New Rider, Getting an outline
I've done some show jumping and cross country so was thinking about trying some dressage so I could start eventing. The only problem is, I've never done dressage in my life. I dont know of any trainers around where I am, and there all so expensive.. I've done some work with my horse on schooling, transitions, rhythm and some basic dressage moves, but I have no idea how to get an outline. I'm reluctant to use side reins ect as I don't agree with forcing it. I know it takes time for the horse to build the right muscles ect, but I know of a dressage horse I'd be able to ride just once or twice just to get the hang of working in an outline, but need tips on how to do this. Thanks! :oops:
Forget the "outline". Just worry about performing the required movements as described in the USEF Dressage Rulebook.
Make sure your horse is supple, forward, balanced, and on the aids. That is pretty much all you need at the lower levels.
Okay I wont worry for the time being, But it would be very helpful to know anyway :)
The "outline" comes as the result of a combination of things such as the horse being on the aids, in self-carriage, with impulsion, and lifting its back.
How to do that takes probably a couple of three years of dedicated work under a dressage trainer that really knows what he or she is doing.
An outline... comes with correct riding and the horse using their back. It shouldn't be forced, which I'm glad you agree with. Riding front to back will get a horse using their back and their hind end.
The way I've done it is lunging in side reins before almost every time I go to ride. Doing figures like circles, serpentines, figure eights will help to get your horse working more on the hind, paired with half halts. You have to learn about half halts because they will also help re-balance your horse amongst other things.
It would so help to have a trainer... keep looking for someone!
This isn't even getting into dressage.. these are just the starting blocks.
Definitely be open to researching and learning.
When are riding your horse forward with relaxation, suppleness, acceptance of contact, impulsion, connection, straightness, etc., that frame and outline will come of its own accord. A horse that has all of those qualities simply travels "in an outline" appropriate to his conformation. The horse acquires these qualities (and you acquire the skills to ride him to those qualities) as you go up the levels - a successful low-level horse and rider have a very different look to them than a successful upper-level team. With appropriate conditioning, exercise, and time, the picture will start to look more and more "familiar." :wink:
The tricky part is learning how to ride in such a way that you are allowing and influencing the horse to relax and move forward with all of the above. The horse knows how to use his bumb, get off his forehand, and collect himself - the trick is helping him to do so with the weight of a rider and at the rider's request. That's where working with a good dressage instructor is so beneficial, even imperative if you are completely green to the sport. Feel is everything, and it's far easier to learn that feel when someone who knows can tell you "There! That's what you want to feel! He's stretching into the bit now!"
Good luck!! :D
Oh! I also suggest looking into Jane Savoie. She has a knack of breaking things down that you can better understand something that may seem complex.
Also I've noticed watching simulators like this one.. really help me.
It's just the basic w/t/c but she takes the time to explain how you body affects the horse and you can SEE it in the way the simulator runs as you would SEE it in how a horse looks whilst being ridden. If that makes sense.
The "outline" comes as a result of riding the horse in such a way that the haunches accept more of the load put upon them and the forehand becomes lighter and creates a head position according to the quality of that training and conformation of the horse.
What are "basic dressage moves"? Just curious as I don't really know.
I'd still say save up some money and take lessons (even once/month is much much better then nothing at all). If you have jumping/hunting lessons in area I'm pretty positive there should be some dressage trainers too (may be not very much advertised). I'd ask around personally. Of course videos, advices on Internet, etc. are all great, but unfortunately they won't help you if you do something wrong on horse. The pair of knowledgeable eyes on a ground is very important.
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