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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where was everyone?

Thank you to Cutler Farm for bringing Heike Kemmer to Massachusetts over last weekend. Ariel and I totally loved the experience, wish she could stay for a month!
Very dissappointing was the auditor turn out. Where was everyone????? Someone of this caliber comes to Massachusetts, to our back yard, we need to be there watching, even if you cannot ride.
I do realize that there were other events going on over that same weekend, but from what I hear there were not alot of auditors at these events either.
So come on everyone! If we want to get better at our sport we need to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that these facilities bring to us!!!
Heike's clinic will be featured in so you have another chance to see what you missed!! I highly recommend you check it out.

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