View Full Version : Dressage Instruction?

Jan. 14, 2012, 09:31 AM
A question for you eventers. Do you take dressage lessons from a dressage trainer or from your event trainer? Just curious as it seems that many eventers go to a "dressage person" for their dressage instruction.

Desert Topaz
Jan. 14, 2012, 09:59 AM
My pony is currently at "Pony Boot Camp" with a dressage trainer. My event trainer, as much as I like her, was not teaching my youngster how to properly carry herself, something she desperately needed.

Jan. 14, 2012, 10:10 AM
Pierre St. Jacques in Ocala, have had great help from him!

He was a alternate for the WEG dressage team.

Jan. 14, 2012, 10:13 AM
I do most of my dressage work with my event trainers, but I've done a dressage clinic and will absolutely continue to seek out "straight" dressage trainers to work with.

Jan. 14, 2012, 11:06 AM
I have a regular dressage trainer in addition to my event coach. It's not a decision reflecting any weakness on my coach's part -- I have had my dressage trainer long before I had a good event coach, she comes every week and is very reasonably priced. My event coach travels a lot so when she's home I jump with her.

That being said, i love my dressage trainer and have learned pretty much everything I know about dressage from her, and she was the only reason I could take my greenbean from no steering to successful 2nd level dressage pony!

Heinz 57
Jan. 14, 2012, 11:12 AM
My eventing trainer also has her bronze medal, so I just stick with her. :lol:

Jan. 14, 2012, 01:08 PM
On the flipside, my dressage horse is a former eventer and I lesson with an eventing trainer. :)

I'm hoping she can get her medals on my horse as we move up levels together, but have found I appreciate her dressage instruction more than other local pure dressage trainers I know of. I've ridden in clinics with an event instructor from out of town as well as regular clinics with a couple dressage instructors. I've found that for me often times the correct dressage basics and focus on the horse exist more among event instructors than dressage trainers, and that this work goes very well with the work I'm doing with GP dressage trainers/instructors.

Jan. 14, 2012, 01:14 PM
I do both flat and jump lessons with my event coach.
But I also used to (past tense because he left the state) ride regularly with a dressage instructor that came to the barn once or twice a month.
I plan to continue to take periodic lessons with a dressage instructor whether it is from the other dressage instructor that clinics regularly at my barn or just do it less often when the prior guy comes up to Maryland. Both of these dressage instructors teach a lot of eventers including my eventing coach, so it works for me.

Jan. 14, 2012, 02:27 PM

My regular eventing trainer, Shannon Lilley comes to my barn once a week and Brian Sabo comes once a month so depending on what I feel we need to work on, sometimes it's a dressage lesson and sometimes jumping.

I also ride with the dressage trainer at my barn, who I love. I'm quite blessed to be able to work with three remarkable trainers. :yes:

Jan. 14, 2012, 02:45 PM
Well...my eventing trainer was a working student for a Grand Prix dressage rider, as well as Phillip Dutton...so I just use her..

Jan. 14, 2012, 05:13 PM
I have a regular dressage trainer in addition to my event coach. It's not a decision reflecting any weakness on my coach's part -- I have had my dressage trainer long before I had a good event coach, she comes every week and is very reasonably priced.

Same thing with me, and I've been with my dressage trainer for over 10 years. She used to event in England where she's from so I like that she understands my passion! During the winter I've been seeing another pure dressage instructor every other week so I don't get too complacent with my longtime trainer.

Jan. 14, 2012, 05:23 PM
My daughter's trainer is USEA Level III certified and USDF certified through 4th level. Works for us!

Jan. 14, 2012, 05:37 PM
I ride with a dressage coach (same one for over 20 years) and with an eventing coach (same one for many years as well). What I found to be important was that there was consistency in their approach.

I need soooo much help in both phases that I need each one to help me with single-minded focus!

Jan. 14, 2012, 07:26 PM
I take dressage lessons from my event trainer but she takes them from a dressage trainer so...I feel like I get the best of both worlds.

Jan. 14, 2012, 08:11 PM
I take dressage lessons from a "mostly dressage" trainer. While her focus is dressage and she has competed thru PSG, she has jumped as well and used to even coach Jim Koford in his eventing days, LOL, so she is familiar with the sport.

Jan. 14, 2012, 08:25 PM
I have done the vast majority of my dressage work with my event coach (who has ridden at the FEI levels in dressage, too, so that probably helps ;)). I have supplemented some with either other event coaches or with dressage coaches. When my former horse had us both kinda scratching our heads, we found a great dressage coach who helped make a few breakthroughs with a tough horse.

I can be VERY picky about who helps me with my dressage, especially when I am riding very fit horses. I find a lot of dressage people don't "get" event horses, especially TBs, and don't know how to deal with horses that are often times like riding kegs of dynamite because they are SO fit. The couple of people I have ridden with that are NOT eventers, get and love event horses, and I get a lot out of what they do with me.

Jan. 14, 2012, 08:54 PM
There's nothing really dressage-y in the eventing dressage tests up to Intermediate, when the collected gaits come in.

