lessons: dressage vs. "plain English" - Page 2

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lessons: dressage vs. "plain English"

This is a discussion on lessons: dressage vs. "plain English" within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    09-02-2013, 08:18 AM
TrailDustMelody - I know this lady that did endurance riding for a long time. 100 milers and stuff. She recently switch to dressage. You might want to talk to her about what the best road to start on would be.

Her blog is: BakersfieldDressage.com

I believe you can email her from the blog. She's super nice.
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    09-02-2013, 12:00 PM
This is really dumb, in very early stage of learning, are there difference already? Or just general English riding?
When I looked for a barn, I was only offered English vs western, never dressage or hunter jumper....

While this time around I'm barn shopping, I did tried a dressage barn and its very diffent, but it could also be their teaching method. I'm still on the longe line so who knows what their regular lesson is like.
    09-02-2013, 01:17 PM
I think lack of specificity gestures toward incompetence. I rode very briefly at a barn that taught "English" (as opposed to Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, etcetera). It was a mess. The students could not equitate, were jumping higher than was safe for them or their YOUNG horses... It was your typical, dysfunctional, backward business.

I think you can go either way: Dressage or Hunter (or if you're interested in Saddleseat sort of things, but that was never mentioned). I think the important thing is to find a reputable, professional trainer.
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    09-02-2013, 04:34 PM
Core- I would suggest the OP look for a Coach who can train both horses and riders across all 3 disciplinces because it shows he/she has been around the block and has a well rounded equestrian education. They also will have enough time in that their ego isn't in play. < That is important! The students should be the focus, they are the person paying for the service but it many cases with younger or insecure coaches it becomes about the coaches Ego. If the student fails to understand a technique it is because the student is " stupid" or "lazy" or their horse isn't good enough. A more mature coach knows that if a student does not understand one method then it is their job to find a different way of communicating that information, not the students fault or the horses fault. It also will cut down on the likelyhood she will be dealing with both wannabes and the coaches who don't give very much of their time or attention to those clients who won't be dropping 50K on a horse and doing the full show circuit. ( paying for that as well) A well rounded rider who can teach, has nothing to prove and is now concentrating on the success of her students is a prize. They are also likey full to the rafters but this is the very best start for anyone wanting to be able to gain solid serious basics.

I like Eventers because they have been forced to learn how to ride effectively! You can ride a well trained hunter, point and shoot, around a course. A poor rider can be carried by a good horse through a dressage pattern. A poor rider will die on a X-country course on a good 3 day horse. You actually have to be able to Ride to complete that phase.

Eventing dressage is modified from classical as it should be. The horses are not built or trained the same, thus the reqirements are not the same. I wouldn't ask my dressage horse to get around the X-country phase, they can't ask their 3 day horse to execute GP collection. Oranges and Apples, both fruits but not the same.
    09-02-2013, 08:36 PM
Teekin - I'm not debating the quality of training from a good eventer. I'm saying you're wrong that eventers train in some kind of closed bubble where they don't seek training from qualified big D dressage trainers. Take Silva and Boyd Martin for instance. Silva is well known as a big D dressage rider, yet eventers go to her for training. She's not the only one. My trainer routinely gives dressage lessons to 3 day eventers in my area. And not just one or 2 people, but half a dozen 3 day eventers tke dressage lessons from her.

Plenty of dressage trainers teach the classical, or even french, style of training. Not every dressage rider trains the German style of dressage training.

I guess I just don't understand what you're saying, Teekin. Good dressage basics are good dressage basics across the board. Eventers do not own the sole title as the only riders around with good dressage basics. :)

Now, as far as open minds and nore tolerant of differences... then yes, eventers are usually wonderful about that. Some bad apples like every group has, but I aslo think there are tons of big d dressage trainers that have no issues offering training to someone who's ultimate goal is not upper level dressage.

I'm kind of done with this now Teekin. You have your view, and I agree, an eventing trainer would work too. I'm also saying a dressage trainer would work. It's just the basics... either path will work.
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    09-03-2013, 12:16 AM
Core; we are indeed talking past one another. I agree entirely with what you are saying. I think we just have a communication problem. I indeed think there are ways other than the German method, which I don't really use. I am much more French with a smattering of Dutch. There are many roads to Rome.
    09-03-2013, 02:23 AM
Hey everyone, thanks for all the ideas and advice. I really appreciate it!

So my sister takes lessons (Western) at a barn that's a 25 minute ride from our house. It turns out that there's a lady there who teaches English lessons. I don't quite know the details of her showing experience, but my sister's teacher, whose opinion I trust on just about everything ('cause she is knowledgeable and awesome), says this lady is good and can give me a good foundation. So I will be riding my horse to the barn for a lesson every other week. My first lesson will be this Friday. I'm hoping all goes well and it's a good fit! :)
    09-09-2013, 03:49 PM
Well I had my first lesson last week. It was good. I worked on two point at a walk and trot, some posting exercises, and getting my floppy body and lazy horse to work together and canter. ;) If I had a nickel for every time my teacher had to tell me to put my heels down, I could buy a nice new pair of breeches. All together, it was great to get some instruction. My only concern is that this teacher does hunt seat, whereas I ride in a dressage saddle on my mare...it was a really weird feeling going between those two saddles. I still think I want dressage lessons, but I'll stick with this teacher at least until I get my license and can drive myself to another barn.
    09-09-2013, 04:03 PM
It's great that you want to take lessons. Since you've already ridden horses without them, I would advise that you start English Pleasure at the barn where you sister takes Western, if she likes the barn. Part of horses as a hobby is a social element and you two could travel to lessons together and encourage each other.
Yes, the longer any of us rides/trains that more we appreciate Dressage. It's just a fancy title to define the obedience and gymnastic training of horse and rider, made sometimes snobby by an emphasis on the first syllable. =b
Speaking as a past riding instructor, there are probably some bad habits that you will need to eradicate before you tackle Dressage. You probably have a chair seat, no feel for the horses mouth and no understanding of a deep seat and weight cues. UNLESS you can find an academy that starts you on the lunge for 6 months to train your seat and keep your hands away from the reins--you might not like that right NOW--I wouldn't want to teach you basic Dressage on "Corporal" (1982-2009, RIP) if he was still around, bc you're not ready. You REALLY have to be dedicated to begin your lessons like this, and I get the impression that you want to learn to ride AND have fun. I believe that you can do both, and then see where you want to go with your riding. There is NO perfect form of riding and lots of us like to use our horses for multiple sports. If there is a Dressage academy close by, it will still be there later if you want to take lessons there.
I forgot the name of which Itnl USET Jumper, but he rode Showjumpers in two Olympics and then switched to driving Racing Standardbreds for 30 years. It's like that with musicians where someone begins with one instrument, then sometimes switches to a different one and finds that's where they want to stay.
Enjoy, whatever you do. =D
    09-09-2013, 05:19 PM
Dusty, instead of thinking " push your heel down" which will cause you to lock your hip think " point your toe up"and relax your leg from the hip down. It will help to walk a couple rounds with your leg hanging loose from the stirrup without the iron. Also ask the coach to pull your leg away from the saddle and position it correctly in the iron. This will help create the correct "feel". You are paying for these lesson, get the very Most you can out of every single one.

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