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Harmony is born out of a genuine empathy for the horse and a compassionate awareness of the mental and physical impact of the work on the horse.

Classical Dressage for the Good of the Horse

Classical dressage can be translated, "fine training" - capriole, piaffe, levade - yet itís more than that. It defines quality in horsemanship at every stage, even at, and most importantly at, the "lowest levels". Classical dressage is about aspiring to perfection; perfect communication, perfect balance, perfect coordination, perfect feel, perfect timing, perfect harmony. Relentlessly striving to improve skill and understanding and raising the bar, yet never being satisfied that we, as riders, have truly achieved perfection on our part. We can always be more subtle in our aiding. We can always have more feel. However, this striving for perfection is not just so we can pat ourselves on the back, thinking weíre somehow superior. It is truly because when we strive to ride better, itís beneficial to the horse. The purpose behind classical dressage is to improve the experience for the horse. Characteristics of classical dressage are, imperceptible aids given by the rider, precision and light contact with the bit that results from gymnastically increasing the bending and weight carrying ability of the haunches and an obvious expression of enjoyment in the horse. Horses that are strong enough and riders who are interested can go on to the extremely collected movements and airs above the ground. That said, most horses are not that strong, and many riders are not interested in pursuing dressage to that extent, however, they can still uphold classical values when they ride their best for the good of their horses.

2000 - 2008 © Tonja Dausend  - Terms of Use

last updated April, 2008