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View Full Version : When is it Dressage and When is it just flatwork



CounterCanterer
Mar. 6, 2011, 11:35 PM
I think the title says it all.

netg
Mar. 7, 2011, 12:40 AM
If I could decide how the world worked, all flatwork would be basic dressage, for all disciplines. Think training level/first level, getting rhythm, suppleness, balance.

To me the actual difference in the two is your intention of how you want to continue. I don't care if you ever want to show, but if you don't want to increase levels of collection, get the horse to lift its front end, etc., I don't call it dressage. You may not REACH the upper levels in dressage even if you want, but if you want to improve and work toward the top of the training pyramid, and are doing your best (and that varies widely from one person to another) I think it's dressage.

poltroon
Mar. 7, 2011, 12:46 AM
A rider with true training in dressage is probably always doing basic dressage when doing flatwork. However, a lot of riders have never been taught true dressage basics - most likely because they've never ridden a dressage schoolmaster. I don't mean, in this case, an FEI type horse, but just that they've never ridden a horse that goes properly forward and round and light in the bridle when you use seat and leg properly. And, you can't learn it if you've never ridden a horse that rewards you for doing it right.

Janet
Mar. 7, 2011, 09:58 AM
To the extent that "dressage" is "training", all flat work is dressage.

But to me it is matter of intention.

If I go on a trail ride focusing on balanced transitions, on the bit, and lateral work (e.g., legyield from one side of the trail to the other) it is dressage.

If I go on a trail ride, working on strengthening my 2-point, it is not dressage.

If I work in the ring, even if I am jumping, it almost always includes some dressage.

Velvet
Mar. 7, 2011, 11:13 AM
To the extent that "dressage" is "training", all flat work is dressage.

This. :yes:

Hacking out is being a passenger, not really asking for anything other than walk, trot, canter and halt on a trail--without carrying how it looks, feels, etc.

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 7, 2011, 12:23 PM
At Second Level, the beginnings of collection, dressage truly becomes Dressage as distinct from just basic flatwork applicable to all riding disciplines.

Timex
Mar. 7, 2011, 12:57 PM
But that's not a clarification the OP made, so the very general question is open to a very broad range on answers and interpretations. For me, every ride contains some aspect of dressage, regardless of what we're doing or the horse I'm on. Is it 'Dressage' or am I using the same interpretation that Janet is, well, that's not the question the OP asked. ;)

rileyt
Mar. 7, 2011, 01:04 PM
The question as posed presumes (incorrectly in my view) that "flatwork" is somehow inferior to "dressage". (When is it "just" flatwork?)

The answer in my mind is this: Flatwork and Dressage are synonymous. Hunter people often call it "flatwork" and dressage people often call it "dressage"... but the bottom line is its the same thing. That doesn't mean it isn't often done poorly by both camps.

Petstorejunkie
Mar. 7, 2011, 01:31 PM
to me, the difference is where your passion lies.

May sound quirky, and make your eyes swirl in your head, but even approaching a 4' fence I'm riding dressage. Flatwork is for people who haven't been "awakened" in my book

walktrot
Mar. 7, 2011, 01:37 PM
This. :yes:

Hacking out is being a passenger, not really asking for anything other than walk, trot, canter and halt on a trail--without carrying how it looks, feels, etc.

There's lots of work that can be done hacking out, depending on where you are and what kind of trails. You could do some lateral work, transitions between and within gaits, etc. Every time you have contact with your horse you are training him to something.

ShotenStar
Mar. 7, 2011, 01:50 PM
There's lots of work that can be done hacking out, depending on where you are and what kind of trails. You could do some lateral work, transitions between and within gaits, etc. Every time you have contact with your horse you are training him to something.

And having some solid dressage skills can save your bacon out on the trails ... leg yields keep knees from being smacked into trees, collection makes negotiating steep hills easier and safer, transitions keep you from running over the horse in front of you, etc. My trail-riding buddies get tired of me and my fairly frequent comments about dressage on the trails. But they will also acknowledge that I have far fewer 'incidents' with my horse than they do.

