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Gus 11-06-2010 09:14 PM

Do I learn dressage???
So I have ridden western all my life and only had english lessons once. And it wasn't pleasant, so I fell off my horse twice. The first time I landed on my feet by his shoulder it basically looked like I was going to mount. Second time they laid two barrels down along with two small pine trees and my horse did fine but he had to give a lil more ...mumph to get over and dont ask me how it happened but my head and my left arm ended up between his front legs. Luckily my horse stopped and I was all light headed saying, "Hey Prince! What are you doing riding me?! I'm supposed to be riding you!" I was esp angry with the teacher, she didn't come over to see if I was alright she just kept saying "THAT IS A WONDERFUL HORSE!" I'm thinkin, "I know he is now what about me!" And once I was back in line my friends said if Prince kept running his back feet would have probably hit my head.

So after severall years I have been thinkin aout taking dressage. And I know its hard but I really like a challenge, and I think it would be goiid to know both english and western I would also like to learn jumping properly along with dressage

So do I go for it? Or do I just need to learn english first?

Quixotic 11-06-2010 09:24 PM

Dressage is something that can benefit every single horse and rider, no matter what your main discipline is. If you find a good trainer, then I would absolutely recommend taking dressage lessons.

Cinnys Whinny 11-06-2010 09:41 PM

I agree. I know a lot of Western riders as well as hunter/jumpers who have greatly benefited from dressage. It really emphasizes communication with your horse and I think everyone can use a bit of that :)

Saskia 11-06-2010 10:55 PM

Dressage and English aren't exactly separate. I don't think you can learn one without the other.

Chances are your balance was a bit off. The saddles are very different, and the position it puts you in requires you to maintain your own balance.

Give it a go though, you could have fun.

AnitaAnne 11-06-2010 11:34 PM

Dressage means "the training of the horse" and is good for every horse & rider. Many of the better western trainers/instructors are using basic Dressage principals to help their horse.

Do your homework first! Investigate the local Dressage instuctors in your area & make sure that you watch a few lessons first. Stick to ones that are successfully competing or whose students are competing & winning. There are some bad Dressage instructors, just as in any disapline, so make sure that they are teaching correctly as evidenced by successful showing. Run fast away from anyone who puts down the ones who show.

Goggle trainers in a 200 mile radius of your home & check out their websites. Then go visit them & watch a few lessons. Go for the best you can. I have found that it is better to have one good lesson a month than to go with someone cheeper every week.

Do not take lessons from anyone who has not successfully shown at least at 4th level.

Jane Savoie has a great website where you can learn a lot for free or low cost!

Happy riding:)

Gus 11-07-2010 12:03 AM

yes but I've heard its just very difficult where you must have tight leg muscles, posture, and of course being able to give movements with nearly being invisable. Then I was told I should learn basic english before learning something as a challenging as dressage.....are they right?

AnitaAnne 11-07-2010 12:38 AM


Originally Posted by Gus (Post 807733)
yes but I've heard its just very difficult where you must have tight leg muscles, posture, and of course being able to give movements with nearly being invisable. Then I was told I should learn basic english before learning something as a challenging as dressage.....are they right?

Dressage is not that difficult! It is fun if you like to challenge yourself. Tight leg muscles are for jumpers not Dressage, someone is telling you must be relaxed and sitting quietly...

It is great training for the seat because it puts you in correct balance. this helps you to be secure & in control. You must be ok doing circles though, because you will do a lot of circles!

The first time I went to my current instructor I almost collapsed at the end of the 45 minute lesson, we worked so hard! But it did not take long to adjust & the improvement was awsome!!!

So far as invisable movements go, it is easy...just remember that a horse can feel a fly, and you want to give the lightest touch needed to get a response. I barely touch, then if the horse does not respond immediately, I pop them or kick once hard. The horse quickly learns to listen the first time, and then you can feel like he is almost reading you mind...

It is awsome & beautiful:D

AnitaAnne 11-07-2010 12:40 AM

No such thing as basic English! Start right the first time!

tinyliny 11-07-2010 01:58 AM

dressage and western riding are kisssing cousins
I think it is much easier for western riders to learn dressage than it is for them to learn hunt seat (english). Dressage and Western riding have more in common than with hunt seat . Both utilize a seat which is IN the horse rather than ON the horse. I mean that hunt seat asks the rider to balance lightly over the horse in preperation for jumps or sudden changes like riding cross country.
Western and Dressage want the rider more deeply seated "into " the horse with more emphasis on collection and precise movement and communication between rider and horse. Not that hunt seat doesn't have that too, but it IS different.

Anyway, you will find the dressage saddle much more secure feeling than a typical english saddle; closer to a W saddle. In correct W riding you have a long leg and use a lot of seat aids to ride. Same in dressage.
Now if you are one of the W riders who brace into the stirrups and have a really hard chair seat, then you will have to make some radical changes in the way you sit the horse and rely on balance, not brace.

The other thing that is hard for W riders is the need to have some contact with the horse's mouth. This can be hard for W riders to accept but it will be essential to allow yourself to take up the reins and feel the horse's mouth.

And another thing is that you will need to have more impulsion from your horse. The W jog will not work for dressage. YOu have to be ready to ask the horse to really move out and go forward.

Does that sound interesting to you?

Kauto Star 11-07-2010 03:41 AM

Do I learn dressage???
I started my lessons in horse riding a year ago and I enjoy them very much. I have learned a lot in this first year. I can only ride dressage, and I find it a challenge. Some things are difficult, but that is because I am not good at doing two things at the time. I think you should give it a try and see if you like it.

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