The Object Of Dressage
The object of dressage is the development of a happy athlete through harmonious education resulting in a horse that is calm, loose, supple, and flexible but also confident, attentive, and keen thus achieving perfect understanding with his rider.
That statement is in the Dressage rule book of the International Equestrian Federation and it is in our United States Equestrian federation. This is also my goal. I am open to information from any source that can help me obtain this objective. It is my feeling that this objective is where we must START... Then we can see how far we can go with the horse's blessing and permission.
What is a Happy Athlete?
A happy athlete is keen to put in effort. They love to move, feel invigorated by their exercise, and want to come back for more. We would consider ourselves lucky to find such a horse ... But happy equine athletes can be created! The key is to know what makes your horse feel good and then create a training program that is fair, fun and provocative, yet predictable for him.
So What's The Formula?
The training program needs to be inherently adaptable to each individual's needs, yet have enough structure that you don't miss anything. You will need to become a master of balancing Precision & Play.
There is no Formula without 'U'!
The reality is there never can be one recipe to follow. There will always come a horse that needs something different. That is why Dressage Naturally has lots of flexibility built in, and why I highlight teaching riders the logic of problem-solving. The best kept secrets really are between you and your horse, so success depends on YOU! What I can do is give you the ingredients that you need, the permission to experiment, and the confidence to trust that you will know a happy athlete when you feel one!
Is your heart in your riding?
Dressage Naturally is for you if you want to really enjoy every part of the process of progressing with your horse.
- It is for you if you are willing to put your horse's experience ahead of your ego. Be more interested in the quality of the journey than forced results.
- It is for you if you realize that peak performance is about creating a relaxed, energized, balanced, confident, and proud horse that willingly offers his best.
I do believe that dressage can be fun, and that horses can enjoy it as much as we do. Together we can do what neither of us can do on our own ... The day I stop believing that is the day I stop doing dressage.
My goal in Dressage Naturally is to educate you to be a better advocate for you and your horse, to actively practice LOVING what you do, and to be more responsible for your own development.