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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March in Florida

So last weekend was fantastic!! Watching the horses in the Masters was so wonderful, congratulations to everyone! Steffen and Ravel look better then ever. So nice to see the harmony and trust they have built together.
Everyone that had a hand in putting the show together deserves a big hand and THANK YOU! The arena looked fabulous , they created an atmosphere that is necessary for top shows such in a place that was not built for such a show. GREAT JOB!
The Challenge of the Americas was also a blast! If you have not come to the breast cancer benefit be sure to put it on your schedule for next year. The rides were great, food was great and with the whole dressage community showing up the company was super.
At Heartwood we are all doing well. We have a new working student on board Heather has joined us and we are enjoying her positive energy and helping hand. The horses are all improving in leaps and bounds. Noah and Roxanne are entered at the White Fences show again at the end of the month. Glorious is doing super and we hope to get him into the 4 year old qualifyer at Equestrian Estates at the end of March. And PW is starting back to work........finally. She is happy for the attention and looks lovely on the lunge line, so we hope to get back on her this week.
Florida weather is picture perfect! Time to come visit!!!

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