What is dressage?
 
 

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What is dressage?

This is a discussion on What is dressage? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • What is dressage?
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    02-28-2012, 11:11 AM
  #1
Weanling
What is dressage?

This may sound like a stupid question. I have seen dressage competitions before but I'm wondering if someone can kind of give me a description. I've been riding my OTTB for 6 years almost but we have only done a few professional lessons. We've mostly done time on mountain trails. The lessons I did take were from a woman who teaches dressage but we did mostly ground manners and getting Comic to be relaxed and soft. He injured himself in the pasture and we never got back to lessons. I'm to the point now where I would like for us both to work with a trainer and I'm thinking about dressage. He's a beautiful tall horse and, from what I've seen, dressage teaches such beautiful movement. Comic is so bad at placing his feet he stumbles on the trail a bit so I am hoping that dressage will give us both some focus on his movements and mine. There are several dressage barns in the area so finding a trainer shouldn't be a problem. Thanks.
     
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    02-28-2012, 11:19 AM
  #2
Trained
Dressage at the most base levels is simply good riding and training practices. A horse and rider with a good foundation in any discipline should be able to do a respectable training or first level test. Most horses and riders will "max out" in dressage at this level, however schooling up to about first level dressage will help any horse and rider out. These levels require basic obedience, balance and connection.
The low-mid levels of dressage, second and third level start to require collection, and a more dressage focused training program. The mid levels, fourth and PSG, are very difficult to get to and rewuire far more collection. The upper levels I2 through the Grand Prix Special require the highest degree of collection in competetive dressage and very, very few horses will ever make it to this level.
PintoTess and DressageDreamer like this.
     
    02-28-2012, 11:23 AM
  #3
Trained
I'm sure that this thread will have LOTS of posts, but I saw it first, so here goes...
DRESSAGE is gymnastic horse training. I suppose it began several thousand years ago to train a horse to warfare, but the first surviving writing is from the Greek, Xenophon, who wrote about kind but correct horse training. (He also wrote on agriculture and other topics, too.) Jump to the 1300's in Europe and several schools specializing in military horse training sprang up. The most famous TODAY to the general public is the Spanish School of Riding in Vienna. That is probably bc General Patton helped to save the Lippizaners from becoming meat for the Nazi army and most people know something about WWII. They are other schools in Europe equally well known, but mostly to Dressage enthusiasts.
Commonly horses are trained for impulsion (to move readily forward, and moving backwards is considered a forward movement bc of the footfalls). They are trained to flex their necks in order to balance the whole body. They are trained to be light on the bit and flexible in the necks and through the ribcage, in order to be soft and responsive to the rider's cues. The rider sits deep and "collects" and "extends" the horse's gaits. A great deal of the horse's training is to develop the musculature to compress and spring through the walk, trot, and canter. Some of the training is developed outside. Col. Podjawsky recommended outdoor cross country riding and jumping to help muscle up his horses. Mostly, training takes place in the arena.
A good place to research is the USET (United States Equestrian Team.)
United States Equestrian Team Foundation
You should definitely watch this year's summer Olympics Dressage competitions. They will be in England, and you won't need a translator!
tinyliny likes this.
     
    02-28-2012, 02:46 PM
  #4
Weanling

Best answer yet... :)
     
    02-28-2012, 03:25 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Yup, best answer yet! Nice video. Thanks for posting.
     
    02-28-2012, 03:43 PM
  #6
Weanling
Love the video. It's beautifully put together. Yet, anything with that music is going to be beautiful.
     
    02-28-2012, 03:51 PM
  #7
Showing
Gave me the goosebumps! Nice video!
     
    02-28-2012, 03:54 PM
  #8
Trained
BC< I've started long-lining my horses using the recommendations from this author~
Http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Training--Hand-Modern-Working/dp/1570764093/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330462389&sr=1-1I think it may help you. =D
She recommends using this method for a horse that is recovering from injury, which you have mentioned.
     
    02-28-2012, 10:46 PM
  #9
Weanling
Fantastic video. Thanks. The. Ore I think about it the more I am interested. My family all rides western, which is great, but I think dressage will give me more of a connection with my horse.

So now a couple other questions. I ride in an Aussie saddle. Can I start out in this saddle until I can afford a dressage saddle? I am sure lessons will cost a bit so I don't know how soon I'll have saddle money.

Also... Is starting out once a week enough? I have a young son and until he starts school, a year from now, that will be all I can afford. Should I just wait a year until I can work more and do 2 days a week?
     
    02-28-2012, 11:14 PM
  #10
Showing
You can do dressage in any saddle, though of course the designated saddle is designed for it, but an Aussie saddle should be perfectly fine! And once a week is perfect... have fun!!
     

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