Want to learn more about Dressage
I want to learn more about Dressage, and some of the movements that they do. I have no grand illusion of training either one of my horses to be a Dressage horse, but I believe that the more you can teach a horse, the better. And, please don't suggest going to a local barn and taking lessons, as it's not an option for me. Can anyone recommend a good book to read about it possibly?
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Training-Horse-Rider-Podhajsky/dp/0879802359Little book with GREAT advice.
Dressage training is just the same as any other training. You can make a great horse, but your horse can act up and be a little dangerous, too, so my following advice might seem a little generic.
Here's the deal--LOTS of people come to realize that horse training takes a LOT LONGER than they thought it would. Therefore, you get lots of advice about find an expert and don't do this or that bc you will RUIN your horse. The ONLY way to ruin your horse is to not train him.
Since your cannot afford to pay somebody to train for you, or to teach you to train, just plan on spending regular training time with our horse and you'll make great progress. Expect the best behavior with every small thing you ask your horse to do. IF you've ever taken like a ballroom dance class the teacher "baby-steps" you through every different dance. Do the same with your horse.
Short (15 minutes sometimes), regular (daily, if possible) sessions make faster progress than infrequent, long sessions.
Watch every free video you can find when you need help. These will help you to recognize disrespect from your horse.
EXPECT your horse to be afraid of some really ridiculous things, like my QH, Buster shied the other day when I snapped a measuring tape near him. I routinely throw hay into his manger from above, sometimes even hitting him in the neck or face and he doesn't care.
With scary stuff you approach and retreat.
PRAISE often for every effort so your horse will trust you.
Watch your horse at liberty. Buster has a lovely, floating trot and will often perform a perfect side-pass when I move him over to clean his stall. You want to know what your horse can naturally do. If you get him to show at Dressage level tests you can emphasize his strongest skills. Hope this helps! I lent my copy out, but I got a new one Christmas, 2010, and I've been re-reading it.
Thank you both.
@Corporal - The reason I said don't suggest a trainer is because I live in South Arkansas, and there are NO trainers for that discipline anywhere near here. I just want the books for educational purposes. That and I've trained barrel horses for years, and I always look outside the "norm" for anything that can improve their performance and training. That and the different training keeps them fresher on their actual job.
GIRL I FEEL your pain!!
I too am in the deep south and have searched high and low for an instructor.
I wound up starting to take lessons at a barn that does not offer dressage but does offer hunt-seat but as soon as i get my horse doing a little better my instructor is referring me to her friend who DOES teach dressage but she only takes more advanced horse/rider combinations. mainly i'm just schooling my horse in my "lessons".
her is a book that i found VERY helpful
See if you can find it in paperback and i think it will be much cheaper. it has loads of great pics and very easy to follow directions. I got a lot out of it.
Also look up USDF we are both in region 9
you have an Arkansas dressage club (I'm sure you probably already knew)
You can also find an instructor in the Eventing community sometimes
If you can PM Annabel she is the one who told me where to go to find an instructor. I had been looking and calling for 6 months and she told me a place to look that worked for me. (I'm on the gulf coast southern Mississippi)
good luck!! PM me if there uis anything I can do to help :)
It's easy for someone new to dressage to get overwhelmed by all the information available. Although I love Podhajsky, that book is very advanced and little much for someone just familiarizing themselves with the basics of dressage. I recommend Erik Herbermann's book, Dressage Formula.
The USDF has information of their site about dressage. Be sure to check out the submenus and discover the training pyramid:
USDF | About | About Dressage
Dr. Thomas Ritter has quite a few articles you can read online too:
Welcome and enjoy!
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