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 26, 2015

Adult Camp August 2015

Every August we open the Ashby Stock Farm to an awesome group of ladies for our Adult Camp. Every year we have a theme, this year's theme was " Your Position and How it Affects Your Horse".  Several years ago we had a "Goal Strategizing"  theme and although we did not focus on goal making this weekend, we did " get focused and set some attainable goals pertaining to posture and the strength of a good position." :) 
 The weekend starts on Friday where the ladies are welcome to acclimate their horses to the arena and the farm. This is fun to watch as they are on their own, but choose to support each other as they unpack and work to make their horses feel comfortable in their new surroundings. After getting settled we have our first lecture where we discuss theory and what I have in mind for the weekend. This year Lynn Simonson was very generous to paint beautiful horses on votives and Linda Powers put together awesome bags for all of the campers. The dinner theme for Saturday night was Mexican Fiesta, so each bag contained fun margarita glasses and chips in addition to the votives, note pads and custom calendars made for the occasion.

 The discussion Friday afternoon also included USDF, our GMO's and how to create a better avenue for Adult Amateurs to participate in dressage. Many of the suggestions were great and I plan to take them and some ideas of my own to the Dressage Convention in December.
    Friday night we had a barbeque all together, but finished up early to get ready for an early morning.
     The lessons were great. All of the ladies were inspiring to each other. The horses feeling the excitement were all on their best behavior and worked hard to make the desired progress. It is exciting to me to have such a group of ladies that are interested in each others progress. Some remember horses and riders from years past and are eager to applaud each other on their amazing progress. There was progress made from day to day, but also goals set for future work and everyone went home with a plan for down the road.
     I am inspired by these wonderful ladies that make dressage their passion and their hobby. I have some position flaws in my riding that I had just about given up on, they were so ingrained from an early age. These wonderful ladies that have families, jobs and not always a lot of money to dedicate to their horses or riding education,  work so hard to make improvements. I see some of them weekly, monthly and others less, but time after time improvements are made, positions and feel improve and they make huge progress. So I learn from these great ladies that I too can tackle my position and make improvements. This august weekend inspires me as much as I hope to inspire them in their riding goals.

       We all decided that August 2016 is too far away and we will have a Florida Camp Getaway in February. Campers will be welcomed for the weekend to Wellington where we will schedule demonstration training sessions at my farm as well as shopping and watch the horse show together.
       I am looking forward to continued education and improvement for myself as well as helping others as they make their way in this amazing sport.
           All the best and ride well :)

No comments:

Post a Comment