Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Reflections on the Sport of Dressage

There are a very small handful of persons in my area that ride anything besides Western. I’ve only had my English tack for a year now, so I’m still relatively new to the concepts of it all. But I have SO enjoyed studying dressage and classical horsemanship over the past year and one thing I have learned over and over again is that no matter what discipline you do, there is some dressage involved.
Because dressage just means training.
Nothing special.
Just training you and your horse.
That’s all dressage is.  J

Dressage has now become a sport that prompts ideas of absolute precision, technicalities, and horse abuse. Sadly, that is the truth in a lot of circles. But I don’t understand why it has to be that way because a lot of good dressage riders are focused on relaxation, balance, and proper carriage. All of which are vital for an equine athlete.
Most dressage exercises have been modified and simplified into “flat work” exercises that everyone uses. Serpentines and circles and flexibility and the like… Jumpers and eventers and solely dressage riders – everyone uses them!
Is it that some people just don’t care for the technical aspects of the sport? Or the repetitive nature that it sometimes has? Or what, exactly?  Do I just have a mental block about this?

I'm obviously still travelling and haven't ridden a horse in several weeks... lots of thinking going on!

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