*star*

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 7, 2011, 02:40 PM
to me, the difference is where your passion lies.

May sound quirky, and make your eyes swirl in your head, but even approaching a 4' fence I'm riding dressage. Flatwork is for people who haven't been "awakened" in my book

Well, of course there is a lot to be said for that view. That is the European/military approach to learning to ride. I think that the United States Pony Club chapters also follow in that tradition.

A while back there was a long discussion about the invention of "hunt seat" riding by George Morris (he took the "forward seat" invented by the Italians to a new dimension.) If I remember correctly, GM stated basically that he used "hunt seat" to teach beginners, because the old military method was just too long and slow to hold a student's interest, particularly when they wanted to jump. So it was a lot quicker to just teach them to ride in half seat and stay out of the way of the horse. In the process, he created many riders who were truly just "passengers."

In my view, it is very telling to see the European grand prix jumpers warm up before their rounds as opposed to the American riders (with a very few exceptions all being in their 50s.) The European horses are all straight, round, on the bit and forward. The American horses....well, see for yourself sometime while they do their "flatwork." ;)

EasyStreet
Mar. 7, 2011, 03:00 PM
I think all flatwork that is done to develope the horse both physically and mentally is dressage!:yes:.....There are both flatwork and dressage being done that DO NOT fit that discription!:no:

WNT
Mar. 7, 2011, 03:11 PM
I was more or less taught that jumping is dressage with jumps thrown in the way. As far as I am concerned, any time I am riding (barring hacking on the buckle), I am doing dressage. Even doing conditioning/hill work (trotting or galloping), I want my horse to carry himself properly so his muscles get worked correctly. That's dressage.

Velvet
Mar. 7, 2011, 03:14 PM
Okay, so then I guess we've decided it's a term and only a term. It's "flatwork" in the US and it's "dressage" in France. :yes: :lol:

poltroon
Mar. 7, 2011, 03:52 PM
Having grown up as a hunter rider, I don't think most hunter riders do dressage for their flatwork. The best ones do some, because they have more exposure, and the jumper riders are more likely to do dressage than the hunter riders. Flatwork may include some figures, and some lateral work, and some changes of length of stride, but there's not emphasis on having the horse working from behind in the same way. There's an emphasis more on precision than on the active hind leg.

I don't mean this as a criticism, just that they are different.

Dressage riders, for example, don't expect a horse to canter from a walk until second level. You can't even do a baby flat class in hunters without this skill.

Hunters expect 4 year olds to have a reliable, flat, lead change. In dressage, it is not expected until third level.

In hunter equitation, a flat counter canter is fine, as long as the lead is obediently held. In dressage, that counter canter must have a great deal of expression from behind. A prizewinning eq rider will find that the work she wins with in the hunter equitation ring, while it may have the same name, will get 5's or 6's from a dressage judge.

Velvet
Mar. 7, 2011, 04:00 PM
Dressage riders, for example, don't expect a horse to canter from a walk until second level. You can't even do a baby flat class in hunters without this skill.

Hunters expect 4 year olds to have a reliable, flat, lead change. In dressage, it is not expected until third level.

Um, yeah, that's for SHOWING the level. That doesn't mean we don't do it earlier in their training. These are broad assumptions that we don't start these movements earlier in the horses life or training.

Goes to show that the term "flatwork" can be applied in many ways. You are assuming it's only used for hunters. I believe the OP was not making that distinction, but rather thought in dressage work it could be called either one at different times, or that one was used for hacking and the other for more specfic training.

betonbill
Mar. 7, 2011, 04:02 PM
Flatwork vs dressage, you can call it by different names but it's basically the same until you start to add in some collection. Then it changes. If it makes you feel better to call it dressage, fine, but I think the real dividing point comes with the beginning of collection and the horse starting to carry himself more from behind.

Velvet
Mar. 7, 2011, 04:15 PM
Flatwork vs dressage, you can call it by different names but it's basically the same until you start to add in some collection. Then it changes. If it makes you feel better to call it dressage, fine, but I think the real dividing point comes with the beginning of collection and the horse starting to carry himself more from behind.

