Many books have been written about dressage.
Through these books and other sources, we have heard of many
theories, which can sometimes lead to frustration if we cannot
transfer these theories into action when we sit on the horse's
back. It is important that we study riding theory so that our
philosophy is built on as broad a foundation as possible. But it
is even more important to understand the physical and
psychological functions of the horse. With this knowledge, we
can effectively communicate with the horse to help him
understand what we are asking of him.
When we have studied all those dressage theories thoroughly,
the next step is to simplify in order to get a comprehensive
view. Many projects drown in theories and that is very often the
case with the education of horses. Many people think that riders
who can educate horses to Grand Prix must be extraordinarily
intelligent people…it is such a difficult task. This is not the
case. Riders who educate horses to Grand Prix are often people
who have the ability to simplify and ride with a plan; riders
who are stubborn, hard working, and who dare to take a chance.
It is important that we develop a personal style, building on
our individuality, rather than merely copying other riders. But
even though it’s right to have our own philosophy and to do
things our own way, there are certain rules that apply to
everyone. It is important that we always have goals toward which
we are working, and that we always stick to them, maintaining
consistency. The ultimate goal must always be to allow the horse
to work in a form that makes it physically possible for him to
do what we ask. In other words, the horse should never feel
handicapped by his frame. This requires that we know a little
bit about the laws of nature so that we can work with, and not
against the horse. It also requires that our horse is supple,
well muscled and understands the rider's aids.
In addition, it is important that we as riders actually
understand what is behind all the expressions that we know so
well, such as:
The horse must
The horse must be
The poll must be
the highest point.
The horse's nose
should be in front of the vertical line.
I hope the information you will find in this book will help
you understand what all these expressions mean.
Thank you for your interest.