Thursday, 31 March 2011

So what is dressage?

So what is dressage? Is it that ghastly stuff you see where people pull their horses around using severely restricting equipment? Is it forcing your horse into a shape that you saw in a book, but at the same time having no idea why you are doing it? Is it doing fancy moves to show off to your friends? Is it a competition? Is it honing your riding skills to such a degree that you can manufacture the horse that you want? If you think it is any of the above I have to say straight out, for the sake of the horse, I disagree with you. So what is it then? Well, I’m pretty sure it’s exercises to help your horse travel straight and in balance. This is important stuff to a horse, physically and mentally. Straightness and balance make horses feel good. But it’s not something you can force on the horse. You have to train the horse himself to maintain the correct way of going. So if you are using your tack or your seat or your arms or your legs to keep your horse on track, then the job isn’t done. People may think you are a good rider, and you might be too, but the truth is you are manufacturing the horse. Our 2011 clinic plans are now up.