This is a group for all dressage people who have questions, advice, news, accomplishiments, pics, anything you want to share. Dressage rocks!!!

Location: International
Members: 276
Latest Activity: Nov 5, 2017

Dressage Fanatics

Hey Dressage Fanatics! Here you are free to share everything dressage. If you have a problem with your horse, start a discussion and see if you get any advice. If you just went to a big CDI and have some great pics, post them for all to see. You don't have to worry about being critizied for being a dressage freak. I hope everyone enjoys this group!!!

Discussion Forum

Raising the bar of Dressage Culture - In Praise of a "Schoolmaster"! 1 Reply

Hello All! My name is Muriel Chestnut and I have been involved in the Equestrian - specifically Dressage - community for a very long time it seems now! - over 25 years! However, I am new to this site…Continue

Tags: Natural Horsemanship, Iberian., Schoolmaster, Dressage

Started by Muriel Chestnut. Last reply by SUSIE-SOLOMON-MABE Dec 1, 2011.

Perfect the Basics Clinic & Symposium #3 with Belinda Trussell

Perfect the Basics Clinic & Symposium #3Learn how to properly ride lateral work from Olympic and 2-time World Equestrian Games competitor Belinda Trussell!Saturday, February 19, 2011! All rider…Continue

Started by Justin Ridgewell Feb 1, 2011.

Clinic with Canadian Belinda Trussell 1 Reply

  Perfect the Basics Clinic & Symposium Serieswith Canadian Olympian / 2x WEG Team member Belinda TrussellreturnsSaturday January 22nd, 2011 !!at Oakcrest Farms Follow the link for more…Continue

Started by Justin Ridgewell. Last reply by Justin Ridgewell Jan 19, 2011.

Comment Wall


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Comment by vickie lawson on February 7, 2012 at 3:46am

Thanks Ellin and Mary! I do take lessons regularly with a top coach here in NZ who is also a List 2 judge. The trouble is getting the movement in the tests. But I am happy many times with my training and progress. I just get so discouraged when I see what Im up against. Others seem to find it so easy and their horses must be doing a far better job!! But thanks for the support!!


Comment by Susana Rodriguez on February 7, 2012 at 3:04am

Andalusians for dressage located in Spain

From trainig level to Grand Prix; stars and prospects. We offer assesment in the purchase of your andalusian, taylor made searches and export.
There is an Andalusian within your budget !
Offering a son of Fuego XII (not in the webpage, private treaty) 6 years old, 4th level,getting  ready for PSG

Comment by Mary McGuire Smith on February 1, 2012 at 9:14pm

I agree with Ellin.  Dressage scores can only tell you a fraction of what you need to know, and riding regularly in front of a qualified, knowledgeable instructor is crucial to your (and your horse's) progress.  Even we professionals don't ride/train alone.

Comment by Ellin McGinley Daum on February 1, 2012 at 5:41pm

Don't let the marks discourage you from enjoying dressage, Vickie.  Look for an improvement instead and work with a good coach if there is one near you.  The joy is in the process.

Comment by vickie lawson on February 1, 2012 at 12:33am

starting to think higher level dressage is beyond me! marks are very discouraging!


Comment by Christopher Hyams on January 19, 2012 at 8:25pm

There's a new post on

It may give you insight into how it IS done, rahter than how it is NOT.


Comment by Christopher Hyams on January 10, 2012 at 10:54am

new post on

May teh horse be with you!

Comment by vickie lawson on January 8, 2012 at 5:59pm

Hi Mary:  Thanks for that. I agree she is lazy to the leg and I probably, as you suggest haven't been insisting every ride, every minute that she wake up to the aids. So I am going to focus on this.  I am lucky that I can forest ride her here in nz on lovely sand tracks that are up and down hill, so I also practice getting her to work outside the arena, which also is lovely for building strength, muscle and stamina. Unfortunately with work, I don't get out there as much as I wish. Thanks again for the advice and your effort in putting it nicely into text, I will be more diligent.


Comment by Mary McGuire Smith on January 8, 2012 at 1:51pm

Vicki, extension is developed from collection.  Focus on further developing the throughness, strength and straightness in your mare to truly carry herself in a balanced way and you will "automatically" be developing the best medium/extended trot your mare can produce. (Keep in mind that not all horses possess the ability for phenomenal medium/extended gaits, but all horses possess the ability to do the best gaits their conformation allows with a correct foundation).  The key is in developing the overall athlete.

In your work which you describe at the end, it sounds as though you are going through the correct exercises to accomplish quality med/ext....BUT, if the horse is not TRULY in front of your leg, then the entire body of the work is not only unproductive, it is counterproductive.  

Think of the huge amount of effort that is put forward when a serious body builder is doing his/her takes incredible effort to build that muscle mass...this is seen every time they work out by the fact that their breathing increases, their muscles bulge, they become sweaty even though the room temperature is chilly to the observer. It actually doesn't look very pretty or pleasant because of the amount of effort they put forward to build.

They work in a very logical progressive way, yes, but they are also very keen to push the envelope just a bit past the current point of their physical ability every day.  And they repeat that almost every day.  

Very, Very few of us ride our horses like they are athletes.  Very few of us allow our "personal trainers" to push us and our horses to receive the maximum effect from the maximum effort.

 And one more point....I am sure your trainer is just trying to show you how it "could" be by coming into the arena with buggy whip/baggie; but resist the urge to try to "show the mare how you want her to move" that way.  

When she moves under herself due to excitement, you lose the suppleness in the topline, and she becomes a "leg mover", which is a false movement and undermines future correct athletic development of the entire horse.

To recap:

Make sure the horse is and stays truly in front of your leg for the entire ride.  To accomplish this you may have to instill a much bigger reaction to your aids than you are getting now.  She sounds lazy to the leg (I am not criticizing your mare--MOST horses are or become lazy to the leg since it is such a big effort every day), so you have to sensitize her effectively.

Make sure you work your horse (with your trainer's supervision as many rides as possible, and clear "homework" instructions in between) to the absolute top of her physical ability each ride. 

To this end, have a clear picture of your daily training goal for each ride before you get on, and be flexible ONLY enough to focus on what your horse needs in the moment to get you to that overall daily goal.

Only bite off what your horse can chew, but make that bite big enough to truly satisfy the appetite for that day.

I know this is a lot of analogy, but I think you will get the meaning of what I am saying---it is not so much the mechanics of what you are doing that may not be is probably more about the amount of "torque" you are getting from those mechanics.  I hope this helps.

Good luck!

Comment by vickie lawson on January 8, 2012 at 10:52am

Hi. Im not getting the movement I so desire. I have a rising 6 yr old who has been under saddle for 3 yrs. And her just turned 4 yr old brother. The 6 yr old isn't giving my med paces- especially at the trot. She has them in her, like when my coach comes into the arena with a buggy whip with a plastic bag on the end, she can really move under herself then......


Ive tried adjusting the pace inside the trot work, and transitions, but  she is not stepping under herself and driving forward. 





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