No, the term "dressage" is derived from "dresser" which means: to train or to drill. This is flatwork.

Nowadays, we've taken it to mean something more, but that is the basic meaning and cannot be changed. It's what was written in the old dressage books. So to say specifically that it means something once collection has been added is incorrect.

poltroon
Mar. 7, 2011, 04:21 PM
Um, yeah, that's for SHOWING the level. That doesn't mean we don't do it earlier in their training. These are broad assumptions that we don't start these movements earlier in the horses life or training.

Goes to show that the term "flatwork" can be applied in many ways. You are assuming it's only used for hunters. I believe the OP was not making that distinction, but rather thought in dressage work it could be called either one at different times, or that one was used for hacking and the other for more specfic training.

Velvet, I've been competing in dressage for quite some time now, eventing too, and IME there are a lot of training level superstars out there scoring in the 70's that don't have a reliable walk-canter transition. Even young eventers sometimes go to their first event without a walk-canter. Not to mention the young horses competing in the Intro classes where they are not cantering at their first show.

And that's fine. Those horses and riders are responding to the training scale and theory and competitive goals of the discipline.

The three year old hunters that I've taken to their first flat class all had a reliable walk-canter in chaotic company, even the ones that were OTTB. They had lots of flatwork done with them but nothing I'd classify today as dressage. And they would not have scored very well in a training level dressage test - not round enough and not enough balance from behind.

It's a different training strategy and a different perspective. I find elements of both Righter and Wronger than their counterpart.

Just goes to show that while OP said that the title says it all, it really doesn't.

merrygoround
Mar. 7, 2011, 05:39 PM
My feeling is that if a rider goes into the arena or trail, does basic walk trot and canter, with no attention paid to the quality of the gaits, the bend, and the smoothness of transitions-- they are "flatting" the horse.

If the same horse and rider goes into the arena or out on trail paying attention to
forward, rhythm, bend, and transitions, and their quality they are doing dressage.
Dressage means consistently requesting the best your horse can produce of the request made, whether it's simple walk, trot or any other gait or exercise.

sophie
Mar. 7, 2011, 07:04 PM
Okay, so then I guess we've decided it's a term and only a term. It's "flatwork" in the US and it's "dressage" in France. :yes: :lol:

well not really because in French, you might say "travailler sur le plat" (i.e flat work) when you don't really want to do "dressage" :D

I like this distinction:

" if a rider goes into the arena or trail, does basic walk trot and canter, with no attention paid to the quality of the gaits, the bend, and the smoothness of transitions-- they are "flatting" the horse."

I would add, "without true contact and through-ness"

MelantheLLC
Mar. 7, 2011, 07:28 PM
Hmmm. Without getting into semantics (it's totally true that the word "dressage" just means training), I think there's definitely a difference these days.

The best illustration I know of would be something like the RCMP or the Household Cavalry. They are training recruits, most of whom have never ridden before, in about 18 weeks, to do drill and parade work. They do a dang nice job of it, too, here (2009) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYcmWyeH6D0) and here (2010). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlziISlNltg)

But that's what I'd call flatwork. The point is precision, timing of drillwork and obedience. There's no indication that bend, contact, "throughness," smoothness of transitions or quality of gaits are a priority. And as others have mentioned, those things ARE a priority in dressage, even in everyday dressage.

You can certainly say that the cavalry horses have been "dressed" (trained), but in the modern sense they aren't "doing dressage" imo.

Interesting about GM's comment it takes too long to train the "military way." I was pretty impressed at how well those guys ride in such a short time. There's some information about it on the Household Cavalry (http://www.householdcavalry.info/training.html) website.

OE: I just re-read and it takes them 18 WEEKS, not 18 months as I first posted, to get a recruit from never having ridden a horse to Mounted Dutyman Class 3, capable of taking his place in ceremonial duties. Not bad!

