Dressage (a French term meaning "training") is a path and destination of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, it can smoothly respond to a skilled rider's minimal aids by performing the requested movement while remaining relaxed and appearing effortless. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet." Although the discipline has its roots in classical Greek horsemanship, mainly through the influence of Xenophon, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit during the Renaissance in Western Europe. The great European riding masters of that period developed a sequential training system that has changed little since then and classical dressage is still considered the basis of trained modern dressage.

Early European aristocrats displayed their horses' training in equestrian pageants, but in modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests," or prescribed series of movements within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to ten - zero being "not executed" and ten being "excellent." A score of nine (or "very good") is considered a particularly high mark, while a competitor achieving all sixes (or 60% overall) should be considering moving on to the next level.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Youth Webinars

I thought it might be fun to share a bit about what I am now doing with my Youth Webinars. They are going great and as we move forward I am hoping to be able to bring some mindset and focusing tactics to our talented youth riders. The concept of our webinars is not specific to Dressage or Horseback riding necessarily, however, I do believe that the girls that are already participating in horse sports have a special motivation to find connection, confidence and clarity. It is because of these special attributes that our group is creating an amazing bond.
             I started my webinars because I travel too much. I love my horse life and I am truly grateful for all of the opportunities I have had. Being in Florida in the winter is amazing, and being able to train and shown in Europe is a dream come true. However, making these decisions also put on the back burner my love of children and working with them in their riding and life skills. As I now look at my 55 birthday, it is now or never. I love riding, I love competing, I love training and I want to contribute to our youth. I had made an effort to do this in others ways over the years, however, I always fell short of my goals. Two years ago I "went back to school" and now I feel better equipped to give the gifts I am so passionate about.
             Many of you know a bit about me, some of you know less. As a child I grew up with everything I could need or want. My parents were young parents and had more kids in less years than their lives could handle easily. I was the oldest and very early on I turned to horses to find connection and discipline. I had some times growing up where I was not disciplined! And if not for my dedication to riding I know that I would not be here today. The horses helped me get up in the morning, push myself to be better and stay focused.
                The thing is that in those days I was left to make my connection with my horse on my own. I did not have a lot of lessons early on, yes I had lessons, but not a private lesson everyday,  and if I did not make a connection with my horse, or pony, nothing felt right. I look around today and I feel that this can sometimes be missing in our kids education. The desire for the kids to succeed in the show ring is overriding the overall confidence and mindset the kids need to really be successful over time in dressage and in life. This is where I can have an impact. I have been there and I know how it feels and I want to open the door for our kids to find themselves and bring their unique style to the world. Dressage is strict, accurate and demanding. HOWEVER! To be good at it you also have to have feel, patience and compassion! I love it!! 
                 Last nights webinar (or coaching call) as I prefer to call it, was so inspiring! Thank you to all of the girls who show up! Not only show up and I can see you are there, but that you participate! Ask questions, make suggestions, support each other. This is what I have dreamed about creating for so long. I love my one on one interactions in person, I love teaching kids to ride, but here I can reach out and support people that are not able to get to me in person. Thank you technology :)

                      If you have any interest in joining our calls please send your email address to nancylaterdressagehorses@gmail.com

                      Be youthful in your approach~
                             Remember anything is possible~
                                    Connection is the key~

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