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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Florida Season

 The season is in full swing and I am happy to have great weather, good friends and super horses to ride.
  This year, like so many before it, has been busy, time going by too quickly for this old lady. It is hard not to fill the days with too much. There is so much for us here and I want to soak it all up. Our clinics have been super successful. Mr. Schumacher was here in the beginning of February and then again this past week. It is always fantastic to have his expertise in the arena, watching his lessons is as much of a boost for me as riding with him. I always feel empowered to tackle all of my training jobs after his visits and these last clinics were no exception. The job is keeping it all going in such an honest way when there are so many other forces out there! I am so lucky to have had such amazing influences in my riding career and I feel excitement in the learning process everyday.
    We also had Tristan Tucker visiting in February. I am getting more and more the hang of his amazing system and have so much fun incorporating it in my everyday training. Glorious is definitely having the most fun and I feel so lucky to have met Tristan while I have this special partnership. The trust we are developing with each other is something from another realm and it is so much fun!
   Global is in high gear this year. So nice for us to have this incredible group of riders to watch week in and week out. Some of the training is not for me, but so much of it is good. These riders so focused and hard working. Amazing horses at all levels. The visitors from across the pond definitely making our riders work hard to keep up. My personal favorite, Shelley Francis, is for sure showing that experience and hard work payoff with great tests and super success.
   The farm is busy with a group of wonderful riders and horses. It is a pleasure to go to the barn everyday and ride and teach. As in the past we have a great group of ladies dead set on building each other up and each one trying to be the best for their horses. A couple of new additions, Vicky Caruso, Michael Korotkin and Kerri Arruda, have added energy to our dedicated group of snow birds, Andrea McCauley, Nancy Sharpless, Donna Armata and yours truly. We had a fun visit from Casey Satriano in January and hope to see more of her and her husband Scott in March. One really positive addition to our line up this winter is our Tuesday rider stretch classes directed by Stacey Brown. Her ideas have really helped us become more aware to keep our good balanced posture and stretching!! We must keep these riding bodies young. Glorious is appreciative of her hard work :)
             Dressage is a wonderful sport and I feel so lucky to have found it and be part of this world. Keep your mind on the job and stay true to the horses!
               Ride well and have fun,

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