Timex
Mar. 7, 2011, 09:31 PM
So, it begs the question, what is dressage? I've seen some 'dressage' riders ride 'dressage' quite poorly, and some fabulous hunter and (*gasp!*) western riders ride some gorgeous 'dressage', based on some of the definitions given here. But what is a definition we can all live with? Use of the Training scale, within the parameters of the chosen discipline? (Since I have a hunter that schooled 3rd level work before her retirement, refuse to believe that 'dressage' is just for 'dressage' riders, and firmly believe that good dressage work benefits ALL of the disciplines).

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 8, 2011, 10:04 AM
Hmmm. Without getting into semantics (it's totally true that the word "dressage" just means training), I think there's definitely a difference these days.

The best illustration I know of would be something like the RCMP or the Household Cavalry. They are training recruits, most of whom have never ridden before, in about 18 weeks, to do drill and parade work. They do a dang nice job of it, too, here (2009) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYcmWyeH6D0) and here (2010). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlziISlNltg)

But that's what I'd call flatwork. The point is precision, timing of drillwork and obedience. There's no indication that bend, contact, "throughness," smoothness of transitions or quality of gaits are a priority. And as others have mentioned, those things ARE a priority in dressage, even in everyday dressage.

You can certainly say that the cavalry horses have been "dressed" (trained), but in the modern sense they aren't "doing dressage" imo.

Interesting about GM's comment it takes too long to train the "military way." I was pretty impressed at how well those guys ride in such a short time. There's some information about it on the Household Cavalry (http://www.householdcavalry.info/training.html) website.

OE: I just re-read and it takes them 18 WEEKS, not 18 months as I first posted, to get a recruit from never having ridden a horse to Mounted Dutyman Class 3, capable of taking his place in ceremonial duties. Not bad!

I wonder how many hours those guys are spending in the saddle, and how many of those hours are instruction time. I am thinking of Malcolm Gladwell's thesis ("The Outliers") that it takes on average 10,000 hours to become proficient at doing anything.

So the measurement in weeks may be misleading if the recruits are riding 8 hours a day, most of which is under instruction. Far different than the typical one or two lessons per week and riding one hour (or less) per day for your typical ammie.

I also think that the military model for instruction may be far longer than 18 weeks for dressage schools such as SRS. I believe that their recruits spend about 6 months on the longe line. But again, don't know how many actual hours in the saddle and how much is instruction. Here is a description of that instruction process: http://www.dressageunltd.com/SRS/about/training4.htm

Velvet
Mar. 8, 2011, 10:36 AM
Velvet, I've been competing in dressage for quite some time now, eventing too, and IME there are a lot of training level superstars out there scoring in the 70's that don't have a reliable walk-canter transition. Even young eventers sometimes go to their first event without a walk-canter. Not to mention the young horses competing in the Intro classes where they are not cantering at their first show.

And that's fine. Those horses and riders are responding to the training scale and theory and competitive goals of the discipline.

The three year old hunters that I've taken to their first flat class all had a reliable walk-canter in chaotic company, even the ones that were OTTB. They had lots of flatwork done with them but nothing I'd classify today as dressage. And they would not have scored very well in a training level dressage test - not round enough and not enough balance from behind.

It's a different training strategy and a different perspective. I find elements of both Righter and Wronger than their counterpart.

Just goes to show that while OP said that the title says it all, it really doesn't.

We are talking about the WORDS, here. Usage by different people is subjective. I can say I'm going to "kill" something, but that doesn't mean I'm actually going to go out and do anyone or anything any harm.

If you look up the original DEFINITION, then you'll see that the only real difference is that one is English and the other French. :rolleyes:

Another case of too many trees being in the way....

Honestly, if "dressage" really does mean something completely different these days, we need to find a new word for it.

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 8, 2011, 10:57 AM
We are talking about the WORDS, here. Usage by different people is subjective. I can say I'm going to "kill" something, but that doesn't mean I'm actually going to go out and do anyone or anything any harm.

If you look up the original DEFINITION, then you'll see that the only real difference is that one is English and the other French. :rolleyes:

Another case of too many trees being in the way....

Honestly, if "dressage" really does mean something completely different these days, we need to find a new word for it.

I don't think that the OP was looking for a lesson in semantics. I'm just sayin'.