A good coach or trainer, regardless of discipline choice, should stress the same fundamentals as a horse develops.

For an event horse, fundamentals should always be taught with an understanding of the goal of producing a forward, thinking, adjustable horse. I'll ride with anyone who can help get my horse closer to that goal.

My current coach is an h/j'er but for the life of me, I can't see the difference between what she teaches and what I've learned from any other good coaches -- dressage, eventing, or jumper. :)

Jan. 14, 2012, 09:01 PM
My current coach is an h/j'er but for the life of me, I can't see the difference between what she teaches and what I've learned from any other good coach -- dressage, eventing, or jumper.
I have been spending a lot of time lately watching and listening to a h/j trainer that works out of my barn teach and train...she is very good with a very good resume...and everything she says sounds just like everything I've been hearing most of my riding career. While I wouldn't want her coaching me on xc, I have a feeling she could help me with my flatwork and I KNOW she can help me with my show jumping (and I plan on taking a few lessons with her next month when my coach is in L.A.).

Jan. 14, 2012, 10:30 PM
I use an UL dressage coach and an UL jumper coach. I like the combination.

Jan. 15, 2012, 10:51 PM
I have a straight dressage instructor, but she teaches a lot of eventers and judges a lot of eventing dressage, so she gets it. And she is amazing!! I usually take a lesson about once a month with her.

Jan. 15, 2012, 11:10 PM
The barn I'm at is owned by a dressage instructor so yes I take dressage lessons from a straight dressage instructor. I have to trailer 1.5 hours to get a jump lesson from someone I trust (although we generally have enough people that she will now come down to us once a month as well).

Hawks Nest
Jan. 16, 2012, 01:01 AM
I haven't had a dressage lesson from a straight dressage instructor but I learned dressage from one when I was younger and I worked for her for a little bit. Unfortunately her training style seems to have changed some and I no longer want lessons from her. My event trainer is great though and she really is all about getting the horse to work over their backs and into the bridle.

Jan. 16, 2012, 01:19 AM
I jump with a H/J trainer that used to event (did the young riders "back in the day") and I dressage with a H/J trainer that boggles my mind with how he can get my horses to go. His flat work is extraordinary, this is the first season i'm actually looking forward to the dressage ring! I clinic yearly with an event coach who used to ride with my jumping coach, and was taught by another H/J clinician I use. In a way I have 4-5 different coaches I use that all know each other/been involved with each other so I know that the program works.

Jan. 16, 2012, 12:18 PM
I have always worked with an event trainer. Of course, now I ride most of the year at Blue Hill Farm and benefit from having lesson with both Missy and Jessica Ransehousen.

Classic Melody
Jan. 16, 2012, 12:37 PM
I have generally worked with an event trainer alone, supplemented by infrequent lessons with a dressage trainer. These have always been really interesting and provided great perspective. But generally my opinion is that at the lower levels, it really isn't necessary to have a bevy of specialist trainers.

Jan. 16, 2012, 02:08 PM
I have always worked with my eventing trainer-she has a great eye for dressage and is very good for that. When I went to college I was in a pretty small midwest town and so for the first few years I was on my own. Part way through I met someone who moved back to the area who specialized in dressage and started taking lessons from her when I was up at school. She has a very well versed background and so is great at helping me with my dressage but even has helped other people with starting their western horses, and so has a great way of teaching the fundamentals of dressage that hold true across every discipline.

She really understood my event horse and did not try to completely change our riding philosophy, but was able to really help the throughness and rideability of my horse. She helped a ton with my seat and riding in general but I never felt like she was trying to put us in a straight dressage "box", because everything carries over! I loved working with her, and she even had me jump one of her horses and let me ride her dressage horse too.

What was really cool was that my eventing trainer is totally open to me working with other people, and was really open to hearing about what my dressage trainer had to say and what types of excercises we did. They definitely had a different way of saying things (as would two different trainers of the same disciplines), but their overall goals were the same.

Jan. 17, 2012, 12:20 PM
I may complicate everything, but I go to a dressage trainer for dressage, and a h/j trainer for stadium, and then will have a trainer I know school me at an event, if needed. . Honestly it's just because of the area I live in it's more convenient. I feel like I've gotten so much out of working w/ my jumper trainer who makes me ride more like an eq. rider, which has drastically improved my rounds.

Jan. 17, 2012, 12:40 PM
All this talk of "straight" dressage trainers....Where do you find them?! ;):winkgrin::lol:

Jan. 18, 2012, 09:15 PM
My event trainer also has his gold medal and has trained several horses up to GP so I stick with him. He coaches many pure dressage riders as well.
Although, if I can get any of mine to Intermediate or above by next fall, I'm considering riding in a Conrad Schumacher clinic hosted at a nearby farm in November.

Jan. 18, 2012, 09:16 PM
All this talk of "straight" dressage trainers....Where do you find them?! ;):winkgrin::lol:

Jan. 19, 2012, 09:14 AM
I try to go to dressage trainers and then I have a few select eventing coaches that work really really well with me on the flat.

I do not have a regular trainer.