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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

PW out on the town!

We made good use of our firt show in Florida and took PW for a little trip! Her first horse show experience! She was great! The show was quiet and perfect for her to get a taste of what she will be experiencing in the future! It is fun to see her out in public, she is starting to look all grown up! A big change from a couple of short years ago.

Congratulations Ariel!

Our first show in Florida ...Ariel and Evita looked great! On Saturday Ariel was 6 th with 65+% and a very solid presentation of the Prix St. Georges. Sunday's test had a bit more sparkle and they won with 69%. The show, run by the Gold Coast Dressage Association, was very nice. Perfect weather and professional staff and facilities create a wonderful atmosphere. We are very lucky to be able to enjoy our sport in Florida for the winter!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Since we lost Latamanda it has been a slow climb back up the hill for me. Going to the barn everyday and seeing her empty stall just leaves such a hole in my heart. Even when you know ÿou did everything" and ït was the right decision" it does not make it any easier.
I love riding and training and having my own stable where I can nurture my horses in the best way possible. But I have to say this tragedy and my birthday, marking my increasing age, started making me ask myself what is it all about? Maybe I should not being doing this anymore............
So it takes a clinic in Texas with a group of fantastic Dressage ladies to get my mind back on my job, and it takes being able to still ride and enjoy Alexis everyday to make me love riding again, and it takes being able to ride a piaffe passage transition and control the hind legs going out and remind myself "thank you Latte for letting me learn that!"and it takes the support of my husband and Barbara and Ariel and Raymundo to help me realize that I still love riding and I cannot stop riding even if I tried.
We are so lucky to have horses in our lives.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Yesterday was a big day for my PW! Since we have been in Florida and in an outdoor with no walls....................we have continued along in the same fashion as we were working in the indoor! We have not been in Florida long, and I have been travelling a bit, but PW does not forget! Yesterday we cantered outside (on the lunge, Nancy is careful!) but in such a balanced and organised way, we will be motoring around the ring free in no time. At the end of our lesson we walked with no help from Mundi around the arena, steering and stopping and completely focused! Monday she was a bit energetic after taking the long weekend off while I was away. Funny she is actually fit enough to notice when we do not work now. We had to lunge a bit longer to find our brains, but we rode anyway, only with a leader, she was very good. The next day, tired! But so perfect and back to earth. Wednesday we were almost to where we were when we left Massachusetts. It is also nice to feel her accepting my reins and my legs. She is starting to understand the reins through her body and keep moving along when we need to turn! Better then some of my grown ups!
It is also nice to see her in the big field by the house next to her good buddy Noah, they can stay out for a long time and enjoy the shade from the trees. Yes it is true Florida is still hot!

Fort Worth Dressage Club

Last weekend I spent the weekend in Forth Worth Texas teaching the FWDC's adult camp. Thank you to Teresa Deeter for taking such good care of me, and GOOD LUCK at the Regional finals this weekend!!
FWDC is a super group of dressage enthusiasts. I was definitly inspired by their energy and desire to learn. It is also fun to see a club like this that is able to make things happen for their members. The cost of the clinic was minimal because of fundraising done over the summer, in which members volunteer, and grants available from the Dressage Foundation. Their club is not super big, so it is easier to keep the members interests in mind............members interests in mind, food for thought!