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.

Friday, December 24, 2010


All of us at Carousel Dressage Horses wish you a:


Love from,
Nancy, Matt and Ariel!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finally Warming Up!

Today was a beautiful day in Florida, reminding us why we make the migration down here! Freezing temperatures have killed the grass :( and everyone around us has head colds! But, the sun has prevailed and today was back into the 70's.
The horses are doing great! Ariel went to the Toy's for Tot's Holiday show at Jim Brandon last weekend with Evita and Nirvana. Evita was good the first day with no mistakes, but a bit over sensitive to the legs, its a girl thing! But, the second day they had no mistakes and she made it look easy and they were 3 rd with 68 % in the open class.
Nirvana looked great and was very well behaved, since he has not been out to a show since september. He was right at home and ready to show off. They learned the new USDF tests quick! and were 2 nd the first day in first level with 65% and 5 th the second day with 62%.
Alexis is going fantastic for 18 years old! We have plans to show in January. I am really looking forward to it!
We are busy making the barn ready for our winter arrivals. Ruudi arrived yesterday from the artic Wisconsin and Ingrid will be following near Christmas. It starting to feel like the Florida season is starting.
Make sure to check in with us again soon, we will begin posting our new series The Carousel Classroom! We will have mini lessons available online. If you have a specific question that you would like answered in the Carousel Classroom be sure to send us an email at Thank you!!