Round table with place settings

Dressage: Foundation for All Riding Disciplines

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Course Description 

This course is designed to help you understand the biomechanics and structural balancing of a horse’s movements.  Once that understanding is achieved, then applied, the student and horse can focus on the basic dressage exercises which lead to advanced performances.

The student learns to move the horse’s body correctly and efficiently so that gaits and muscular conformation are improved.  Instructor Tammy Fifer, a 20-year-veteran of dressage competition teaches “Classical Dressage”, first teaching the student to “observe” then practice. Her easy-to-understand teaching style assures when it comes to dressage, you can do it!

Course Outline

              I. Introduction
                  A. Explanation of Terms and Phrases
                  B. Glossary
                  C. Questions
                  D. Tasks

            II. Laying the Groundwork
                  A. Learning to Look at Your Horse
                        1. Identify Problems
                        2. Identify Strong Points
                 B. Checking Tack Fit and Appropriateness
                 C. Questions
                 D. Tasks

            III. In-hand Work
                  A. Moving the Horse's Body
                  B. Moving Parts of the Horse's Body
                  C. Loosening and Strengthening
                        1. Chain of Muscles
                  D. Questions
                  E. Tasks

           IV. Lunging & Lunge-Lining
                  A. Get Him Going
                  B. Show and Tell
                  C. Speed, Relaxation, Rhythm
                  D. Ground Poles & Cones
                  E. Questions
                  F. Tasks

               V. Rider's Seat 
                   A. Balance in Your Seat
                         1. Hips
                         2. Seat Bones
                         3. Legs
                  B. Balance in Your Upper Body
                         1. Torso
                         2. Chest & Arms
                         3. Head
                  C. Hands
                  D. Questions
                  E. Tasks

           VI. Horse and Rider Exercises
                   A. Doubles & U-turns
                   B. Corners & Squares
                          1. Turn-on-Forehand Under Saddle
                   C. Circles and Spirals
                   D. Figure Eights
                   E. Questions
                   F. Tasks

          VII. Lengthening & Collection
                  A. Questions
                  B. Task
         VIII. Lateral work
                  A. Simple Leg Yield
                  B. Counter Bend on Circle
                  C. Half-Pass
                  D. Questions
                  E. Tasks

           IX. Arena craft
                  A. Know Your Geometry
                         1. Circles & Squares
                  B. The L E T T E R S
                  C. Important Strategies
                  D. The Test and Scoring
                  E. Questions
                  F. Tasks