 20 meters wide by 60 meters long. That means if you can fit three 20 meter circles in a full-sized arena (start at "A", at "X" and at "C").

When you ride from the short side to the long side (or vice versa) you can ride it as part of a 10 meter the higher levels we use the corners to collect and rebalance the horse so its generally smaller than part of a 10 meter - more like a 6 meter circle.

Hope this helps.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-14-2010, 09:12 AM
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This isnt really going to answer your question but i havnt done dressage yet i am more of anendurance rider however id love to try it i have been to a few comps and it looks really cool!!!... anyway just though i'd mention that!!!

Wild isn't bad and it certainly isn't mean wild is equis and that is pure. - Monty Roberts.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-14-2010, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by AngelWithoutWings54 View Post
3. Pretty Headset. I'm only going to be doing lower level tests, but I would still like to see an improvement in Jerry's headset. He holds his head high with his nose in the air, and will only relax sometimes. Any tips?

Read read read read read!!! There is no easy way to explain this as it is a complicated topic and covers many different areas. The best way to begin getting an understanding would be to grab some reading material and familiarize yourself with the art of 'collection'. Just a guess but have you been involved in the showring previously? Just wondering as the term 'headset' seems to get bantered around in those circles, in dressage you will never find a reference to 'headset'. The position of the head comes from how the rest of the body is working, it is not an isolated head position at all.

I would recommend you read up on things like flexion, rhythym, forward movement, engagement of hindquarters, straightness and suppleness, all these things (and more) contribute to collection and that 'headset' that you refer to. Also, for the lower levels, it won't really matter what your horses head is doing, as long as he is travelling nicely and shows correctness of movement, this allows you to get all the basics before encouraging collection from your horse.

Sounds complicated? It can be but it is thouroughly enjoyable and there is nothing better than riding a well educated dressage mount so get yourself a good book and get started girl!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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