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, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

The official beginning of summer! We find ourselves still in sunny Florida! The horses are working so well and the training progressing in a really positive way for everyone in residence.

Exciting news that we will be moving to the famous Ashby Stock Farm for the summer months. We are so happy to find such a beautiful farm to spend the summer. We will be offering trailer in lessons, short and extended training programs and Nancy will be available to travel for clinics. Please call or email 561 714 7447, for scheduling.
The plans for the Conrad Schumacher Symposium "Learn The System and Teach with Skill" are coming along and we promise to create a very special learning opportunity for all. Please stay in contact for further updates and be sure to Save the Date September 23 - 25 and plan to be in Massachusetts at Dry Water farm! Also, we have sponsorship opportunities! Please support this special learning event and promote your product/ stable/event. We appreciate your support, any help you give will make it possible for more instructors to take advantage of this special event!
Do not forget to honor our past and present heros that are protecting our Freedom this Memorial Day. Lots of love to all of our service men that are over seas right now taking care of our interests, most especially our own Dan Lavoie, we love you and wish you swift and safe return home.

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