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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Here we are in the end of August! Still time flies by and I cannot keep up. A beautiful day in New England after a terrible weekend. We are so lucky to be where we are, the horses safe and very small amount of inconvienience from the storm. Our thoughts and prayers going out to all of those who are having problems from the storm. I feel bad that I have been able to go along business as usual and in doing so have found out how many friends and colleagues are without power and struggling with the basic needs of their horses and families. I wish everyone a quick return to normal!
My horses are so enjoying this fall weather!
Our Adult Camp was a great success to spite the bad weather. Thank you so much to everyone who participated and made it such a wonderful experience, and special thanks to Linda Powers who provided enough food to take care of an army for a week, we were all spoiled and now what will I one to cook lunch for me?
Our Symposium is fast approaching. This is taking alot of my time, time that I did not have to spare, but when I get stressed about it I remember why I am involved in such a project. We are doing this Symposium so that more and more people can learn about Mr Schumacher's fantastic training technique, and when I think about it that way it all makes sense!
Hope to see you there!
Ride well and enjoy your horses :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Developing Nations Symposium with Axel Steiner

What a fantastic learning experience..............and where was everyone??? I need to go onto the USdF website and find out how many trainers and judges for dressage are in just the Massachusetts area?? Our "O" judge comes from California and spends 3 days teaching right here in our back yard and I think there definitly could have been more auditors. All of the girls did a great job showing dressage thru the levels, and Axel Steiner is so clear and precise about what they are looking for and how to make it better. If you missed this fantastic opportunity then you absolutly must go to when it is posted and watch it on video! But, come on guys.................we need to be constantly looking for ways to educate ourselves farther and this was a perfect venue for that. Listen to Lendon Gray .................What have you done to educate yourselves in the past 6 months? If we teach we must stay on the right track, broaden our knowledge and keep our eyes clear! Thank you so much to Bear Spot Farm, Jane Karol and Cathy Zemaitis and Axel Steiner for putting on such a wonderful event!