The reality is that if you are riding competitively, then the different disciplines (except perhaps dressage and combined training) have different methods of training and instruction right from the get go. "Flatwork" is usually a term used by h/j riders to describe what they are doing in the arena when they aren't jumping. That term is not used by western riders or saddleseat riders in any discipline. It is also not used by those riding outside the arena, who may be trail riding, hacking, trekking or riding cross country.

Velvet
Mar. 8, 2011, 11:58 AM
Semantics are important, especially in this case since the OP was unclear.

(For those needing to know what "semantics" actually means, here's a definition for you: the historical and psychological study and the classification of changes in the signification (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/signification) of words or forms viewed as factors in linguistic development.)

naturalequus
Mar. 8, 2011, 12:07 PM
If I could decide how the world worked, all flatwork would be basic dressage, for all disciplines. Think training level/first level, getting rhythm, suppleness, balance.

To me the actual difference in the two is your intention of how you want to continue. I don't care if you ever want to show, but if you don't want to increase levels of collection, get the horse to lift its front end, etc., I don't call it dressage. You may not REACH the upper levels in dressage even if you want, but if you want to improve and work toward the top of the training pyramid, and are doing your best (and that varies widely from one person to another) I think it's dressage.

This ^ Agree with Janet as well.


And, you can't learn it if you've never ridden a horse that rewards you for doing it right.

Any horse will reward the rider for doing it right if it occurs as a natural progression, if the rider is asking correctly, and if the horse is receiving the correct guidance. It is not necessary to have ridden a horse round or a schoolmaster to know how to ask correctly (etc)... many of us had never ridden a truly round horse before (successfully) teaching our own horses to be round.


The question as posed presumes (incorrectly in my view) that "flatwork" is somehow inferior to "dressage". (When is it "just" flatwork?)

The answer in my mind is this: Flatwork and Dressage are synonymous. Hunter people often call it "flatwork" and dressage people often call it "dressage"... but the bottom line is its the same thing. That doesn't mean it isn't often done poorly by both camps.

Not inferior, but dressage (ie, working one's way up the training scale and through the levels) is, in my mind, another step up from what individuals typically refer to as flat-work. Dressage is more extensive, more thorough, and develops the horse in both a mental and physical sense, progressively and moreso than flatwork. It has a higher training (mental in particular) goal than with flatwork. That's just my take, and that's coming from a jumper :winkgrin: On the other hand, it's true most jumpers, for example, refer to flatwork as work without fences - but it still might be dressage.

Irregardless of the word actually used, I think dressage work has a focus on progressing the horse through the Training Scale. My flatwork might or might not be dressage, but my dressage will always be done on the flat, so I guess in that manner could also be considered "flatwork" :winkgrin: Dressage pays attention though to quality of gaits and improving and teaching the horse to use itself in a progressively correct manner. Flatwork, as previously mentioned, imo focuses on precision instead. In this manner, dressage schooling might be done poorly to the point where it IS flatwork, but the rider might still be working within the context of dressage, without achieving the desired result(s). Technically it would still be dressage because of the rider's intent to develop the horse within the context of the dressage discipline (whether competitive or not). Another rider might not call what they do dressage yet might (potentially inadvertently) be working within the context of dressage. That would be dressage as well, because of the rider's intent to develop the horse in a dressage manner (without actually studying dressage itself, but studying, practicing and/or exercising the points of dressage in another form or context). For example, the (couple) western riders at my barn achieving the same as I in my own western (and english!) horses - suppleness, connection, through-ness, relaxation, roundness, and increasing collection, are still doing dressage in a sense, though they might not be approaching their schooling from the same (specifically and direct dressage) perspective as I (irregardless of the saddle I use or the discipline in which I intend to use that particular horse). Their intent (and thus also their results) is dressage.

cuatx55
Mar. 8, 2011, 12:30 PM
Riding "dressage" utalizes the training pyramid and seeks to ride back to front, connecting the horse. The rider uses the figures to increase lateral and longitudinal balance in the horse (to what ever degree the horse is capable).

The horse may be 3 or 30, it doesn't matter. Its the intention and mindset that one does W-T-C. Anything else is just flatwork.

