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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What a great day!!

Congratulations to Ariel and Evita for getting a 67% in their PSG today at Wellington Classic's Dressage Days. This was good for 3 rd place in the biggest class of the show! Good job! Ariel and Evita looked completely at home in the ring with beautiful half passes and extensions!
Alexis did not give her age away in the Inter 2 and was wonderful! A little looking at times but an 8 on one of our piaffes! and 7's on her passage means she must have been paying a little attention to me for a change! She got 68.9 % and was second behind Jan Brons. Good girl!
Leo felt the impending storm rushing toward us and was not completely cool about it, however, he held it all together and brought alot of energy and enthusiasm to his PSG. Luckily we were not in the same class with Ariel as she would have beaten us :) He got 65% and had wonderful changes and the pirouettes more fluent then two weeks ago. He gave a super feeling and with just a bit more strength and confidence he is going to be a superstar!
Now the storm is upon us and although the trees are super happy with the rain it sounds as thought the heavens are going to explode!
What a fun day for riding!

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