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.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Elements of Dressage Col. Albrecht Von Zeigner

The fundamental basis of the form, relaxation is the absence of tension in the horses body and mind.
The correctness of the gait, including evenness and levelness
The desire of the horse to move forward with natural ease
The horses comfort with the bit and reins
On the Aids:
The horse responds instantly to legs and seat while maintaining a steady contact with the hands, thus allowing the energy to circulate.
The ability of a well trained horse to move forward in a perfectly lineal fashion
Established through systematic work in straightness
often translated as "suppleness", it is the quality in a horse that lets the reins influence not just the head and neck, but also the hind legs.
"swinging of the back", maintaining tempo and regularity of the gaits
horse takes more weight on the hind quarters, becoming more elevated in the forehand; longitudinally balanced, shows more cadence, and engagement becomes more marked.

No comments:

Post a Comment