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, February 24, 2011


Thank you Mr. Schumacher for a fantastic day of true dressage! It was a beautiful day in Florida, sorry if you are not here, you should be! The lessons were great. Mr Schumacher somehow never looses his enthusiasm and keeps fighting with us, till it all works together in one wonderful harmonious flow. I had the pleasure of riding Casey Satriano's Roxanne and it was great! Roxanne continues to blossom and showing Mr Schumacher what she can do was definitely on her agenda today! She was great and stepped up to the plate as he made each exercise more and more difficult.
Ariel was fantastic with Evita, and Sax had his first introduction to Mr Schumacher and was brilliant! Mr Schumacher is starting to be one of Ariel's biggest fans, behind me, my Mom and Dad and Ingrid of course!
Suzanne rode only the young horse today, but he is lovely to watch and we would be spoiled if we watched Cooper , Suzanne and Mr Schumacher every day, that is just amazing!
Heidi Degele and Bianca Berktold both brought super horses and we all enjoyed watching their lessons.
Ingrid and Ruudi also took the plunge into the Mr Schumacher world and came out with complete success. Ruudi was looking beautiful and Ingrid even had a chance to have some fun in her lesson.

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