From Endurance to Dressage
Riding Figures - Part 1
After riding with Leslie Webb, I realized that while I have some theoretical dressage knowledge gained by reading, it is not enough. Cha Ching's mom and I were laughing over the correct pronunciation of renvers (haunches out) and travers, haunches in. There, we've both learned something today. Anyway ... I realized that dressage is not just having a good seat and hands, but it's also about accuracy. How can I ride a test accurately if I don't know what each figure should look like? I started web surfing and found this great Wikipedia article on riding the figures. By great, I mean simple and easy to understand.
So, here is part 1, straight from Wikipedia ...
Riding figures are figures performed in a riding arena, usually for training purposes. Figures may also be performed out in a field or other open area, but a riding arena provides markers that can help indicate the correctness in the size or shape of a figure.
The riding school, showing its centerline from A to C, and two quarterlines.
Ring figures are a valuable training aid, giving the rider feedback as to his horse's training and weaknesses. A poorly-executed ring figure may point out where the rider is lacking in control, and areas in which the horse needs additional training. For example, when riding down the diagonal, a rider may struggle to keep his horse on the correct path, suggesting issues with straightness. A poorly performed 20-meter circle may indicate that the horse is not truly between the aids, perhaps falling out through a shoulder, or that the rider is sitting crookedly.
Figures are required components of dressage tests, are used in reining competition, and may also be asked for in equitation classes. Additionally, jumping courses may often be broken up into riding figures.
It is important to work the horse on figures in both directions, to ensure an equal build of muscle on either side.
End of part 1 ... more to come.
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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
State Rider Awards
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CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
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Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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