Do I learn dressage??? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 41 Old 11-07-2010, 08:33 PM
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Just a little side note here - Gus bare in mind that you will not be riding 'pretty movements' and elegant, collected horses just yet. It is a common misconception with people that are not familiar with dressage to think that they'll go straight into learning movements, this is not what dressage is. Dressage is the training of a horse from the very basics, and the movements are ridden later in the horse and rider's training to test that they have established correct basics, and to encourage further strength and training in the horse.

When you start dressage lessons, you're not technically riding dressage as such while you are learning to adjust to english. The instructor will be teaching you a correct english/dressage position, different aids for basic walk, trot, canter, halt and turn. It will be like going back to being a total beginner rider to start with. Once you have a balanced seat in a dressage saddle, can follow the horse's movement and effectively influence it , then you will start getting more into how to improve the horse's way of going. This is when you start true dressage - the training of the horse.

Therefore, all of that garbage you heard about it being difficult and all about invisible aids and sitting pretty, discard it! Yes, the goal is for the rider's aids to appear invisible however when you are starting out, this isn't going to happen. It takes years of hard work to get to the point where you can influence a horse in total harmony with just the tightening of a muscle or small shift of weight. Each aid for a movement, transition, turn etc. is different but so slightly that you must be exactly spot on with it's application. Again, this all takes a lot of hard work and a long time to master!

I just had to add all of that, because I know people who have said they want to do dressage, they go and get some lessons and are sorely dissapointed when they're not riding half passes and pirouettes within the first 2 lessons!
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post #22 of 41 Old 11-08-2010, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Ahhhh thank you Kayta! That helps alot!!!!
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post #23 of 41 Old 11-08-2010, 10:11 AM
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I basically ride STRICTLY dressage, and as far as western equitation, the length of the leg and whatnot are about the same (from my own experiences). The whole time I took a Western lesson, all I kept thinking was "Whoa - Dressage with more leather under my butt/thighs!" oh, and loose reins/neck reining, although the horse neck reined very poorly, so I mostly utilized my legs to bend him around corners and turns. I am thinking that I want to try MORE western, just to get to wear the bling and paisley patterns!
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post #24 of 41 Old 11-08-2010, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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so I have this english clinic and it's been so long I don't remember a thing about english should I just take regular/learn english first? Like when I say "a thing" I don't remember the girth, stirrups, saddle blankets how they go O.O this could be a minor set back T.T
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post #25 of 41 Old 11-09-2010, 01:30 AM
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It would be a worth while investment yes, to take regular english lessons if you are serious about learning the discipline of dressage. It is not something you can learn entirely out of a book or on the internet, eyes on the ground is the biggest help you can have and when starting out, you need this regularly to avoid any bad habits developing.
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post #26 of 41 Old 11-09-2010, 06:46 PM
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Lessons all the way. I found clinics to be rather useless unless you are on good level of experience (and want to advance). Also internet and books while great don't give you a real experience.
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post #27 of 41 Old 12-12-2010, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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So I watched the movie Long Shot again and now I want to more than ever, but the fact I haven't ridden english in ages worries me, but I have been riding my horse in an exercise saddle, does that count as english???
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post #28 of 41 Old 12-12-2010, 06:56 PM
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Gus, don't worry much about "not riding English for ages". If you really want you can do it!
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post #29 of 41 Old 12-13-2010, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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I reallywant to but it's ok I haven't ridden english that much? Wouldn't they put me into basic english and dressage way later?
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post #30 of 41 Old 12-14-2010, 04:52 AM
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Gus, YES you would go into what you are calling 'basic english'. It would be like me wanting to be a champion reiner, after never having ridden western before and expecting to go straight in and be doing all of the 'movements' in my first lesson. It doesn't happen like that. As I said in my previous post, do NOT think that going for a dressage lesson is going to mean that you are going to be riding half pass and pirouettes from the get go. You will have to establish a good english position first, while being a 'passenger' on the horse, then learn to refine your aids for the basic gaits and very basic laterals such as leg yielding and shoulder in a bit later down the track. If it was as easy as just booking a lesson and being able to ride piaffe straight away, then everybody would be a grand prix rider.
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