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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

LLS Fundraiser

Here are some great photos of our fundraiser saturday! It looks as though we raised more than $4000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma treatment and research!!! Fantastic, thank you everyone. We are also excited that we were able to share what we do with our horses everyday! Thank you so much to Jayne Mount, Chris Allen and Michelle Osbourne for our reining demonstrations! Thank you too Stacey Ux, Linda Roth and Eileen Halloran for providing us with the driving demonstration. Thank you Thank you to Mary Lauritsen and Ariel Matisse for their moving Pas de Deux in Honor of 9-11. Thank you to Jane Karol and Hope Cooper who came from Concord and performed their beautiful freestyles for us! And thank you to Alexis who helped me show Jayne and Traveller Anything you can do We can do better!! and how Dressage and Reining really are similar in so many ways!

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