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, June 2, 2013

Open House

   Yesterday we had an open house at our beautiful summer location, The Ashby Stock Farm. It was a great day! First of all it was great because people got to come and spend a day at The Ashby Stock Farm, which in itself is something I cherish. But, it was also great because we got to share what we do with other dressage enthusiasts and I think this was great fun!
    Ariel, Chanett, Darwin and Linda helped and prepared the day so nicely, I cannot say how lucky I am to have such great staff as well as such great friends and supporters. Ariel, Kate, Chanett, and Gayle rode wonderfully and worked hard to give the audience a real feeling of what it is to train horses. The riding was super and we were able to show a really nice training system as well as show of some beautiful tests! Thank you!
      I was so happy and relieved that people showed up to share our day.
      We had a silent auction to benefit the Jr/YR kids as well as Tulip feeding (carrots), the kids loved her, and braiding by Ariel, refreshments and raffle.
       The weather outside was a bit hot and humid, but inside we were cool and able to work without breaking a sweat. How lucky am I to have such a great arena to ride in?!
     My goal is to be able to have more training clinics at The Ashby Stock Farm. To make this location available to the interested dressage enthusiasts in our area and beyond to come and learn, work together and enjoy good horsemanship.
      Riding dressage is our passion and I am excited to get to meet others with the same passion and goals.
        Ride Well :)

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