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-Henrik Johansen


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Henrik's Letter of Introduction
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Dear Rider,

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 carry himself.

  • The horse must be in balance.

  • 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.

Henrik Johansen


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Copyright © by Positive Riding, Dressage Theory and Discussion for Trainers, Instructors and Riders All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2006-08-04 (7157 reads)

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