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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mr Schumacher

This is the nice letter Mr. Schumacher wrote for me last May when he came to teach our Jr/YR clinic at the Ashby Stock Farm.
          To Nancy,
              It is so nice for me to be in your home,
              Therefore for you a little poem.
                You certainly deserve a special toast,
               Because you are a wonderful host.
            First of all I have to say
            Region 8 is the most exciting in the USA
            And for me it is so much joy
           That the coordinator is Nancy Lavoie!
          You believe in education, your expectation is smart,
             Everybody shall ride in the classical art!
           You want confident riders who go for it,
              And happy horses, well on the bit.
            You trust my system along the way
               This is the reason why I am here today
             Conducting this clinic triggers reflexion
            Thank you Nancy with much affection :)

                      I am so lucky to have such a wonderful mentor and we look forward to our clinics in October.
               THANK YOU MR. SCHUMACHER!


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