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, 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!

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