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, June 19, 2011

Ahhhhhhh New England!

Well we waited a little longer this summer to make our move North, but it seems as though we picked the perfect time. The weather here is fantastic, and Florida..........heating up! The New Stable is wonderful. The horses are in heaven, a bit fresh from the cool weather, but happy to be fresh.
Ariel and Evita are already back to work practicing their test for Westbrook, moving up to the Inter 1!
Ann Friedlander's new horse Royal, a very cute Oldenburg gelding by Royal Diamond is settling in well and enjoying his new family, congratulations Ann!
We have a new addition for the summer, Nancy Sharpless's 5 year old gelding Cicero will also be out of the North Carolina heat and enjoying the New England summer.
Come visit us at The Ashby Stock Farm, it is a beautiful place to train beautiful horses! Thank you so much to Jeannie and Charlie for making it possible for us to be there.

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