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, January 27, 2011

Dressage and..........

Natalia and Matt's backhoe! Mondays are a day off........or..........a day for landscaping!

Winter in Florida

Already the end of January, time passes quickly when we have so much to keep us engaged! The horses are doing great! PW has come thru her chip surgery and is going to be able to go out in the paddock for the first time today!! She has been very good during her stall rest but is definitly ready for a little romp in the field!
Alexis has a new best friend! Barbara is in Florida for the winter and has engaged me to teach her on Alexis several times a week. Alexis and Barbara are having a tremendous time together. Bad news for Alexis that I will probably still try to get a couple of small shows in this winter! No retirement yet!
Our new 4 year old Glorious is coming along very well! Ariel is arranging some photos we took last week and they will be up on the website very soon! He is wonderful to work with and such a lovely athletic mover.
We have a new working student from Peru, Natalia, and her very cute leased horse Arrow. Natalia is a fantastic addition to the stable. She is a pleasure to teach and her eager attitude in the stable is fun to see. Natalia has alot of talent and I am sure we will be seeing her alot in future dressage and jumping competitions.
Donna Nita made a visit south from Aiken to escape the cold and the snow. Although she was only able to stay for a short 10 days, wonderful progress was made with the horses and another visit is planned for early March. Donna has lovely talented horses and we look forward to her next visit.
The shows are in full swing and we had the pleasure of watching the Grand Prix and the GP freestyle last weekend at the Gold Coast Opener. So great to see so many quality horses and riders in one place for the winter. Watching definitly makes me want to get myself back in the ring again..........the wheels are turning!
From Carousel Dressage we all hope tha wherever you are the weather is being kind to you! Enjoy your horses!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

America needs to fight for American riders!

Just a thought: I understand the desire to be famous and successful. I understand wanting your horse ridden by the best! I am 100% understanding that several of the European countries have more experienced and better trained riders than we do. did they get better and more experienced? Because people gave them a chance to ride nice horses and they had opportunity to train with good (very good) trainers. For Americans to train with the best we have to go to Europe , this takes money, many good riders cannot afford it on their own.............THIS HOLDS US BACK! So do not send good American horse flesh to our competitors! Sponsor AMERICANS! This will help us build a good solid team with depth! Just a thought!

Thank you everyone!

Our Fundraiser at the Players Club last night turned out to be a huge success! Thank you to everyone that helped make it possible! We will find out the total amount that we made later today, as Darby and Marissa took the proceeds back to the office! Such a fantastic turnout for the event! The staff at the Players was great! And the models for the fashion show! Marvelous! Thank you everyone! It was a fun night!, but for an important cause and we all appreciate your support!
We are looking forward to seeing you at Grant farms in february for our annual cocktail party!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year!!

I still cannot believe we are already well into January of 2011! Heartwood Farm is buzzing with the excitement of the Florida season! We welcome Donna Armata and her mare Gille, as well as Ingrid Wallin and Ruddi back from Wisconsin. Roxanne unfortunately got snowed into Greenwich in the last terrible snow storm that hit NY and CT, however she is now safely on her way and we look forward to her arrival.
We wish Ariel luck this weekend her first show of 2011!
On a sad but good note, PW had to go to surgery thursday..........we found she had a chip in her hock that was going to become a nuisance.........good news is she came thru the surgery in great shape and is home safe and sound. Now we are just looking at 2 months recovery and then....Back to Work!!
Our new dutch boy is doing fantastic!! Pictures will be coming soon! He is now 4 years old, as we pass the New Year. Very special mover and wonderful temperment, chesnut gelding by Game Boy.
So Happy New Year!
All of us from Carousel Dressage Horses wish you love, health and happiness in the coming year!