CFFarm
Mar. 8, 2011, 01:17 PM
To me dressage work is using gymnastic movements to make the horse more supple, strong, submissive, beautifully developed and a true pleasure to ride.

Flat work is simply riding the horse at the different gaits with no attention to his way of going in order to exercise him or the rider.

poltroon
Mar. 8, 2011, 02:16 PM
Any horse will reward the rider for doing it right if it occurs as a natural progression, if the rider is asking correctly, and if the horse is receiving the correct guidance. It is not necessary to have ridden a horse round or a schoolmaster to know how to ask correctly (etc)... many of us had never ridden a truly round horse before (successfully) teaching our own horses to be round.

It's not true (I only need a single counterexample to support my side :D ) and I think it does both horses and riders a disservice to say that it is.

Most people learn on lesson horses who are kindly saints but who have learned that the best and safest way to go is hollow and flat. They've never been rewarded for giving in the jaw and stepping under and so they don't. A rider who has read all the books and who tries even for an hour to ride a horse like this 'properly' is probably not going to get any reward from that horse in that time. And realistically, what happens is that the rider assumes she's doing it wrong and tries all kinds of different things that are in fact wronger than the original try, and may even get more of a response from an activity like see-sawing or counterbending.

When a rider has an independent seat and hands, a huge service can be done for her education to put her on a schoolmaster right then to show the proper aids and to have success from them. Until she does it right and gets a reward for doing so, the proper behavior cannot be established in the rider.

A succession of school horses is a significant gift to a rider's education. No single horse can teach all the lessons one needs to learn to become a true rider.

meaty ogre
Mar. 8, 2011, 02:18 PM
To me, dressage requires contact, and having the horse properly using him/herself.

Flatwork can have just about all the same "movements" as dressage, but lacking the above.

For example, I've seen plenty of hunter or western riders execute pretty lead changes, do shoulder-in or half-pass in a long, low frame, loopy reins, and hocks trailing behind. The horse is very obedient and light to the aids, but there is no contact, and the horse may be on the forehand and not through.

Halt Near X
Mar. 8, 2011, 02:58 PM
I suspect this is some sort of regional or discipline semantics thing, because I've only ever heard "flatwork" used to mean "no jumps involved."

Thus all dressage is flatwork. And all hacking is flatwork.

Dressage vs. flatwork makes no sense to me. It's like trying to argue oranges vs. fruit.

Dressage vs. hacking, though...

If I get on a horse and just put them through their paces, working on things they already know, I'm just hacking. We could be working on contact and coming through from behind, but if the horse is confirmed in that and we aren't pushing for anything new/more challenging/etc... I still consider it hacking.

If I get on and we work on something new, or on finessing something we already know, or on building strength, or whatever... if we are working with the expectation that we will extend our existing capabilities in some dimension, I consider that something more like dressage.

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 8, 2011, 04:02 PM
I suspect this is some sort of regional or discipline semantics thing, because I've only ever heard "flatwork" used to mean "no jumps involved."

Thus all dressage is flatwork. And all hacking is flatwork.

Dressage vs. flatwork makes no sense to me. It's like trying to argue oranges vs. fruit.


Well, in my view you are correct that ALL DRESSAGE IS FLATWORK. (in other words no jumps involved.) :yes:

It does not follow that ALL FLATWORK IS DRESSAGE. Because it just ISN'T. If it were, then saddleseat would be dressage, gymkhana would be dressage, and all disciplines without jumping would be dressage. And that is obviously not the case. :no:

Halt Near X
Mar. 8, 2011, 04:19 PM
Well, in my view you are correct that ALL DRESSAGE IS FLATWORK. (in other words no jumps involved.) :yes:

It does not follow that ALL FLATWORK IS DRESSAGE. Because it just ISN'T. If it were, then saddleseat would be dressage, gymkhana would be dressage, and all disciplines without jumping would be dressage. And that is obviously not the case. :no:

I never said all flatwork was dressage.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Mar. 8, 2011, 04:30 PM
Flatwork becomes dressage when your horse is dressed in white polo wraps, a white saddle pad (with possibly his breed monogrammed), proper dressage tack is used, you are wearing German breeches and tall boots along with a polo shirt (collar must stand up, not be folded down), and your instructor sounds somewhat like this: "nau get z horse on z bitt wiz z outsite rain, keep z hohnches fromm fahlling in, yaaa, yaaa,...":yes:

It really is rather simple, folks. :winkgrin:

Eclectic Horseman
Mar. 8, 2011, 04:43 PM
I never said all flatwork was dressage.


