Dressage is All about the basics, wether you are just starting out in Dressage or you have been riding Dressage for a while, keep these simple tips in mind and your riding will improve!!
Dressage is French word that means “training.” Dressage is both the training of the horse and the rider. It’s really a sport of perfection and detail.
When I have a new student, the first thing that I start with is their position. “Only a rider in the correct position can give the correct aids.”
in Dressage we must keep a straight line from ear-shoulder-hip- heel. This alignment is essential to keep your balance and to absorb the motion of the horse.
Common mistakes – riders either end up in a chair seat, or they lean too far forward with the lower leg too far back!
Check-in with your alignment as you go through your ride! Your alignment will get off when you ride a transition or your horse spooks!!
2. Reins and contact
It is very important that you hold the reins correctly to establish steady contact with the horse’s mouth.
Keep the reins from slipping by pushing down between your thumb and forefinger
Maintain a bend in your elbows and supple your horse by moving your fingers and wrist (think scrambled eggs!)
Always keep a straight line between your elbow and the horses’ mouth.
3. The Aids
Once you’re in the correct position, the aids are what we use to actually communicate with the horse!
The Legs – the legs are the driving aids! You always want to start with the driving aids!
The seat – the main function of the seat is to absorb the motion of the horse!
The reins – these are the restraining aids. The reins are what you use to gather the energy of the horse and to slow them down!
Often, us Dressage Riders Tend to over-complicate everything! Remember to always check in with your position and at the end of the day, the leg means go, the rein means stop, and “only a rider in the correct position can make the correct aids!”
Like I said before dressage is about training it’s really all about basics so even advanced riders are always working on their position and the effective use of the aids. It never ends.