Posts from the ‘dressage ideals’ Category

Snaffle Onward

All of the elements of the Training Scale are evidenced and promoted by the excellence of rider Charlotte Dujardin’s seat schooling uppermost level exercises in a snaffle bridle.

Thanks to BHS Honorary Fellow Carl Hester for narration.

Breaking 80: Steffen Peters and Legalos 92

Steffen Peters and Legalos 92 broke the 80 mark in Grand Prix Freestyle at the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am Games

Conceptualizing Contact

The curator intentionally makes this entry without still or video images, in order that a reader may imagine connecting the sensations individually involved in effecting contact when astride.

“Obtaining and maintaining soft contact- that is contact with the leg, seat and, reins is a considerably more complicated concept than any addressed thus far by this course. It entails, on the part of the rider, an awareness of his calves and –through his boot and saddle flap– a “feel” of the side of the horse. Simultaneously, the rider must be aware of the inside of his thigh, his seat bones, and lower back, and– through the saddle flap, the seat of the saddle, and the pad underneath it– “feel” the horse’s back. Also simultaneously, the rider must be aware of his own shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers, and –through his gloves, reins, and bit– the horse’s neck and head to get a “feel” of the horse’s mouth. It is all to be connected.

Actually, it is more complicated than that, or vastly simpler, once you understand that what we really want to do is feel and then control the horse’s individual hind legs, and, thereby controlling it’s back and shoulders. Which is why it is more apt to say that we “put the horse in front of the rider’s leg” than to say that we “put the horse on the bit” as an indication of a more intense, more energized degree of “riding on contact”.

Now, if all of this is complicated for a rider, who is, after all, a human being possessed of intelligence superior to the horse which, partner though it is becoming, is still an animal, then learning to go “on contact” is immensely more difficult for a horse. The horse must have that identical set of awarenesses, albeit in reverse, and must submit its animal will to its “feel” of, i.e. stimulation by, the rider. So be sympathetic, and question yourself if things are not going well.

More specifically, recheck the correctness of your overall position, and your position’s ability to fluidly follow and absorb the motion of the horse, without, in any way, interfering with the balancing gestures of the as yet undeveloped equine athlete. To do this, it is wise for the trainer, whether novice or vastly experienced, to develop or
refurbish his own seat and “feel” for contact by riding schooled horses alternately with green prospects. Whether riding a green or schooled horse, the mechanics of putting the horse “on contact” are the same. “

Approaching Perfection?

It remains incredible that any horse and rider partnership can actually attain perfection, but several panels of the most qualified judges in the world have reduced their opinions to numbers and scored this pair, Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin consistently in the 90s during the current cycle of championships.

Here are Valegro and Dujardin at London’s 2014 Olympia performing the GP musical freestyle:

Young horse quality

From Australia to Russia…a young horse of high quality, known as Dante,

changed sponsorship through auction in Germany December 2014.

 

We shall watch for progress in his development.

Better than being there…..

World class videography provides even the most humble of aspirants opportunity to observe horses and riders contesting the ideals of Dressage. Multiple cameras permit is to see movements from many vantage points, and compare our own observations with those of highly qualified judges stationed at yet different vantage points about the arena.

Of course it takes time to watch 17 rides as if live streamed for 3 hours, but far less than travel time away from our own horses. Is it better to travel?

Just sittin’ On Top of the World

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