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.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fabulous Florida!

Last night we watched the Nations Cup Freestyles at Global, such a beautiful night. Fun horses great atmosphere. We are definitly spoiled here in Wellington! I cannot wait to get back in the ring and ride at this level. It was the first time in a long time I really wanted to be riding. So I guess that is a good thing!
Horses at home are doing great. Ann was first in her first first level test with 74% at Jim Brandon's Gold Coast Finale. AWESOME! Sammy is a master in the show ring and all of Ann's hard work paid off and came together for a beautiful ride. We are so proud of her.
Last week we were back at White Fences. Ariel won the Inter 1 with Sax 68%. A great outing especially since they had not been in the ring since August! Sax is not getting older he is just getting better! And stayed tuned for our "Sax goes" series coming soon!
Noah did his first PSG and we had sooooo much fun! We had a couple of boo boo's and he felt a bit surprised to be doing all of the hardest things he knows one after the other in the show ring, but he got 64% and we are very proud!
Debby also showed for the first time this winter and did great! Two blue ribbons with Lucky Charm, 62% and 67%. She was so good, and looks like a definite FEI horse in the making!
So that is the last weekend of showing in Florida. Now we are under the gun to get packed up and home, unpacked and organised for our clinic with Mr Schumacher May 4-6 in Ashby. I am very excited to be hosting Mr Schumacher at the beginning of the show season in New England. So far we have alot of interest and really looking forward to having a great group of riders and auditors and soaking up Mr Schumacher's fantastic sysytem.
I am so lucky ! :)

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