Monday, April 20, 2009

Classical Dressage

I aspire to be a Classical Dressage rider. I particularly love the way that horses trained with this thought in mind tend to be more proud in their carriage and light on the bit. I've seen many dressage horses that tend to be "held" in their head carriage. They are driven into the bit from behind. So they are both urged forward and held back. I have found that this tends to keep the horse from moving forward in a fluid way. They are moving forward, but their strides are not as flowing and beautiful to watch.

Any horse can be trained in the Classical way. "A horse which does not become more beautiful in its physical form, prouder in its carriage, more alert in its behavior as a result of training, a horse in which one does not see the pleasure in its own ability reflected in its pricked ears and the expression of its eyes, has been conditioned rather than trained in the classical sense." This is a quote from Colonel Handler. I truly believe this quote. I want my horse to be respectful and responsive, but at the same time I want him to have a joy about him that shows that he loves his work/play. This is very important to me.

I'm not sure how to get there, but every day I chip away at the block of knowledge hoping that the end product, Destino and I as partners, makes a fluid and beautiful portrait. We'll see!

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