I would argue that the leg yield, shoulder in, haunches in, etc... are not dressage maneuvers and are not restricted to use by dressage folk. <snipped>
Dressage actually has very little to do with WHAT you are doing and has a lot to do with HOW you are doing it. The goal of dressage is not to train the horse to do tricks <snipped>
In dressage it takes at least 5 years of riding before you train the first step of piaffe. Because it's not about the piaffe. It's about cadence, impulsion, connection, contact, straightness, schwung and most importantly collection to a very high degree.
So IMO you can't just do a leg yield an proclaim it dressage - because dressage is not about doing a leg yield, even though it's included in a first level test. Dressage is about horsey strength training, and as the horses get stronger and more and more collected, we "show it off" by doing half pass and pirouettes and passage and piaffe, but that is not what we train every day.*
I hope I am making some sense. But the most important thing is that dressage is not about WHAT it is about HOW.
I agree, Anebel. *The how is vital.*
[edit: sorry for the asterics. iPhone fail. ]
I've spent a year and a half trying to learn how to correctly perform a half-pass, and I still suck at it. I cringe every time the word half-pass is plopped next to leg yield. I'm no slouch at dressage, and yet apparently western riders can master that exercise very quickly and train their horses with it. I'm still having balance and engagement issues. By western rider standards I'm a flaming ****** to not be able to use such a basic tool succesfully.*
I have to add... This thread (especially anebels posts) have really made me take a step back and redefine dressage. I think it's actually helped me understand my goals better, and why I need thousands of exercises in my arsenal to become a good dressage rider. Because its not about the excerise, but how to convince the horse to use his body as gymnastically and powerfully as possible with the least amount of convincing from me.*
Here's my example of why I cringe every time a person who's not serious about dressage tells me they do dressage (or bits of dressage) ... I'm a programmer. When I first started I knew the absolute bare bones about programming. *I knew I knew nothing compared to the vast amount I needed to know in order to be any good. *I've been a programmer for 5 years now, and even though I have learned tons, everyday I realize I have so much to learn. I look at the cocky kids fresh out of college that brag about their skills, and get irritated because it takes decades to be any good in this field. They know so little that they don't even realize how much they don't know.*
Same concept with dressage.... The person with some lessons under their belt, a few clinics... And they brag about how they use dressage exercises to improve their horse for whatever. I'm glad they have the desire to improve their skills. But with all of the concepts, ideas, and theories involved in training a dressage horse correctly - you know absolutely nothing. (you in the general sense.) We have 30 page threads about the correct use of the leg yield and arguments as to its benefits. We take this $h1t very seriously. And I never hear a dressage rider claim to use other disciplines exercises. They are just exercises, not discipline specific. And I think it's because for the most part we use whatever works best to achieve the real goal (all of the things Anebel listed), and partly because we're just snobby.(joking, sort of).
I'm training second/third right now, and everyday it hits me that I have decades of learning to do before i could even come close to feeling competent at dressage. I spend every day riding, researching, reading, and learning how to become a better dressage rider. I still suck at training the half-pass.* Posted via Mobile Device