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.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Great Show!

Congratulations Noah! Wellington Classic Dressage held another successful show at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center this weekend. Although quite a bit smaller then the shows are during season the classes were not small especially the upper levels and the competition still on a high level! Noah was very good for his 4 th level test 1 and won his class! he got super marks and the judge was extremely impressed with his fancy extended trot :) .
Leo was wonderful in his Prix St. Georges. he got 66% and a 10 from his rider on concentration! He was such a good boy! We need to build some strength in the canter work to bring our points up, but the judge was super positive about his expression and ability so we made a great impression. We are very proud!

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