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, 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!

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