From Endurance to Dressage
Back to Dressage
I've been posting everything EXCEPT dressage related posts this last week. Although buying a new DRESSAGE horse and a new DRESSAGE saddle probably count as dressage topics. In any case, I've had a few AHA! moments these last few days and wanted to share.
I've said this before, but being stuck at Introductory Level is a bit frustrating and very humbling. I've been boo-hooing about it for quite some time. After reading something about performing the canter pirouette, I had a better understanding of the organization of the dressage tests and their corresponding levels. What I figured out is that mastery of each level gives the skills necessary for the next level. To give an analogy: you can't do long division if you can't subtract. Until Speedy G and I can maintain a steady rhythm in a relaxed frame (subtraction), we won't get a steady contact which is necessary for connection (long division).
Riding Introductory Level and Training Level are all about teaching rhythm and relaxation. Without those two things, we can't get true connection. But as Speedy G gets more rhythmical and relaxed, I am feeling connection developing. For some reason, this idea of mastering lower level skills has given me some motivation. Speedy and I can't ever advance until we get those bottom tiers of the pyramid mastered. How many times has it been said, there are no shortcuts in dressage?
I am off to the Moorpark schooling show today and will keep it in mind that my goals should be demonstration of rhythm and relaxation.
7/9/2011 10:16:43 am
Please do not feel that you cannot shoot for the top. I like to think of the scale as more of a cycle with positive feedback loops than a pyramid. Even a beginning horse can experience collection with walk-halt-reinback-walk transitions and a few turns of the haunches, no matter how imperfect, may give the horse and rider a new body awareness. I personally do not like the whole "level" deal and feel that this pigeonholes riders and horses more than is necessary. But then again, my focus is not showing. ;)
7/10/2011 07:19:07 am
Val - thanks for the comment! I read it right after a dismal test in Moorpark and was bolstered a bit by your comment! :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
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Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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