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Why do you ride dressage?

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Out of all the equine disciplines, why did you pick and stick with dressage?

I did a year of Natural Horsemanship, then did a few months of hunter/jumper lessons. I found my current trainer and loved his teaching style. I got hooked on dressage. Now, I still jump occasionally and enjoy it, I go for trail rides, and will occasionally even hop on a horse western. But, something about dressage is just so... I don't know what word to describe it with. I guess I feel like I can keep improving myself and my horse. I've started riding greenies lately and all of the dressage work is so helpful, in the most subtle ways. For example, one horse I've been working with gets distracted easily, so the tiniest bit of shoulder in and his attention is all on me and inside the arena. Everything we learn in dressage can be applied to any horse, any time. Having a great dressage trainer who's taught me not to worry about the headset, to getting those hind legs pushing through and the back and frame will follow is something I think some people don't think about. I used to just say "Oh, he's lazy/won't go forward/goes around with his head in the air", etc. Now after 3 years of dressage lessons it's forward and into the hand, not get that head down and then forward. Dressage has helped me to get so intune with my horse. I can feel so many little things I didn't even know about when I first bought him. And the ways small things that we as riders do effect the horse. I think what really keeps me riding dressage is how much new stuff there is to learn. And I'll never forget those lessons where the prancy rushy Thoroughbred trot turns into a relaxed, accepting, engaged forward trot.

So, what is it about dressage that you love so much?

[big Grin]

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When I started riding, I started with the ambition to be a Grand Prix Showjumper. Then I realized that the jumps were as tall as me (at the time) and decided I didn't have the guts to jump that high! I had also thought about eventing and then read about people dying during Cross Country (My number one fear in life is death), so what was left? Western... and Dressage. I had been partnered with a Dressage instructor/trainer as my first instructor, and have stuck with her to this day. And that was almost 4 years ago. Also, the horse I had on care lease was not allowed to be jumped for various reasons, so I started looking for a jumper to purchase with the hopes that it would teach me how to jump. I found Inky, and within 6 months of purchasing him, became afraid to jump him. So I focused on flat lessons, and became hooked on Dressage after seeing some Grand Prix rides.

I'm fascinated by the beauty of Dressage. Even though some people think all it is is the horse doing the work, I have learned over time that it is NO simple task to ask for what it takes to ride any Dressage test of any level. I also love being able to show someone a dressage test and say "That's my horse". I've always been fond of the arts such as Ballet, Musical Theater, and Theater and Dance in general, so Dressage really is the best discipline for me. When people ask what Dressage is, I tell them it's like Ballet with horses. Most of the time they understand... I actually managed to explain Musical Freestyles to a guy friend of mine by comparing them to Freestyle Figure Skating (His mom skates, and I used to skate). Sure it's not as easy as saying "Oh I jump over things that are 5'3" But it's much more graceful and beautiful.

Sorry for the novel. [Razz]

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Why'd I choose dressage? Because I love English riding, but can't pilot a horse over a cross-rail to save my life! [Razz]

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Well, I have ALWAYS loved horses. My first horse was a model horse set from the mall...$20 to be exact that I used my own money to buy. I cannot tell you how proud I was. Anyways, I finally bothered my mom enough into setting up a riding lesson for me, it was actually one of my 8th Birthday gifts. My mom just scrolled through the phone book, and picked a stable. It turned out to be a professional dressage stable, but they did not teach kids, but they referred us to a student of theirs (also a professional dressage rider/trainer). The person I was referred to seven years ago is still my only instructor. I feel so fortunate to have found such a wonderful teacher from Day One.

I stuck with dressage because I simply love it. I love the feeling you have with your horse, when you are one. It's like dancing. It is the best feeling to me, it's so special. I cannot describe it in words. After my first horse died, after just six weeks of ownership, it was dressage, my passion, that kept me coming back the very next week for my lesson, and along with the support of my instructor, family and friends that helped me carry on through such a difficult time.

I do not believe I will ever switch disiplines. I have found my niche, my "thing". My long term goals are to ride Internationally (maybe even the Olympics).

Again, I can't really explain it...dressage just feels RIGHT to me.

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quote:

Originally posted by luvhorses223:

My long term goals are to ride Internationally (maybe even the Olympics).

Again, I can't really explain it...dressage just feels RIGHT to me.

One day the entire Olympic Team will be made up of people from Washington State, now won't it? [Wink]

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quote:

Originally posted by SpotsAtX:

quote:

Originally posted by luvhorses223:

My long term goals are to ride Internationally (maybe even the Olympics).

Again, I can't really explain it...dressage just feels RIGHT to me.

One day the entire Olympic Team will be made up of people from Washington State, now won't it?
[Wink]
Definitely [big Grin] !

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Actually, I'm more of a H/J, however I do Dressage because it helps the horse I'm riding and myself become more fit, in tune to eachother, and more balanced. Doing well on the flat for me means doing well over fences.

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I bought a horse, Breeze, and I just stuck with his trainer. I primarily wanted to even Breeze, but I started doing a bunch of rated shows, and did really well. When Breeze died, I didn't have much of a heart for eventing anymore, without my main man. So I started with just pure dressage. I ride for the hunter team at school, and I retrained an OTTB to be an eventer/hunter, and I play polocrosse, so I still get my speed fix.

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I started out, like every little kid, wanting to jump. Fortunately, I ended up with an instructor who was an eventer with a strong background in dressage.

