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, September 27, 2011


Dear Nancy, I wanted to take the time this morning to send my heartfelt gratitude to you for all your hard work to make this weekend possible! It was an outstanding opportunity to watch such terrific horses and riders. What a gift Mr. Schumacher has and how generous he is with his knowledge! I have been a "children's instructor" for more years then I would care to share. That being said, I would be happy to volunteer my services for any further events that you and "The Bills" might offer! As I listened to Mr. Schumacher speak of Germany's national system of training, I thought to myself, why not us, why not here, and what better time then now! Let's show what "made in America" can mean. Again, thank you so much for all of your efforts. You will be greatly rewarded! Yours Truly,Katie WardPocksha Farm

Monday, September 26, 2011

Schumacher Symposium

The symposium was more than I could ever imagine! Mr Schumacher was so fantastic. I am so happy it will be on dressagetrainingonline so that more people can access it, and..........we can relive it again. He took so much time to work thru the training process and emphasized again and again the positive spirit of the horses and their desire to please. His technique and ability to choose the most basic factor to work on and move forward with the lesson is fantastic. We had more than 150 people there saturday and............100 people on sunday. So fantastic! Thank you so much to everyone that made it possible!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Sadly a raining day in Saugerties, NY today :( I spent the afternoon in the hotel scheduling the open clinic with Mr Schumacher that we will have at our farm next week. So excited that Mr Schumacher will be teaching at the Ashby Stock Farm! We have not seen him since March, so looking forward to my lessons!
Andrea and Lambada put in a nice ride today in the PSG. Andrea was lucky to beat the rain. Her pirouettes were the best this season and this is a great accomplishment! Andrea's positive attitude is contagious, and the great relationship she has with Lambada is so fun to watch. We have work to do to get the whole test stronger and I am looking forward to see the future of this combination.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the symposium next weekend. We are definitly building momentum! If you have not sent in your auditor registration, please take a moment and do that tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Horses Horses Horses

The nights getting cooler and the days sunny and low humidity, what better weather for riding?
The horses are going fantastic! My babies are growing up! Finally knowing enough to keep me entertained while I ride them, and much less time I have to worry about falling off! PW is becoming so mature and looking more and more beautiful everyday. She is a bit spoiled but always the perfect lady under saddle. Glorious is getting stronger and stronger and so handsome. He is learning big boy stuff and taking it all in stride! His lengthenings are becoming much more elastic and his counter canter very balanced!
The Ashby Stock Farm has been an absolutly fantastic place to spend the sumer :) We are working on our plans to spend next summer there, and it looks good!
The Conrad Schumacher Symposium is shaping up and we are so excited to have a fantastic weekend. Check out my website for all of the updated information!