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, April 25, 2011

Fabulous Florida

Here we are quickly approaching another months end. So quickly the time passes when you are doing what you love. We are missing our colleagues. Gille and Donna back in Connecticut, Karen took a trip up to PA and will not be back for a couple of weeks, and Ingrid is back in Wisconsin :( We are happy to have Ruudi stay with us for a couple of extra weeks until the Wisconsin winter finally gives up.
Looking forward to Zee getting out of Q tine tomorrow! and finally coming HOME! She has been such a good girl in her temporary home and is quickly attracting a fan club. Thank you to Rich Favor for doing such a great job with the q tine.
Clinics are starting to be scheduled for Milford, CT and we are working on dates for Aiken, South Carolina and Wisconsin, so if you have interest in participating or scheduling something please call or send us an email so that we can create a schedule that accommodates everyone.
We are also excited about a symposium we are putting organising with Mr Schumacher together with Bill Warren and Bill McMullin in MA in September, so stay tuned for more info about this.
Florida weather has been absolutely fabulous and the riding could not be better.
PW finally back under saddle has been looking beautiful with Rikke last two weeks and finally I sat on her myself over the weekend. I am very very excited to have her back in work, and she is so happy to have all the attention of a big girl again.
Glorious is a blast to train and 4 years old so brave and honest. Week by week he is really improving and such a pleasure to work with.
We have show plans for the weekend, Leo and Noah both going to Jim Brandon for a field trip saturday. Really looking forward to this as both of them are going great!
Good luck to Ariel for her year end exams!!

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