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.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

A Reissue! I think it is a good time to revisit this!


We need more corners in life!

Percolating in my brain is a book about life lessons that dressage has taught me. It will be an awesome book about the parallels of a life with horses and lessons necessary to navigate a happy life in the "real" world.
             One of the chapters "We need more corners" Can be found, in its infancy, below.
              I hope you enjoy it, and please share with other people that may need a corner sometime.

                  When I ride, I am very particular about my corners. depending on the age and experience of the horse every corner has a purpose. If it is a young horse, it still needs to be "my" corner. Not too deep, not too shallow, balanced and being sure not to lose the rhythm. With an older horse it could be that we school transitions, leg yield, smaller and then bigger steps, and then the half halt. Axel Steiner said a couple of weeks ago "the horse should be a bit taller when he comes out of the corner". I love this! So, what if we applied this to life.

                    When I ride a corner, I ask my horse to wait, rebalance, build energy and then come out of the corner "a bit taller".

               If we build corners into our life, it might be to stop and reflect, remember our purpose, or even who we are or who we want to grow into. We might pause, stop running from task to task or lesson to lesson, we might take a minute to prepare a healthy meal for our self or sign up for a necessary yoga class or massage appointment we have not had time for. We might even schedule some family time, vacation time or even alone time. What if we were able to build some corners into our life and then come out of the corner a bit taller? With renewed energy and enthusiasm, with clarity and direction? Perhaps even with a bit more understanding of who we are and where we are going?

                 I just love this concept! Then we could take it even further to the next step. Because when I show I really use my corners to set up the next movement, to make sure my horse is with me, balanced, through and ready for the next step. I believe we could build corners into our lives purposefully, perhaps once a day, once a week, once a month? Whatever timing suits you to give yourself the clarity you need to motor forward in the right direction. Imagine how tall you could be!

                        Have fun considering this!

                    All the best!

       Be Youthful in your approach
       Connection is the Key
       Remember anything is possible

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