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Classical Dressage

What is dressage? The word 'dressage' simply means 'training'.

. . . of the horse:

Classical training of the horse is the systematic education beginning with the basic scales of training:

  • Rhythm
  • Balance
  • Straightness
  • Suppleness
  • Collection
  • The horse that is straight can move easily with rhythm and balance. Will be able to engage his hindquarters to develop impulsion and cadence.
    Further training including lateral movements will develop suppleness towards collection.

    The horse that is not straight will become stiff and resistant. Many problems, such as bucking, rearing, bolting, unwillingness to move forward, inconsistant paces and behavior and even lameness can often be related back to straightness. Correct basic training can avoid and overcome such resistances.

    Classical riden training can be supplemented with lungeing, longreining, in-hand and pole work.

    . . . of the rider:

    The rider communicates to the horse through the correct application of the seat, hand and leg aids.

    You can only do this if you have an 'independent seat' - ie: you can use your seat, hands and legs in independence of each other.

    Learning the aids and developing 'feel' will enable you to apply them correctly.

    Once you have achieved this, you will learn to break down school movements and build them up piece by piece to school your horse. logo

    your horse will begin to move willingly off the lightest of aids.
    Merrigan Burton