Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dressage and all it entails

Mary Hanna with Limbo
I have followed such esteemed riders as the Roycrofts,
Andrew Hoy,Matt Ryan, Gillian Rolton and Brook Staples
through their Eventing

Dressage: Mary Hanna with Mosaic and then Limbo, 
Rachael Downs and Aphrodite 
and look forward to watching
Hayley Beresford with 13 year old Relampago do Retiro 
just to name a few. 

The Olympics, especially, leave me in awe of these 
and I am glued to the television for the duration.
just watching horse and rider as one is amazing.
I did go down to the Sydney 2000 Olympics and
I couldn't decide which events I was going down to see 
but my daughter (who must be obeyed)
decided on Beach Volleyball 
(and 3 others we never did get to) 
as we sat in front of the Sports Illustrated people and spent the rest of our time catching up with what they had seen 
and getting results and comments from their news bus.
Then a shop-a-thon at Bondi
So I missed watching Kirby Park Jester in action
and I have always loved greys!


Megan Jones and Kirby Park Jester who had been in the dressage top 5 at every major event major event they contested.
(Scores: 72.33%,73% and 66%)

What is Dressage?

A French word that roughly translates as "training" - the basic training of all riding horses (and other animals, for that matter). Dressage and horse riding are among the world's oldest sporting activities.Otherwise known as "Flat Work" Dressage training creates a horse that is more comfortable, safe and easy to ride.

In competitive dressage, riders progress through of tests of ever increasing difficulty. Each test is a set routine of movements designed to show the suppleness, obedience and strength of the horse. Judges award marks for the quality and precision of the performance and also give collective marks for horse and rider.

Hence the nightmare begins for me to understand, comprehend and come to grips with all this.

So here we go:

Start here

then if still not totally confused

Still with me, you are a trouper, now for some more heavy work
The Object and General Principles of Dressage

The object of dressage is the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse. As a result it makes the horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the rider.

These qualities are revealed by:

    * The freedom and regularity of the paces
    * The harmony, lightness and ease of the movements
    * The lightness of the forehand and the engagement of the hind quarters, originating in a lively impulsion
    * The acceptance of the bridle with submissiveness throughout and without any tenseness or resistance.

The horse thus gives the impression of doing of its own accord what is required of it. Confident and attentive the horse submits generously to the control of the rider, remaining absolutely straight in any movement on a straight line and bending accordingly when moving on curved lines.

The walk is regular, free and unconstrained. The trot is free, supple, regular, sustained and active. The canter is united, light and cadenced. The quarters are never inactive or sluggish. They respond to the slightest indication of the rider and thereby give life and spirit to all the rest of the body.

By virtue of a lively impulsion with the suppleness of the joints, free from the paralysing effects of resistance, the horse obeys willingly and without hesitation and responds to the various aids calmly and with precision, displaying a natural axial harmonious balance both physically and mentally.

In all the work, even at the halt, the horse must be on the bit. A horse is said to be on the bit when the neck is more or less raised and arched according to the stage of training and extension or collection of the pace, and the horse accepts the bridle with a light and soft contact and submissiveness throughout. The head should remain in a steady position, as a rule slightly in front of the vertical, with a supple poll as the highest point of the neck, and no resistance should be offered to the rider.

Cadence is a result of the proper harmony that a horse shows when it moves with well marked regularity, impulsion and balance. The rhythm that a horse maintains in all the paces is an integral part of the exercises and in the variations of the pace.


Sorry, needed a break
So what spurred on this delving into Dressage?
A grey known as "The Boy" of course 
But more on him in the next installment,  

this is quite long enough for now

but I must leave you with a hint of "The Boy"

Whet your appetite?
His friends and life coming next!


Linda said...

Whooo Hooo - his photo on a blog. Just the thing to keep him on track for his coming events.

I love Dressage and Show Jumping - did the show jumping in earlier years, but it never leaves your heart and to get first hand information about a beautiful Grey Gentleman is really wonderful.

Great Post
Love and hugs,

Lynne said...

Thank you, can't wait to get his post up now

Oceanic Gypsies said...

Great stuff Lynne, very interesting. I'm always in awe watching these riders and the one-ness in which they and their horses move.

Oceanic Gypsies said...

PS: LoL at your "need a break" pic!

Lynne said...

The need a break pickie was taken on our local beach where there are horse and camel rides. fun to watch and better to do!

allbagsout said...

Great blog. I love dressage, poetry in motion :-)My horses are just paddock ornaments now, and wallet emptiers lol
Cheers Ruth