I know you didn't. Other people seem to be making that error of logic.

netg
Mar. 8, 2011, 04:56 PM
Flatwork becomes dressage when your horse is dressed in white polo wraps, a white saddle pad (with possibly his breed monogrammed), proper dressage tack is used, you are wearing German breeches and tall boots along with a polo shirt (collar must stand up, not be folded down), and your instructor sounds somewhat like this: "nau get z horse on z bitt wiz z outsite rain, keep z hohnches fromm fahlling in, yaaa, yaaa,...":yes:

It really is rather simple, folks. :winkgrin:

Darnit. I'll never do dressage, because my neck is too short for my collar to stand up!


I know you didn't. Other people seem to be making that error of logic.

I still standby my assertion that all flatwork SHOULD be basic dressage. :)

naturalequus
Mar. 8, 2011, 05:34 PM
It's not true (I only need a single counterexample to support my side :D ) and I think it does both horses and riders a disservice to say that it is.

Most people learn on lesson horses who are kindly saints but who have learned that the best and safest way to go is hollow and flat. They've never been rewarded for giving in the jaw and stepping under and so they don't. A rider who has read all the books and who tries even for an hour to ride a horse like this 'properly' is probably not going to get any reward from that horse in that time. And realistically, what happens is that the rider assumes she's doing it wrong and tries all kinds of different things that are in fact wronger than the original try, and may even get more of a response from an activity like see-sawing or counterbending.

When a rider has an independent seat and hands, a huge service can be done for her education to put her on a schoolmaster right then to show the proper aids and to have success from them. Until she does it right and gets a reward for doing so, the proper behavior cannot be established in the rider.

A succession of school horses is a significant gift to a rider's education. No single horse can teach all the lessons one needs to learn to become a true rider.

You are misunderstanding my post.

Note I used the words: natural progression, asking correctly, and correct guidance. I never stated one could take a school horse who has not been ridden in a truly classical dressage manner, and have them moving correctly instantly. :no: Neither did I state a rider could read a few books and instantly have a horse moving correctly either. :no:

I agree riding a schoolmaster is a great service and learning opportunity to a rider - just that it is not the be-all-end-all. Of course also riders will learn a variety of lessons from different horses - this is necessary. I never disagreed with this.

What I DID say was that not every rider needs to ride a schoolmaster, an FEI dressage horse, to know how to ask or what to ask, to develop a horse correctly.

But back to the topic, I hope I never feel the urge to take up dressage then, because I don't like using white polos, either :no: The white gets too dirty and *shrug* I'm particularly adverse to working a horse in polos anyways. Darn it, I'll NEVER be able to do it correctly... :winkgrin: Better stick to jumping.

poltroon
Mar. 8, 2011, 05:57 PM
Sorry, naturalequus. By 'schoolmaster' I did not mean FEI dressage horse at all, but even just a nice first/second level type horse with correct training. Sorry if I did not make that clear.

enjoytheride
Mar. 8, 2011, 06:18 PM
It's dressage when a bunch of people on a BB can get into a fight over what dressage is for 3 or more pages :lol:

MelantheLLC
Mar. 8, 2011, 06:33 PM
It's dressage when a bunch of people on a BB can get into a fight over what dressage is for 3 or more pages :lol:

*snicker* :lol:

SisterToSoreFoot
Mar. 8, 2011, 08:26 PM
You all are making this so complicated, when there is a simple rule of thumb to differentiate the two:

When I ride, it's dressage. When you ride, it's just flatwork.

That'd be a great snooty DQ bumper sticker. :lol: