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, February 6, 2012

Conrad Schumacher :)

Over the past weekend we were very inspired by a fantastic teacher. Mr Schumacher has such a talent for getting to the essence of the training in a logical and systematic way. To put a horse and rider combination into balance and harmony like no other clinician I have ever seen. Many trainers can get on and get the message thru to the horse and then we get on and get the feeling. But, with his patience and determination he can give us the tools to get the feeling on our own. He is truly dedicated to educating the riders and trainers in a way that promotes humane handling of the horses in addition to positive competitive training. It is a breath of fresh air and I feel so privileged to be part of his clinic tour.

1 comment:

  1. Can´t wait to be there as an auditor, and also be a part of this riding Fox Sea February 24th -27th @ Hearthwood !