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.

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!

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