I learned to love dressage and all of the benefits it has on your relationship with your horse, your horse's mental and physical health, and how it can improve you and your horse's ability to compete in other disciplines. Not to mention the physical workout for me!

I'm an eventer now, but I started out as solely a dressage rider and if I had to choose between jumping and dressage I would definitely pick dressage.

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I like what dressage does for the horse and the rider.

There is always a challenge and something to work towards!

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One thing I forgot to mention, that Boocoo roughly covered is that it DOES always give you something to strive for. There IS no perfect score in Dressage.

Dressage has helped severely with my OCD and my perfectionism through teaching me that the 100% is not always obtainable.

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It is breathtaking picture of harmony and connection.

Dressage is the foundation for all riding, plus I just LOVE working for that connection between horse adn rider, the point where as my trainer says "you are no longer horse adn rider, but one being."

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i do the hunters and equ but my trainer majors in dressage and it has done me a world of good infact i flat more then i jump while my heart will always be with jumping i am now also falling for dressage. My trainer let me rider her green dressage horse who is just one of a kind and it felt so good leg and seat to hand i then carried it over and flat all the horses i ride like dressage horses and it does me and them a world of good exspecaly the ones that i can't keep the attention of just to make them work on carring there neck and shifting there weight back helps it also helps me with my jumping because the horse has been well schooled on the flat i think everyone who jumps should have at least a w,t,c in a dressage fram backround it helps me so much now that i can half halt with my seat and not my hand!... i learned how to put a horse on the bit 2 years ago but yesterday i was ridding a horse that is very hard to flat always changing even my trainer said he is hard so that told me something. finally yesterday she look at me and said "my little caitlyns growing up she can ride the flat now!" and to here her say that just meant the world to me because she never says things liket that... i am not little though lol i'm 5'10

[ 01-13-2007, 09:33 PM: Message edited by: ShowJumpinGal ]

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In short, doing dressage is elegant and beautiful- two things that, truth be told, I myself am really not. But when my horse and I do dressage and get it right, I feel elegant and beautiful and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

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quote:

Originally posted by luvhorses223:

quote:

Originally posted by SpotsAtX:

quote:

Originally posted by luvhorses223:

My long term goals are to ride Internationally (maybe even the Olympics).

Again, I can't really explain it...dressage just feels RIGHT to me.

One day the entire Olympic Team will be made up of people from Washington State, now won't it?
[Wink]
Definitely
[big Grin]
!

Be sure to save room for one lonely PA girl who is larning dressage out of a hunter barn because there are no dressage barns. lol [Razz]

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Most people laugh but we are taking dressage to become a better trail riding partnership. Out there we must leg yield, side pass, turn on haunches or forehand to get out or around obstacles and most of all be focused to be safe. Learning this discipline makes our communication much clearer.

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In my opinion, dressage is something everyone should be doing a lot of along with their other chosen discipline.

Dressage not only re-enforces the every day aids you use for all disciplines you might be doing with your horse, but it increases balance, rhythm, mucles, trust. It can be boring but its so crucial to proper riding.

I think dressage is without a doubt one of the harder disciplines.

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I love my horse and dressage.

Today I had a lesson with my trainer and it was so nice to have someone tell me "This is amazing work; you will knock the socks off of everyone at show season". My instructor also commented that "top 5 at regionals should not be a question; it should be a question of reserve or champion". This comment just made me melt because my instructor is BLUNTLY HONEST!! I've known my instructor since I started riding at 15 yr old in 4-H. I'm 28 and just started taking regular lessons last year because I could finally afford it and I just really want to improve myself and my horse. We are currently schooling and have shown 2nd level and will be adding half-pass and flying lead changes soon for 3rd level.

My horse is a 3/4 arabian, 1/4 saddlebred. He was bred to be a saddleseat horse, but what you breed for doesn't always work as planned, so I decided when I was breaking him out as a late 3 -4 yr old, that he was going to be a sport horse. He had the temperament, smart, willing and athletic.

I love dressage because of the connection you make with your horse. It's not something that you can just pick up on a whim; it takes time and a commitment. I used to be a "rail" person, but I honestly can't stand to ride the rail anymore. You can't do dressage with a horse without a bond.

The horse I've had since he was born, I owned his mother and showed he when I was in high school on the class "A" Arabian circuit in country English pleasure. My mare has since passed away, due to complications of EPM [Frown][Me Cry] . His sire, which my trainer used to ride, was put down two years ago after a colic bout. I remember bringing my mare over to be bred and the owner of the stud saying "This baby will be something special". Special is understating my horse. He's everything any rider could ask for.

The dressage work I do with my horse really makes us think and work hard. It's just my style, I am a scientist by day, a dressage rider/crazy horse person all the time.

I love dressage because it's work and there is no such thing a perfect. I am always striving for improvment!!

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i ahve to admit i am a die hard jumper. my first serious instructor taught me to jump and she lived for dressage. i thought it was boring and tedious i just wanted to jump anything hi and fast! ( i was also 13) then my next trainer, once i bought my horse was training us for 3 day eventing mostly because i still had the crazy streak and wanted to try my hand at cross country. dont get me wrong i'm still a bit off lol [Crazy] but when in training i learned dressage isnt boring. it takes a lot of time and concentration its an art of communication between horse and rider. i came to respect the sport and dont get me wrong if my horse were up for it i'd still be jumping (he has arthritis) but dressage has changed my whole way of riding, it truely helps your performance in any discipline. and the more i do it the more i become passionate about it. i simply love it!

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