Riding to music
I want to do some Freestyle Dressage. The type of dressage where you ride to music. I live in New York and I would be willing to travel outside of state to do so but, I just wanted to know, what is involved in that kind of test?
I have a dressage trainer who, I will be working with once Spring comes around and I have spoken to my BO and he's going to let me put letters in the arena to practice it.
Beau knows how to side pass but, that's pretty much about it. He doesn't know any of his lateral movements that you need to know in dressage. Do they have a beginner dressage class for that? Does anyone know if they do that type of dressage in New York? If not, where do they have it...
Amanda & Beau
Dressage is not something that changes between states/countries. I'm in Australia and we are now using US tests. Dressage is NOT about riding 'tricks', dressage is training, there fore starts out with as basic as walk/trot tests, and working up from there. Preliminary (I think training level for you in US??) is simply walk, trot and canter on straight lines with a couple of 20m circles and diagonal lines in there. Novice is the next level up where a few leg yields are introduced (not
'technically' a lateral movement as there is no bend involved), as well as some 3 loop serpentines, showing a few lengthened strides etc. Definitely no 'tricks'.
Elementary we start to see some lateral work appearing, as well as simple changes, counter canter and more collected work.
I say learn how to get yourself through some 'standard' dressage tests first, before you get all excited about riding a freestyle. If you don't know how to ride a test in normal conditions, you're not going to have the skill/knowledge to put together a freestyle that conforms to your equestrian federations rules for freestyles at each level.
You can ride a freestyle at any level of competition other than walk/trot here in Australia, but usually preliminary is not offered - they start a novice/elementary.
Leg yield- The horse moves 50% left or right (depending on direction of desired travel) and 50% straight/forward with slight flexion at the jaw, in the direction of travel.
Halfpass- Much the same as a leg yield as, the horse goes 50% left or right (depending on direction of desired travel) and 50% straight/forward with a slight flexion at the jaw in opposite direction of travel.
Sidepass- (This is what you said your horse does)- moves laterally only. Left or right. For a correct sidepass(or fullpass) there is to be no forward motion. The horse should stay fairly straight, the the exception of a slight flexion to the inside of the direction of travel. So if the horse is sidepassing(or fullpassing) to the left, the horse will have a very slight flexion at the jaw to the left.
A sidepass is more of an advanced movement of the laterals. The order the are in above, are also the order from the largest amount of simplicity to most difficult.
None of these show up until first level, though. That is where the leg yield comes in.
There are dressage tests for baby beginner novice (walk, trot) Beginner novice (walk, trot, canter) Training (walk, trot, stretchy trot**, canter) first (walk, trot, canter, leg yield, step back *I think*, lengthen of stride) and so on. I don't believe that you can do a dressage freestyle (or kur) until at the very earliest, first level. From what I hear, and can tell from your post (which is not very much) you are very inexperienced, and need to work on rhythm and balance before anything else. Especially before concerning yourself with a musical freestyle.
The Art of Classical Riding--The Training Scale
I suggest you look at this site, and study this training scale. I realize that balance isn't on there, but balance and rhythm go hand in hand. You can't have a rhythmic horse without balance and you can't have a balanced horse without rhythm.
I would also suggest reading the text around it, and perhaps saving it to documents or favorites. It's a very good website.
**Stretchy trot** This is when the horse reaches, and stretches his head down, using his back to a higher degree and -if correct- nice impulsion. The biggest mistake I see in the stretchy circle is a lack of impulsion. Too many people throw the reins away and the horse does not track up, does not stretch down, does not become supple when asked to bring it's head up. They fall on the forehand. Falling on the forehand is a sign of lack of impulsion. And the more the horse is on the forehand, the faster the horse goes. From there it's a domino effect, and it gets increasingly harder to get the horse going properly again. The "stretchy trot" will only come when the horse is loose, supple, and soft in the bridle.
Oh, and of course all dressage tests have the free walk. I'm assuming, though, that you know what that is. At least I hope you do.
Sorry EB.... but you've got leg yield and half pass confused
The horse should be flexed in the OPPOSITE direction of travel. So if the horse is leg yielding left, it is flexed right and vice versa.
In half pass, the horse is flexed in the direction of travel, so the horse is traveling left, the horse is also flexed left and vice versa.
Both of these movements can be made steeper or shallower, in leg yield particularly when starting out, it is desirable to allow equal amounts of forward and sideways, and often more forwards than sideways. However it can be performed along a wall where there is no 'forwards' movement and can also be ridden to the degree of becoming a sidepass.
If you're referring to me (not sure what EB means) Then yes, I realize that I accidently said that the leg yeild sould have flexion to the insisde, when in fact it is to be to the outside. And I realzie in training it's not 50% forward and 50% to the side. Obviously it will never be spilt exactly down the middle. But for a correct leg yeild, it is to be as close to 50/50 as possible.
And actually for the sidepass, the horse is supposed to straight for the most part. Just a slight flexion to the inside. Here are some photos I found.
If you notice in these photos (if you can see them) the horses flexion is slightly to the inside at the jaw. The rest of the horse remains fairly straight.
Sorry, your username is too long to type out in full so I shortened it to EB in this context.
Not having a go at all so you don't need to get your back up at me, I was just pointing out the error as the OP is clearly inexperienced and I don't think it's a good idea to let them have flexion directions wrong as this is a big differentiator between leg yield and half pass.
And yes, I am fully aware the the horse remains straight in leg yield - hence I do not classify it as a 'true' lateral movement, as there is no bend in the body. However in half pass there is inside bend.
Sorry, if I totally confused you in my post. I have dressage here in New York but, I didn't know if there were any 'freestyle dressage' in New York, as I have never heard of them being here. I am most definitely wrong. I know more of the walk/trot tests, than the walk/trot/canter but, I am familiar with the basic dressage tests.
Never took dressage seriously, just always played around but, I want to get me and my horse into something different. Never hurts, I actually have ordered the letters for my barn and come spring time, when the snow melts I'll be starting the dressage.
I have knowledge of the half pass and leg yields, I just don't know how to preform them on horseback yet. Once I start working with the dressage trainer in the spring, my goal is to be able to preform the half pass and leg yields.
Although, me and my horse know how to side pass. I do in fact know that the horse has to be straight during a side pass. I cannot see the pictures, if you have the link to them I would like to take a look at them.
I am in no way experienced with dressage but, that's where training comes into play. Sadly, enough I can't because there is no room in the arena for anything at this point. I can't even get on my horse to just exercise him. Haven't even been able to clean the stall for a couple of days because the snow is right by the doors.
That's also, why I turned to HF to maybe find out some more information. I know that information can do so little until the actual training starts but, it's a start for now.
Just be aware that a half pass is actually quite a demanding, strenuous and advanced movement for a horse to perform. It requires the horse to be confident in both shoulder in and travers before the half pass is performed, as the balance needed to be able to bend and flex in the direction of travel while moving laterally is difficult. If you're starting out with dressage, expect to learn absolute basics initially, rhythm at walk, trot and canter, submission, relaxation and the some basic leg yields and arena figures.
If dressage was as easy as deciding to 'learn it' and riding a half pass from the get go, there would be no challenge in it
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