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, April 15, 2024


            Another beautiful day here in New Hampshire. I am grateful to be witnessing spring for the first time in many years and it is miraculous. 

            Let's talk about spring and how we can utilize the energy of spring to create some goals and action steps to take.

            Spring is an energy; it is the popping out of all these intentions that we have been making over winter. Throughout winter we have dreamed, longed and visualized for this time of year and what we were going to do. Now is the time to do it!!


                       Take your journal and free write about anything that comes to mind related to your dreams for this year. This might have to do with some goals you put in place at the beginning of the year, or it might be some new ideas that you have been thinking about as the weather has been teasing you. Write in no particular order. Don't worry about the how. Try not to put too much thought into it, just ramble about what you dream about spending your time doing this summer. Set a timer and write for 10 to 15 minutes or so. If you go much longer than this, you may start questioning yourself. 

                       When you put the pen down take a break or come back the next day. Look at the list. Which of the items on the list make your heart beat a bit faster? Do any of them give you goosebumps? Pick two or three things that are most exciting for you and on a fresh piece of paper start to write about what it would mean to you if you were able to start working toward these goals. It does not have to be about the achievement of them, although it can be. Most important, I want you to write about how it feels to be doing the things you picked. Where are you? Who is with you? What do you like about it? 

                       Then pick one action step you can take toward making this happen. It can be as small as buying a book to learn more about it or researching people who might support you in your goals. Put an action step for all three.

                       Now with the energy of Spring take the action step of the most important goal on your list! And when you have done this celebrate yourself! After this is accomplished sit again with your journal and review your last couple of entries. When you get back in touch with the energy of how it feels to be going after your goal write down another action step. What would be the next thing that will move you closer to that end?  

                       You can work with all three goals simultaneously, or tackle one at a time, this is up to you. It is important not to get overwhelmed, instead make journalling a tool that helps you stay clear and focused.

                   Things that can get in our way:

                                  Distractions              Lack of Self Worth               Fear of other people's opinions 

          One way to overcome these hurtles is to hire a coach! 

                          I know first-hand how easy it is to put other people's goals ahead of mine. I have definitely experienced what it is like to feel I don't deserve to succeed. I think we all know what it is like to be frozen into indecision with too much weight being put on what other people think, what if we make a mistake, fail or worse yet actually do achieve our dreams!

          This is why I became a coach. I know what having a coach has done for me, and I want to be able to do this for others. 

                The other day I received this note from a client, and it made me feel so happy!! This is exactly the impact I want to have and to know that I am able to help people achieve the joy and progress they dream about with their horses is a dream come true for me!

           "After a couple of years of my dressage journey not going as I expected or was hoping for, I have struggled with my mindset around horses and horse riding. I turn to the area of self-development for tools and tricks, which have been super helpful, but left me on my own to make the connection with riding. A bit over a month ago I started following your webinar's and they have been incredibly helpful and inspiring. Firstly, they have helped me in feeling that I am not alone with these mindset struggles when I am around horses. It feels like every week I get a reminder that I can draw upon the webinars for help, reach out for questions and even realize there are others experiencing the same. Second, they have made the connection between coaching tools and concepts to horse riding so clear that it just clicks easily when I apply them. Learning from someone that knows both sides, coaching and riding, helps a lot because you know specifically what is important, what has the highest likelihood to work, and what might differ when applied on a horse. Third, they are really motivating!! You speak in a way that gives me the feeling that I can take control of my mindset, so every time I watch a webinar I can't wait to go out to the stable and apply it. 

              I am super grateful to have found you and I am excited to keep growing and developing with your guidance!

                          Thank you,

                                 Andrea Sesana


                 Please visit my website and sign up for my weekly webinars or even better, for personal coaching. I am also scheduling freelance lessons near Rindge New Hampshire and remote lessons as well as clinics.

                 My passion is using my experience to help you achieve your goals sooner and with more ease. I am a Grand Prix Dressage Trainer, with special dedication to the development of the seat and connection. In addition, I am experienced with groundwork that teaches anxious horses how to develop more confidence and stability. This work I can teach to any rider and empower them to have more success preparing their horses for shows and challenging situations. 

                 Happy Spring!!

                           I look forward to helping you achieve your dreams!




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