How to introduce your horse to dressage?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by RidingOnDreams, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. RidingOnDreams

    RidingOnDreams Full Member

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    I mainly ride hunter or general English, so I am no expert in dressage. I have only shown dressage once and worked on it for a month or so.
    My horse is an 11 year old Paint gelding named Chief and I would like to start working with him on some dressage. I am hoping it will improve our transitions, form, and riding in general for hunter/jumper/eq work.
    So I was wondering what would be a good way to introduce your horse (and self) to dressage? What are some basic techniques, training exercises, tips, etc?​
     
  2. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Take a dressage lesson or two?
     
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  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I hope you find this advice in the spirit of convevial friendship it was intended:

    1. Ask people in the local dressage club for recommendations for an instructor
    2. Take lessons from that instructor

    There is really no way anyone can recommend exercises or techniques without a real in-depth familiarity with your horse and your riding. Compared to hunt seat, the aids are different and the position and tack are different (bits are different at this point, you won't need a dressage saddle for a while).
     
  4. RidingOnDreams

    RidingOnDreams Full Member

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    The barn I ride at doesn't really offer dressage. There is one lady but I hate her.
    Would it be bad/not beneficial to self teach dressage?
     
  5. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    It would be immensely beneficial to find someone to guide you through what you are looking for, I could not imagine trying to self teach dressage, I have enough trouble getting the feel right when I have a coach there walking me through it.

    If you have no knowledge, and your horse has no knowledge, who is going to lead the learning experience.
     
  6. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    It depends on what you think dressage is.

    You're most likely riding "dressage" whether you know it or not. Dressage isn't necessarily it's own separate thing. Yes, you can compete in dressage but that's just a way to showcase the journey towards correct riding and movement.

    The biggest problem people have when they attempt to self-teach is they tend to ride the head, not the rear. They see dressage horses "in a frame" and they try to achieve it by using their reins. That's backwards. The goal is to work the horse forward into the bit. But that's a very difficult thing to self-teach - it's difficult enough with an instructor!

    So when you say you want to work on dressage, what exactly do you mean?
     
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  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    No, it would not be. That's one thing you can't teach yourself.

    Why is this lady so deserving of hate? Could you be going a little bit....overboard...in...hating her? That seems a bit much.
     
  8. RidingOnDreams

    RidingOnDreams Full Member

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    I know what it means to actually ride in correct frame. You engage their hind end and push them into the bridle with your legs. I'm not looking to do really intense dressage. I simply want to improve the dressage techniques already incorporated into general English riding. I guess I should have phrased my question differently lol
     
  9. RidingOnDreams

    RidingOnDreams Full Member

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    I have a coach who works with me and helped me when I first learned some dressage. It's just something I wanted to improve on on my own.
     
  10. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    ^^ exactly. Dressage means basically study or a study. You can get a little way on your own, learning basics but..it's very important you realize you may have to unlearn if your position/seat/hands are wrong. Trust me, they usually are.
    Where are you located roughly? Perhaps someone will know a trainer or organization nearby to steer you to.

    Relax and enjoy yourself. Welcome-!!
     

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