View Full Version : Come to Jesus...Dressage does work

Sep. 23, 2009, 09:55 AM
I grew up in H/J land, where we did do a looot of flatwork, thankfully. So I moved onto Eventing and that was good, dressage made sense. The dressage was always a challegne with my retired uber-bitch mare who just wanted to jump. But we worked hard at it....

Then was out of riding for a while, when I did it was hunting on friend's horses or whatever I could get my hands on.

Got back into it, was doing the hunter/jumper thing. Then I got a 8 year old TB mare as a field hunter prospects. Thinigs moving nicely, and then she BLEW DDFT.

Long story, got her sound, no more jumping. Hello Full Time Dressage Rider.

Put the jumping saddle in storage, put away all of jumping bits. Sad face: my threee ring elevator is pretty :( and embraced dressage full time for the first time in 25 years of riding.

And, horror of horrors: I love it! Still like to jump, but wow, the surge of getting the TB Mare to actually go on the bit and drive from behind versus just TROT REALLY FAST. I get a greater sense of accomplishment than from jumping a prelim XC course or a 1.5 meter course. Is that werid?

We still have big issues to work on...canter departs, for example cause major mental meltdowns, but it is coming along.

Anyone else had the come to Jesus Dressage moment?

Sep. 23, 2009, 10:23 AM
I'm right there with you, sister.

I'm 45+ now, been riding since I was five (pony club, eventing, trail riding, you name it) and dressage is really growing, growing, growing on me!

Sep. 23, 2009, 10:24 AM
Congratulations! Glad it's going so well for you!

Sep. 23, 2009, 10:40 AM
yes i grew up in h/j land as well. i have been riding since i was 3, i'm now 28. i love dressage and think it requires a lot of skill to do it correctly. i love watching my horse grow a top line.

Sep. 23, 2009, 11:57 AM
hee hee, you're hooked.

I'm one of those lifelong horse lovers who didn't get one until I was in my 40s. I did breed shows for ~10 years, then decided there had to be more to horses than letting your trainer have all the fun. So I decided to learn how to ride. I really didn't think about dressage as a discipline. It was just a way to learn how to ride better.

And, you are right. There is nothing like being connected -- really connected -- to your horse. The balance, the straightness, the power from behind. Sometimes, when it really comes together, I ride around yelling "wheeeeeee!!!!" And I don't care who hears me.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Sep. 23, 2009, 12:56 PM
You too have been seduced by the Dark Side of the Force - welcome!!!!

Alpha Mare
Sep. 23, 2009, 01:08 PM
count me in. I am one of those middle aged reriders that found a horse that made me make the jump into horse ownership (grew up with horses but stopped riding when I went to college). I took dressage lessons as a way to get back into being a rider - and as each little step is accomplished I feel that fabulous glow of joy of 'harmony' with my horse. So now I am hooked on the training scale.

And I am glad to hear others yell too - sometimes it is so fabulous for me that we (I) finally get something right and the mare responds with a beautiful gait - I want to shout to the heavens to celebrate.

Sep. 23, 2009, 01:10 PM
I am a horse show mom who only pleasure rides. My daughter has been riding hunters all her life and started riding dressage when she was 12. She has always said how much dressage helps every aspect of her riding.

Two instances stand out for me when I "got it."

Now mind you, I am a pleasure rider and just to humor me she did the trail class with her sizeable hano at the state show. She was state trail champion that year executing a lot of her dressage moves :)

The second time was her final year at state and her dream was to get into the equitation classic. She was seeded third going into the finals, until the Judge called the next tests and she executed them beautifully. As she cantered past, she had the biggest grin on her face and said "I just love my dressage horsie"

Sep. 23, 2009, 03:38 PM
My chilhood dream was to learn to jump. Got there, did it. But when it came time to have my own horses, the lure of dressage training to develop them properly was irresistable. Fast forward several years and I've totally moved over to the 'dark side'.

I still love the hunters, but as a spectator and horse show mom now. But for me personally, dressage is more challenging and fulfilling.