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Patagonia 11-17-2008 09:14 AM

Dressage Exercises
Hello...I am new to dressage and I was wondering if anyone has any dressage exerices that they would like to share. One thing that I did during my first dressage lesson was sitting trot for 6 steps, then walk for 2 steps...I did this a few times around the ring which lifted his front end. If anyone has great little exercises...for anything...I would love to learn them!

upnover 11-17-2008 09:48 AM

one of my favorites is to go down the quarter (or center) line and keep your horse's shoulder's straight but do a haunches in, haunches out, haunches in, haunches out, etc. I alternate about 6-8 steps. Helps increase flexibility, responsiveness, and straightness.

Spyder 11-17-2008 09:49 AM

The most basic exercise every dressage rider must learn is the shoulder in. It is the lead in to so many other facets of dressage.

~*~anebel~*~ 11-18-2008 08:58 PM

If you are looking for dressage exercises then hop on the net and look up dressage tests. Some of the movements included in training or first level are extremely beneficial to developing straightness and can be modified to help with developing other skills even in higher level horses.

Keep up with your transitions, these are the most important thing you will ever learn to do in dressage so learn them and practice them all the time. You can start working on transitions within the gait by lengthening and shortening the stride. Another good exercise for rider strength is the "waltzing" trot. It is like changing your posting diagonal by rising two, then sit one, rise two, sit one, etc. You can also practice sitting either 2 or 4 going the same way around the ring and work on counter flexions on the "wrong" diagonal, and then correct flexions on the correct diagonal. This will help with balance for both you and the horse. Also work on a lot of straight lines going straight from back to front and doing transitions on straight lines with no walls to keep you upright. Serpentines and circles will also help you fine tune your bending aids by focusing on the exact line you want to ride. I would hold off on the more advanced bending and lateral movements (haunches in/out, shoulder in, traver and renvers) until the leg yield and 10m voltes have been perfected.
Good luck!

RoostersMom 11-18-2008 09:04 PM

Oh gosh, there are so many exercises you can do to help both you and your horse!
Mainly, it depends on what your horse needs (does it need to relax, go forward, keep straight, get supple?).
Lateral work is always important to help with suppleness but get a trainer to show you the correct way to do things like shoulder in, shoulder fore, leg yields, etc. If these are done improperly, you can do more harm than good and you won't accomplish what you want to do.

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